WATCHMEN Movie Review

I don’t do reviews very often. As a matter of fact, I can’t remember the last time I did one. (That is unless you count me having Paul Blart Mall Cop in my post about various forms of poop.) That being said, I hadn’t been so excited to see a movie as I was to see the WATCHMEN. Now that I’ve seen it, I feel the need to discuss.

(Warning: SPOILER ALERT!)

I will be judging this movie based on five categories. These categories were all things I was looking for while watching the movie. They were the things needed to make this particular movie great. At the end I will formulate these into one general score for the movie.

Category 1: The Zach Snyder Effect
Being that this movie was directed by Zach Snyder (The 300), I was expecting alot. The movie did not disappoint. The action scenes were very well choreographed and Snyder seemed to maintain a good grasp of how much special effects should be relied upon. He did not try to make the heroes look too cartoonish. This moveie had a very real feel to it.

What also pleased me was how he was not afraid to let the dialogue stand alone for great lengths of time. The characters in this movie are very intricate and the storyline takes time ti develop. At it’s core, it is not a shoot em’ up thrill ride. Snyder did not try to make it one.

Zach Snyder’s Rating: Four and a half out of five spartans
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Category 2: Closeness To The Book
For anyone who hasn’t read the book, please do so. It was great. I had the pleasure of reading it recently and fully expected that Hollywood would have to change a bunch of things about it to appease a mass audience. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I was wrong. The makers of this movie stayed closer to the book than virtually any comic book movie I can remember. The only thing that was noticably different was some of the ending. And that is understandable becasue the real book ending was just weird as shit. Alot of the dialogue was word for word from the book. Which was smart of them since that dialogue was so damn good. The film had so much reverence for the book that it even had one of it’s main characters, Dr. Manhattan (a.k.a. the blue dude), strut around in the nude for most of the movie. That’s how it was in the book, that’s how it was in the movie.

Now I know watching a blue penis flop around for half the movie can be distracting. This can be especially true when watching said blue falice in IMAX! My brother’s very short review of the movie was “Too much blue cock for me!” But as a true fan of the book, I appreciated that blue cock. They were keeping it real funky. Dr. Manhattan is damn near a god, what the hell does he have to wear pants for? If I were a god I would let it all hang too. Besides, would my brother have minded if it were some big blue breasts flopping around? No one seemed to complain about this .

Book Integrity Rating: Five out of five naked blue dudes
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(Sidenote: No Homo for that whole last part.)

Category 3: Acting
One thing I was a bit worried about was the acting. There really weren’t any A list acotrs signed on to do this movie and I knew going in how complex the characters were. The Comedian (a.k.a. Edward Blake) in particular was a real puzzle of a man. The acting for the most part was pretty good. Jackie Earle Haley, who played Rorshach, was the standout in the group. He brought the character to life with the same cool and sinister demeanor that we love about Rorshach in the book. The scene where he as killed by Dr. Manhattan in the end was even more powerful than in the book. And I knew what was going to happen!

Most of the other actors were good. The only one who could have been better was the ironically named Matthew Goode. He played Ozymandias, the world’s smartest man. I did not believe him in that role.

Acting Rating: Three out of five Rorshachs
  

General Overview
The Watchmen was a great movie. The story is intersting, relevant, and exciting all at the same time. It is sexy, gritty, and unabashedly gory. The trouble with movies such as these is it’s often difficult for them to live up to the hype. This movie does so. I can’t say it was the best comic book movie I’ve ever seen (Sin City is one that comes to mind as being slightly better), but it is definitely up there. It’s a bit nerdy and definitely a bit offensive at times. It definitely isn’t for everyone (especially kids!), but overall I loved it.

Overall Rating:  Four out of five bloody smiley faces.
    

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44 comments

  1. So I skimmed through to focus on the ratings and glad I did. I had a friend go see it and she said it was horrible. Now my husband and I have really been wanting to go see it so when she said that I was really crushed. But after your review I think we’ll be driving down to Atlanta to see it on IMAX! Thanks!

  2. I’ve read the book a couple of years ago and the movie seemed like a graphic novel moving. It’s amazing how they lifted most of their lines verbatim. The thing that amazed me the most is how they portrayed the characters. I never imagined Rorschach’s voice to be like that (something I never would have known through the book.) Dr. Manhattan’s too. I sort of felt there was this certain sadness in him…. but it was more like indifference. His face and his voice was just perfect for the character.Veidt looked a little different though, skinny….but it’s alright. They still captured the rich, good-looking guy. I just expected a bigger one.WATCHMEN is the greatest adaptation I’ve ever seen. Perhaps because there’s been too much adaptations that never really met up to the readers’ standards…. so they made a movie so close to the book. To add to that, the book itself was great. I don’t think there’s anything that they should change about it.Well except that little story about the guy who got lost in the sea or something. I can’t even remember. Do you? Good thing they didn’t include that.

  3. Meh, I don’t really prefer super hero movies *flinches*, but I might go see this one based on your review….and perhaps to see some blue cock, I’m not even gonna lie. Nicely done, Jerko!

