Watchmen

Watchmen
Release Date: 5th March 2009
Director: Zack Snyder
Rating: 18
Legendary Pictures, DC Comics, Lawrence Gordan Productions, Paramount Pictures

I freaking loved Watchmen when it came out in cinemas back in 09. Seeing one of the best comics brought to life gave me goosebumps with the attention to detail and faithful recreation of the source material. Over two years later (life does indeed fly by like a bullet train) I watched it once more in the comfort of my room. Do I still want to watch the Watchmen I wondered aloud as I longed for some cold beans.

I certainly see the flaws I happily overlooked now. Watchmen follows the story of masked vigilantes banned from doing their deeds, and one of them, The Comedian, has been murdered. A noir type story plays out for nearly three hours now, and we learn about each of the Watchmen as they face the fear of the bombs being dropped. Attention to detail makes for an incredibly beautiful film, though the slick crisp picture may brighten up what should be an intensely grimy city and the films relies far too much on slow motion. When a character jumps, things slow down. When a character blinks, the film slows down. Sometimes it works, creating beautiful or cool scenes such as the rain falling off Nite Owl as he mourns for The Comedians death, or when crazy masked man Rorschach goes on one of his rampages, but most of the time it looks a little tacky. The music really fits the mood for the scenes, but it can play out a bit too much like a music video, relying on the tracks to bring emotion to some rather wooden scenes.

It may have some presentation problems, but the film still has the incredibly strong story and cast of characters. It feels incredibly compact as we move from scene to scene and the flashbacks lay in a bit thick around the funeral of The Comedian, but the tale of possible warfare and the paranoia of people is a good one. We see how each character has flaws making for some excellent real world heroes. The Comedian is a parody on the true nature of humans, Rorschach despises evil thanks to the childhood of having a whore for a mother, Dr. Manhattan has his tale of seeing past, present and future simultaneously, Silk Spectre II is a big mistake forced into the job by her mother, Nite Owl II idolises the old Nite Owl and Ozymandias built himself up looking into the past. We don’t really see much of the last guy though, kinda making the later events a bit too obvious.

The film still keeps me engrossed despite some pacing, presentation and changes. The detective like story is engaging and the character back stories are sublime on a story telling perspective. People may be turned off by the lack of action, and people devoted to the comic material may bawl at the changes, but they make sense. Apart from the over the top violence. That stuff really wrecks character at times. But I overlook once more and just enjoy the stylistic cinema version of the worlds greatest comic. Just don’t talk about the sex scene. Hurr.

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