Vulcan Stev’s family movie review: Watchmen
Malin Akerman … Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II
Billy Crudup … Dr. Manhattan / Jon Osterman
Matthew Goode … Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias
Jackie Earle Haley … Walter Kovacs / Rorschach
Jeffrey Dean Morgan … Edward Blake / The Comedian
Patrick Wilson … Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl II
Carla Gugino … Sally Jupiter / Silk Spectre
Matt Frewer … Edgar Jacobi / Moloch the Mystic
Stephen McHattie … Hollis Mason / Nite Owl
Laura Mennell … Janey Slater
Synopsis from IMDb: An adaptation of Alan Moore’s landmark comic book series, “Watchmen” is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity… but who is watching the Watchmen?
Reviewers: VS, PIT#1, PIT#2, PIT#3. Mrs VS stayed home as she KNEW she wouldn’t like this movie, she was right.
*Note* PITs 1&2 are teenagers, PIT#3 is 10 and had Daddy’s permission to come see this movie as long as he sat next to Daddy and did not object to having his eyes covered at parts Daddy deemed to excessive.
VS: – 1.75 pointed ears
FIrst let me state that I am not some rabid fanboy worshipping at the ‘holy writ’ of Alan Moore. I have read the graphic novel and enjoyed it immensely. Was Watchmen a groundbreaking comic for its time? yes. Was it unfilmable by the technology at the time? yes. Did Zach Snyder make an equitable film adaptation of the novel? yes. Will it appeal to the average filmgoer? probably not given the way it was advertised.
There were changes obvious to anyone who has read the graphic novel. To anyone who has not read the comic the changes do not detract from the storyline at all. If, as I clearly indicate, I think that Mr. Snyder pulled off what many deemed as impossible, just why did I give it the rating that I did?
First the violence, although present in the source material, was overdone for my tastes. We did not need to see bones breaking, hatchets cleaving, and bullets penetrating to make this movie. The comic has these events occuring outside the panel borders. Clever angles and editing could have conveyed the violence without being quite so graphic. Second, Dr Manhattan’s well publicized..er …ah anatomy. There was, to my recollection, ONE scene that showed full frontal in the book and Doc M. was not so well endowed, clearly average in the book. It was distracting. Third, the soundtrack. I realize Mr. Snyder was trying to provide generational hooks by using songs from the appropriate era depicted, but seriously 99 Luft Balloons?
As I write this I’m also reading a news story that Watchmen’s box office earnings have dropped 71% from opening weekend. Our experience bears this out, the theater was 3/4 empty when watched the 2:00pm show. Why? in my opinion it’s because the studio mis-marketed this movie. Audiences not familiar withthe graphic novel were lead to believe they were getting this year’s Iron Man or The Dark Knight. What they got was a over-violent murder mystery set in a world with costumed adventurers. I blame the studio system for this. Audiences did not get what they were lead to expect. The fallout is that Hollywood is going to blame the director, script and source material rather than themselves. The suits are not going to see this as a marketing failure but rather, “We listened to the director about sticking to the source material and look what happened.” As a result we’re going to see more “Hollywoodized” adaptations in the future.
What did the director get right? Cutting out the annoying ‘comic-within-a-comic’, losing some of the subplots and the change to the ending although criticized by some was entirely believeable and served the same purpose. Zach Snyder did the best job he could without making a 5-hour mini-series. His attention to detail was obvious, I’m looking forward to the director’s cut.
PIT#1: – 1.9 pointed ears
Dad tried to give us a background tutorial into the Watchmen without revealing the plot twist at the end. He had read some reviews were people stated that they had a hard time following the story plot-line. Dad’s explanation confused me, the movie did not. This movie requires you to pay attention. You are not spoon-fed the plot you are required to think. Kudos to Zach Snyder for not caving to studio demands.
Was the violence excessive? yes in my opinion. To much was shown graphically that didn’t need to be shown. I won’t reveal what but if you’ve seen the movie you’ll understand which scenes I’m talking about. This movie is not for the squeamish. It’s not a hack-fest like Friday the 13th but the violence was still too over-the-top. The sex scene made me uncomfortable.
PIT#2: – 1.7 pointed ears
Dad confused me as well with his explanation. After I saw the movie I understood what Dad was talking about but I had no trouble following the movie. If you’re expecting a standard Super Hero flick go rent Iron Man. If you want to watch a whodunnit with plenty of action then go see Watchmen. The violence got out-of-hand at times. They could’ve easily shot this movie as a PG-13 without changing one bit of the plot. All it would’ve taken was a few judicous edits.
PIT#3: – 1.7 pointed ears
Daddy tried to make me cover my eyes at the icky parts. I did see the man’s arm break and that was disgusting. I closed my eyes when the kissing and sex were on the screen. This is NOT a super hero movie. It’s a mystery that has heroes in it. This movie would’ve been nicer on the small screen (at least for me). I enjoyed the movie and I’m happy Daddy took me, but the director could’ve left out some stuff.
7.05 pointed ears out of 8
Be forewarned that the violence in this movie IS excessive. Only you can determine what is appropriate for your family. Be forewarned that this is NOT a super hero movie in the tone of Iron Man, Spider-Man, or even The Dark Knight. This is a murder mystery set in a world of costumed adventurers. Pay attention when watching this film you can’t be mindless with this flick, the story does not take you by the hand.
Watchable (with reservations). I plan on buying the Director’s cut DVD.