Watchmen (2009)

I went with my BFF Corinne and we were discussing it for hours afterward. And it was a long movie so there was quite a bit to nosh on.

One thing we agreed on is that you can’t watch it just once. You’ll need to see it a few times to get everything. Luckily, I spoiled myself with Wikipedia and Wired. Wired was doing a LOT of constructive criticism during the run-up for the movie. So I was able to fill in the blanks for her. Anything she questioned, I was able to answer right away.

The whole movie had shades of September 11th to it. That was a big point made in the reviews and summaries I’ve read. Also, it was set during the Cold War. I had a problem with that because, to me, the wounds from that era are still very fresh. Being a student of history and doing a paper on the effect of visual media on the Vietnam War, seeing this movie sort of reinforced that for me.

What I like about the Watchmen is that they’re not “superheroes.” At least not in the sense that we know them, like leaping tall buildings, and running faster than a speeding train. They’re humans who fight crime with masks on. They all have really badass fighting skills, but they are capable of human emotions, such as love and knowing the difference between right and wrong.

Well, the only one with powers is Dr. Manhattan, but he doesn’t count, lol.

The death of the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is when we actually meet the team and get into their world. We see his death and the bulk of the Comedian’s role is told in flashbacks. Watch the opening credits v. closely for an interesting take on a certain assassination that took place in Texas….

Rorschach was one of the best characterizations for an antihero that I have seen or read about in forever. Wow. I was sold on him from the start. Jackie Earle Haley nailed his incredibly disturbing personality that has to be seen to be believed, in the context of the picture. I can’t wait to read the comic book, solely to see how twisted he is.

The attempted rape of Silk Spectre I (Carla Gugino) was v. disturbing. It’s always the woman’s fault if she wears sexy clothing. I hardly ever turn away from the movie screen, but during that scene, I had to. As such, the women in the film were sort of antifeminist. I know Alan Moore treats his women like that, though. Doesn’t mean I approve of it!

Silk Spectre II – her daughter Lori, played by Malin Akerman – seemed like such a bubblehead. She breaks up with her boyfriend Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup, gorgeous as ever, blue skin and all, and I do mean ALL), goes straight to Nite Owl’s home (Patrick Wilson, *swoon*), and later on, they get it on. WTF? You just broke up with your boyfriend, so you go to your best guy friend to get a piece? That sex scene seemed out of place. If it’s in the source material, I’ll let it go. But damn. Keep your legs together girl! Another thing, her hair wasn’t v. 80s at all.

Ozymandias – the smartest man in the world – is played by one of the gorgeous people on the planet, Matthew Goode. He really captured that sort of debonair millionaire playboy archetype. But being that smart does have its consequences, of which seem shady to me. Totally fit the movie, though.

The music really threw me off. You know me & music. The wrong song can throw off the whole tone of the scene. For example, “Unforgettable” by Nat King Cole, Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah,” “99 Luft Balloons” by Nena, MCR’s cover of “Desolation Row” in the credits. I pointed out Robert Palmer’s “Addicted to Love” video being played on Ozymandias’ TV screens at the end. The movie takes place in 1985. Corinne was like, “That didn’t come until ’87!” So anachronisms run abound in the music.

Oh yes, and Patrick Wilson’s ass was epic in this movie. He was so nerdy. I loved that. I was like, “Nerds don’t have epic asses like his. Unless they all do and they’re hiding them.”

Anyways, I would recommend seeing it for yourself. But be prepared to hate it, like everyone else. Maybe more “meh.” This is not an escapist film. You will leave the theater asking too many questions, and feeling that a lot of things that were happening could have happened (or could still happen!) if we let it.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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