Willis' Review of Watchmen
In an alternate version of 1985 -- Richard Nixon is still president, and nuclear war with the Soviet Union feels inevitable.The movie begins with the murder of The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a retired crime fighter who was part of a group of former vigilantes known as 'The Watchmen'. One of his former colleagues, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley)come out of hiding to find his killer. Rorschach investigates a conspiracy to eliminate costumed heroes. He seeks help from his retired friends Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), and Silk Sceptre II (Malin Akerman). Even Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), the only one among them who's truly gifted with superpowers to find who's behind this plot of working down a list of crusaders. So who's watching the Watchmen?
Zack Snyder the director of '300' brillantly adapts the brutal stylized action and thought-provoking messages of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons highly celebrated graphic novel to the big screen. It's fairly close to the written page, right down to the darkly beautiful world it projects (exept for a tweak here and there, including a the simplification of the ending for the people who haven't read the book). I think he does a really good job of establishing and maintaing the tone of the book. The look and feel of the movie will amaze you from the very start. The action is extremely violent and intense with several martial arts fight scenes with close-up, slo-mo shots of limbs breaking, faces being smashed into walls and furniture, and people being stabbed, punched, and kicked across the room. A woman is savagely beaten and almost raped. One character shows no emotions as he attacks people in inventive and painful ways, such as sawing off someone's hands and electrocuting him, and taking a meat cleaver to the head of a child rapist. A young child's corpse is eaten by dogs, and the ashes of her remains are shown in a furnace. There are a few long and intimate close-up sex scenes with partial male and female nudity. The CGI character walks around naked with his penis visible. Parents need to know that this adaptation of the beloved cult graphic novel isn't just another superhero story and is absolutely not for kids and certainly not for anyone who expects a simple good vs. evil story.
Like its source material, the film is a much deeper commentary on a wide variety of subjects then most people will realize.There are commentaries on the nature of humanity, politics, psychology, the roll of violence in our world and in our nature. It's unfortunate that most of this will be lost to the mainstream audience. It takes a while to get past the notion that these are comic heroes. They are meant to reflect humanity in all our glory and all our depravity. The movie is truly a masterpiece and worth the almost 3 hours. The Watchmen works for the same reasons as 'The Dark Knight and 'Iron Man' did last year. They make you think while also entertain you.