Watchmen

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Let’s start with the fact that I am totally unfamiliar with the comic on which this movie is based. I watched it as a neutral party, with no expectations or preconceived notions. It made little sense to me, was pretty much the antithesis of the usual super hero movie and was frankly more than a bit disturbing. In short, I hated it and gave it only a single star on Netflix (their lowest rating). However, as time passed and I mentally sorted through the story that stubbornly refused to vacate my brain, I began to think perhaps I had misjudged it. Eventually, I rented it again, liked it a whole lot more, and then actually bought the DVD. Once I realized this story is not meant to be set on our Earth but rather in an alternate 1985, the glaring historical inaccuracies became funny and I was able to appreciate the dark satire at play here.

Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) is magnificent, a lone crusader willing to do whatever is necessary for what he sees as the greater good. Billy Crudup is, er, divine as Doctor Manhattan, a chilly super being becoming increasingly detached from humanity while at the same time caring deeply about the welfare of the species. Malin Akerman and Patrick Wilson are amazing, delivering one of the most graphic and viscerally satisfying combat sequences I have ever seen. There is some excellent music used in the soundtrack, my favorite being Simon and Garfunkel’s ‘The Sound of Silence’ playing during a funeral sequence.  This movie definitely deserves its R rating, with lots of casual brutality, a stomach turning bit involving a murdered child, a horrifying sexual assault as well as the best sex scene ever, bar none. A great look at our society from a decidedly oblique angle, showing us what might have been in order to better understand what is, this movie is very dark, sad, funny, entertaining and above all, thoroughly thought-provoking, with multiple twists I definitely did not see coming. – BETHANY

For more on Watchmen, visit the Internet Movie Database

A whole lot of anti-superheroes.  Left to right:  Ozymandias, Doctor Manhattan, Silk Spectre II, Rorschach, Nite Owl II and The Comedian.

                                                The whole thing starts out with a murder, making it a superhero whodunnit.

Malin Akerman as Laurie Jupiter, a.k.a. the Silk Spectre II.  Why the two?  Because her mother was the original.  This is a multi-generational movie.

                                                                                   Sally Jupiter, the original World War II era pin-up superhero Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino).

Scientist Jon Osterman (Billy Crudup) becoming Dr. Manhattan.  Naturally it was the ‘accident in a laboratory’ cliché.

Rorschach, so named because the black shapes on his mask continually move.  He’s a bit of a dark personality.  “This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout “Save us!”… and I’ll whisper “no.””

Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian, known to his friends as Edward Blake.  That is, if he had any.

Adrian Veidt (Matthew Goode) in his guise as Ozymandias, a harbinger name if there ever was one.  This guy has a seriously inflated ego.  “We can do so much more. We can save this world… with the right leadership.”

The Comedian and The Silk Spectre way back when.

Laurie Jupiter (Malin Akerman) and Dan Dreiberg (Patrick Wilson) on their day off.

                                                                             Dan looks much better as Nite Owl II, a job he inherited from his father, played by Stephen McHattie.

                Matt Frewer as Moloch.  In this movie, he’s kind of a tragic figure.

Silk Spectre and Nite Owl have fun breaking someone out of the slammer.

Nite Owl’s ship Archimedes, affectionately known as Archie.

An alternate version of how the Vietnam war might have gone if Dr. Manhattan had been involved.  Scene accompanied by Wagner’s ‘Ride of the Valkyries’.

 

 

Photos courtesy of Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Legendary Picture, Lawrence Gordon Productions and DC Comics (unless otherwise credited in clickable form)

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