Friday, March 13, 2009

Watchmen [2009]

Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Carla Gugino
Points: 90 out of 100
Rating: Adult (violence, nudity)
Comment: "Makes The Dark Knight seems so childish..."

Let's start by saying that this is not for everyone. Although the same can be said to virtually every other movie out there, this one is in a context of it's own. People who expect butt-kickin' supervillains would be disappointed. Please do not let the costumes and spandex throw you off, this is one heavy superhero movie and laden with philosophy. In fact, regarding it simply as a "superhero movie" would only explain a fraction of what the entire movie is all about.

This film is an adaptation of the graphic novel written by the critically-acclaimed writer Alan Moore, with that being said, do not expect to be able to explain what the story is all about in one paragraph. But here's the gist of it; When a former member of the Watchmen is murdered, a fellow former member begins to investigate the story behind the murder and goes on a journey to discover an even more horrible truth.

Having Zack Snyder's name in the credits might actually work against him, for his claim to fame was the testosterone-fuelled, action packed 300 [2007]; which was very, very entertaining, but not even remotely mind-boggling. Watchmen, however, is considerably much less about superheroism. So people, don't expect any formulaic Superhero story arc here. This is nothing like X-Men, or Fantastic Four or the atrocious League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.

A downside, however, you might need to first familiarise yourself with the lore of Watchmen, otherwise there is a chance that the story would make no sense to from opening montage onwards. A simple way of saying it is that, this film does not go in the same timeline as ours - it takes place in an alternate universe in 1985 during the Richard Nixon-era.

As far as casting goes, they did something brave by casting relatively-unknown actors (at least on this part of the world). Those I find recognisable are only Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Carla Gugino. Which brings me to another point; characterisation. The duration of the film is definitely due to the development of characters. You have seen these type of superheroes before, but you wouldn't know them for they don't possess the qualities "normal" superheroes have. But they don't parody them either, you will be able to take them seriously for you see real human-beings through the disguises.

My recommendation; go watch it in the movies. The amount of censorship by the board of mofos might turn you off, but I can tell that these cuts are not enough to distrupt the value of the movie. After all, those censored scenes are 'love-making' scenes with no important dialogues.

Points Calculation

The Good [+100]
- Unpredictable
- Philosophical

The Bad [-10]
- You either love it, or hate it

100 - 10 = 90 points

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