In a world where superheroes have been restricted by the law,
the murder of a former hero brings a reluctant team back together.
Directed by Zack Snyder
Written by David Hayter and Alex Tse
Starring Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman,
Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino
Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
I can understand the animosity regarding the film adaptation of Watchmen. It's difficult to please everyone, particularly Alan Moore and his loyal fanbase. However, if you can look past the major differences, Watchmen is a fantastic movie that stands on its own as a political statement and a comic book thriller. It's perfectly cast and contains some truly breathtaking visuals. I absolutely love it.
I'll confess that I have not read the graphic novel. Before you start hurling the stones at me, remember that I'm not here to review the graphic novel. I'm here to review the movie. In that respect, I can say that Watchmen is a stellar film because it deals with the dark, everyday side of fighting crime. This is a world that punishes its heroes because they fail. It's a world where the good don't always triumph over evil and the line between the two is quite grey. I wish there were more films that explored settings like this. The characters are washed-up heroes past their prime who can't move on. Rorschach, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and the Comedian have no superpowers, yet they can't stop fighting the good fight, even when there isn't one to fight. All of these characters are portrayed flawlessly in my opinion, especially Jackie Earle Haley's iconic portrayal of Rorschach. While Billy Crudup does well as Dr. Manhattan, I wish he'd put on some pants once in a while. Matthew Goode is also good (haha) as Ozymandias, even if he is somewhat forgettable.
In a world where superheroes exist, America won the Vietnam War and Nixon was elected to a third term. It makes you wonder what life would be like if extraordinary people lived among us. I believe that Watchmen shows us the closest thing to that world we will ever see. A dismal America where the civilians have turned on their protectors and the protectors have given up on their civilians. It's a bleak dream, but it's an interesting one.