  4. i disagree that its faithfulness to the book helps it out. the movie is way too long and the pacing is really off. what works in book form doesn’t work on screen. it’s good for fans, but too many backstories and not enough plot-driven scenarios really alienate people not familiar with the book.my main beef was that snyder didn’t trust people to “get” it. every idea was doubled, even tripled, to make sure the audience understood what each character was about. that includes the sex scenes. really? two of them?as a movie, and simply a movie, not a movie trying to stay faithful to a book, the watchmen could have used a lot more polish.

  5. @vanedave – a bit, but that really shouldn’t matter.people often use that as a defense for an adaptation, but great movies don’t need them.one flew over the cuckoo’s nest and fight club come to mind immediately as movies that transitioned well from books while still paying attention to the fact that cinema is an entirely different story telling medium.

  6. I think the best acting in this movie was done by The Comedian and Rorshach, they really came to life how I envisioned them in the book. It is hard to play a character who is so cynical and intentionally immoral as he is. I was disappointed by Veidt also, and some of Laurie’s scenes with Dan came as too awkward or forced, however I thought over all the romantic element of the book was done very well.One thing I was EXTREMELY disappointed about was the shortening of my favorite chapter in the book, where Rorshach makes his shrink go completely nuts. I thought this was such a powerful section, best summed up by the Nietzsche quote at the end: “Sometimes when you stare into the abyss, the abyss stares back.”The other thing was how they completely changed the last 30 minutes of the movie. The ending in the book did make a lot of sense to me and the one in the movie didn’t really, Why would Jon go and destroy the world? Who would have believed that?Part of the ending I didn’t like as well was the omission of the last conversation between Adrian and Jon.”Do you think I did the right thing, in the end, Jon?””End? Nothing ever ends, Adrian. Nothing ever ends.” *poof*It really made Veidt look vulnerable for the first time in the whole book, and without that scene, it made Veidt out to look like a God, where he clearly had severe character flaws.Overall though, despite my gripping, I loved the movie!

  7. I totally agree with you. It was a great pleasure to watch that film. I’m almost tempted to go up to the big city and see it in the IMAX.  I would have loved to see a giant squid/Cthulhu in NY, though. That would have been awesome, but I understand why they had to change it for the movie.  My husband had a guy sitting beside him that put on a big show of being disgusted every time John came on the screen naked.  I think he protested disliking the big blue cock too much.

  8. This movie was really good. I don’t know what was better Dark Knight or this. But I was NOT disappointed one bit. :] I agree with your whole review 😮

  9. I fell in love with Jackie Earle Haley after watching this movie. He definitely stole the show; best actor in the film by far. The scenes when he was in the prison were priceless. “You people don’t understand! I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with me!” I have a feeling Rorschach will be to Halloween ’09 as the Joker was to Halloween ’08. People will say, “Heath who…?”

  10. I’m with you pretty much all the way through. The actor who played Ozy did leave something to be desired, I think he should have been a little bigger too for the character. 

  11. I thought the acting was good. true, there weren’t any very famous actors/actresses… but sometimes that’s a good thing.I thought the movie was pretty amazing. I’m planning on buying it when it comes out on DVD.<3

  12. I didn’t think it was good. It was more of an ok story being told, without something worthwhile to learn from it. Nothing about it was outstanding, well except graphics. As a result of this I think its a movie that is a nice watch but not one that you’ll remember two years, heck even two months from now, saying Watchmen was an awesome movie. Its lacking that umph.

  13. Interesting angle for me: I saw the movie and liked it; I’d already read the book. My parents saw the movie and had very mixed reactions. My mother, who had not read the book, thought it was “interesting”. (I loaned her my copy of the book and she’s reading it now. She says she likes it better than the film adaptation.) My dad, meanwhile, hated the gory elements of the movie so much it made him mad. “That movie STANK,” unquote.The movie is indeed not for everyone.

  14. There are so many reasons I wouldn’t like this movie:1. I’m a typical “ROMCOM” girl2. I HATE violence, especially the more “showy” kind this movie has3. It’s freaking three hours long… but I LOVED it. SERIOUSLY. I can appreciate a good story with complex characters. It’s easy to turn my head (and cuddle) during the violence, and three hours ain’t nothin’ but a thang. I was forewarned about the blue penis, and I made it my mission to jab husband every time it flopped on screen. Needless to say, there was a lot of poking going on.

  15. I had never read the book, so I wasn’t sure what to expect when I went to see it. Whatever I was expecting, I sure wasn’t disappointed. I thought it was great. I was worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to follow along, just because I never read the comic, but I really like how they gave enough ‘backstory’ for each character that even complete newbies like me could make sense of everything.

  16. After reading your review and talking to a few friends that have seen the movie, I’m more interested in reading the book before I see the movie. I’m one of those annoying people that doesn’t like to just watch the movie and see what happens; I like to already know, lol. But is the book easy to understand and catch on to? Because I heard that the movie doesn’t come together until the end.

  17. I really liked this review. And not just because you said it was a good movie. This was thoughtful and well-written. And Rorschach was pretty amazing. @Garistotle – I have to admit, I was so happy that they didn’t include the murder of Hollis in the movie. It just about made me cry in the book. That is one deleted scene I won’t be watching! (although I did miss the street gangs)

  18. Dead on perfect review!!!! I’ma big fan of the graphic and I loved the movie a whole lot.  I felt what they changed made sense and that they actually tightened up very nicely a complex but wonderful story.Kudos sir!

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