Reviewed by Alicia Glass
Review Rating: 8
Set in an alternate world where it’s 1985 and costumed superheroes have been a way of life, only to be shut down by the government. The Doomsday Clock is counting down to nuclear war, and when someone begins picking off the retired superheroes, the wonderfully nuts vigilante Rorschach goes looking for the culprit.
As usual, despite being a big comic book fan, I haven’t read the graphic novel this movie is based off of. Which means I will be reporting from the movie-fan side of things, and that is all. With that in mind, off we go!
Watchmen promises, with it’s teaser trailers and who knows how much money thrown into advertising promos, a wild romp of masked heroes and astounding visual effects, and the movie doesn’t fail to deliver at all. Ranked right up there with Iron Man and the X-Men movies, and I mean that in the kindest way possible. I don’t know how they made the Dr. Manhattan look all toxic blue throughout the entire movie, I would guess they did it in a way similar to Sin City was shot. Nevertheless, the effect is striking. I did greatly enjoy the way Rorschach’s mask moved constantly, and the man they got to play that character, Jackie Earl Haley, delivers a performance of skin crawling power! It’s a bit hard to believe, but bear with me when I say, the man playing the second Nite Owl, Patrick Wilson, is the same man who played Raoul in the most recent movie version of The Phantom of the Opera. Who sadly looks like a total nerd bomb, until he finally tosses on the Nite Owl suit and proceeds to kick serious ass. Malin Akerman as the second Silk Spectre is more or less fine, personally I think she looks much better as a brunette. Then again, much like Elektra, I find it very hard to believe that any woman can kick that much bad guy butt in spike heels and long hair. And of course, there’s Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian and Carla Gugino as the original Silk Spectre. I had difficulties most of the time with Morgan, I couldn’t help thinking he reminded me sooo much of Robert Downey Jr. in Iron Man, and once again I do mean that as a compliment. Even the character seemed somewhat similar.
So we have an alternate universe as I understand it, where it’s 1985 and the world is heading for nuclear war/annihilation, Nixon is still in office and the Watchmen, who protected the cities of the world with their masks, have been disbanded. Then, the Comedian is murdered and it sets off a whole series of events that bring the children of the original Watchmen together one final time. Be warned, there are several moments of complete nudity involving Dr. Manhattan. I thought of it more as being like a baby is completely selfless about his nudity, so is Dr. Manhattan. And this movie raises all sorts of interesting questions about morals and ethics, things like Pyrrhic victories and the ends justifying the means. It is not, at all, a movie for kids 12 and under, I think. But young adults, especially children of the 80s like me, will adore Watchmen!
Who watches the Watchmen? The whole world!