PopEntertainment.com

It's all the entertainment you need!

 

FEATURE STORIES MOVIE REVIEWS MUSIC REVIEWS BOX SET REVIEWS TV SHOWS ON DVD CONTESTS CONCERT PHOTOS

 

  FEATURE STORIES
  INTERVIEWS A TO E
  INTERVIEWS F TO J
  INTERVIEWS K TO O
  INTERVIEWS P TO T
  INTERVIEWS U TO Z
  INTERVIEWS ACTORS
  INTERVIEWS ACTRESSES
  INTERVIEWS BOOKS
  INTERVIEWS DIRECTORS AND SCREENWRITERS
  INTERVIEWS MUSIC
  INTERVIEWS OSCAR NOMINEES
  INTERVIEWS THEATER
  IN MEMORIAM
  REVIEWS
  MOVIE REVIEWS
  MUSIC REVIEWS
  CONCERT REVIEWS
  BOX SET REPORT CARD
  TV SHOWS ON DVD
  MISCELLANEOUS STUFF & NONSENSE
  CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY
  LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
  CONTESTS
  LINKS
  MASTHEAD
  EMAIL US

"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

AVAILABLE IN BOOK STORES EVERYWHERE!

 

www.wbshop.com

PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Movie Reviews > The Watchmen

MOVIE REVIEWS

WATCHMEN (2009)

Starring Billy Crudup, Malin Akerman, Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino, Matt Frewer, Stephen McHattie and Laura Mennell.

Screenplay by David Hayter and Alex Tse.

Directed by Zack Snyder.

Distributed by Warner Bros. and Paramount Pictures.  163 minutes.  Rated R.

 Shop Chocolate.org 180x150

Watchmen

If you take nothing else from Watchmen, one thing is made crystal clear - being a superhero is a miserable, soul-crushing drag.

Based on a cult-fave graphic novel, Watchmen is coming to the theaters with high expectations from rabid fans as well as casual observers being promised a huge new franchise. 

I have to admit that I've never read the comic, therefore as a casual observer my reaction was that Watchmen, while it is certainly stylistically dazzling, visually intriguing and often interesting, is much too long (the DVD Director's cut is over three hours!), more than occasionally too densely plotted and horribly downbeat. 

From what I hear, it is rather faithful to the source material, so I guess that it is exactly what the fanboys wanted, however for the uninitiated it seems to be surprisingly slow-moving and intensely pessimistic.

I can't imagine ever watching this again, and while I liked several characters, I have no real desire to see any of them in a potential sequel.

Watchmen takes place in an odd alternate universe circa 1985, where Richard Nixon is in his fifth term in office as President, superheroes helped us win the Vietnam War and the US is on the verge of a nuclear confrontation with Russia.  In many ways the world is very different - there are flying saucers, film noir lighting and a history of masked superheroes who have just been outlawed.

In some other ways, the universe is just the same as ours - such as architecture, automobiles and music, where such time-specific songs as Nena's "99 Luftballons" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" are used accurately, if a little heavyhandedly.

This world had once been protected by a group of masked vigilantes - the Watchmen of the title.  These "superheroes" were decidedly earthbound - only one, the glowing blue Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) has actual powers.  The others used costumes, fighting skills and tricky weapons to keep evil at bay. 

The kicker was that many of these protectors were just as degenerate as the criminals they have fought.  For example, we see one of the superheroes violently raping another, we see one shooting a pregnant woman, we see several taking brutal vigilante justice on assorted bad guys.

Even the ones who were basically good were doing it more for the celebrity than for any great sense of justice.  These crimefighters included the inscrutable masked Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), the decadent Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), the quiet and shy Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), the sexy Silk Spectre (originally Carla Gugino, then replaced by her character's daughter played by Malin Akerman) and the brilliant Ozymandus (Matthew Goode).

Despite the fact that most of the Watchmen have been retired for years, it appears someone is tracking and killing them.  Therefore the remaining heroes band together to figure out who is targeting them - and at the same time save the world from a potentially cataclysmic political fallout.

Though there are many scenes of disturbing violence, there is really very little action to the storyline.  It is a more cerebral and philosophical experience than an adrenaline-pumping action flick. 

This in itself is not a problem - I tend to prefer films which make me think over films which make me react - but Watchmen spends so much time pondering the ulterior motives of its "superheroes" and the bleakness of life that it often forgets it is supposed to be telling a story.

I don't know exactly what I expected from Watchmen after all the hype buildup.  I just know I expected more.

Alex Diamond

Copyright 2009 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 20, 2009.

RETURN TO MOVIE REVIEWS MENU

Copyright 2009   PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: July 20, 2009.

 

Enter Gotham City with Batman Costumes from Spirit Halloween! Protect or destroy the city as Batgirl, Robin, or the Joker. Shop now!