Saturday, April 9, 2011

Watchmen (revised)

B (7.2)

Watchmen can never be a perfect movie. As many fans of the acclaimed graphic novel had been anticipating upon its initial release, this is what they got and it was polarising to watch.

The one main argument for and against is director Zach Snyder, who directed 300 and this time Sucker Punch. The pros for Snyder is that he's visually gifted, there's no denying that the cinematography, slow mo timing captures a graphic novella. Unfortunately, the cons are that he's not a director of actors. More specifically, a director of actresses as I'll review, his writing often mismatch with his gift and then the list would keep growing.

This year, 2011 would be huge with supercapers following the releases of Green Latern, X Men: First Class, Captain America and Thor. Watchmen would count along with X Men Origins: Wolverine as the two superhero films released in 2009.

Watchmen was a movie that could never be made following disputes with author Alan Moore (who still holds a grudge against Hollywood following his disapproval of each of his adaptation), budget and crew.

But there it is. 20 years later. Watchmen starts off with an opening sequence that features two vigilante/superhero groups the Watchmen through historic events (the man on the moon, JFK Assassination and the hippie movement). So superheroes exist but are then outlawed by the government. The only member who appeared in both Watchmen was the Comedian (Jeffery Dean Morgan) who's a sadistic, misogynistic, gun toting vigilante. Set in 1985 he's murdered spectacularly and one of the Watchmen Roscharch (Jackie Earl Haley) investigates the mystery and revealing his secret identity but at the same time unravels as the fate of the Comedian, the relationships between Silk Spetre (Malin Akerman) and Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson) as well as Dr. Manhattan (voiced by Billy Crudup) and the tensions between Russia and America (still led by Richard Nixon in his thrid term) increase, it brings everyone back to action.

Keeping up with this movie is dificult as it is 150 minutes in length. But I was never bored. After all I was pulled in by the cynical themes and angst of these characters and Snyder's noirish input of this movie. The movie i incredibly similar to The Incredibles as much of the premise, characters and style

Jackie Earl Haley and Jeffery Dean Morgan are excellent as Roscharch and the Comedian who are the most interesting character and more so the important characters of this film. Dr. Manhattan is also interesting with a back story of his origins.

But now I'm onto the actresses and mentioned above, Snyder is not a great director of actresses. The main actress is Malin Akerman. With Akerman as Silk Spetre, it's very difficult to like her and find what to like about her because the only thing that was interesting about her was her relationships between Dr. MAnhattan and the Nite Owl in which the chemistries between each character are greater. However they don't need to have a sex scene. It's uneccessary and just brings the anti up. The other actress I have trouble with is Carla Gugino, the mother of Silk Spetre where she's doing a Nicholas Cage. Doing these ridiculous roles as she plays a 60 year mother (even though she plays her age in a flashback) who just rambles about her life as a superhero.

However there are two scenes that I have difficulties with: the Comedian's funeral and the ending. The Comedian's relationships between much of the Watchmen especially with every flashback of him and Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl and I forgot to mention Ozymadias (Matthew Goode). There isn't any detail about them and are way too short to know what are the conflicts between them. The ending though is pretty hard to explain as well.

Watchmen is a dark, noirish superhero flick that is unpredictable even if you read the graphic novel. But let's face it. Watchmen was a long awaited movie put in 1989, was shelved several times and had no hopes to be shown on the big screen. In 20 years time this will give itself a 'cult' film status given how little there is to like about to film and doesn't perform well in its budget. Had it been directed by someone else like David Fincher or Darren Arronofsky, this would've been a perfect dedication to all the superhero movies that were generic. But the laws of life state that everything would never be perfect.

1 comment:

  1. Great post. You are absolutely correct when you say it can never be a perfect movie. There is just too much passion about this book to see a reasonable translation on screen. I would tend to agree that I would love to find $200,000,000 in my pocket and give it to Aronofsky or Fincher to see what they could do with it.