Saturday, July 31, 2010

Watchmen (2009)

Alan Moore's 'Watchmen' has been one of the unsurpassed graphic novels I have ever read in a long time. Those who have not read the novel, the story of 'Watchmen' exist in an alternate reality where Americans have won the Vietnam War. Nixon had been elected three consecutive times for the successful drive in Vietnam & the  Superheroes/Vigilantes are the part of the Society. This story originated at the peak of the Cold War, & what kept the Russians form launching an aggressive campaign against U.S. was due to the presence of Dr. Manhattan (enacted by Billy Crudup). Due to the violent methods of providing justice, the superheroes had become detested among the public, thus leading to pass of Legislation Act which outlawed them. Though most of the heroes accepted forced retirement, two of them had been kept off the book 'Dr. Manhattan' & 'The Comedian' as they were working on Government's surveillance. Only 'Rorschach' was one of the vigilantes who had not accepted the act & continued his work undercover. 

The story starts with the murder of one of the vigilante followed by an independent investigation taken up by Rorschach; likewise we get introduced to all the other Superheroes who were given the name 'Watchmen'. First half is mostly flashback which introduces us to the characters at the same time it slowly carries the story to the core novel's climax.

Speaking of filming this story I expected this movie could have been way much better. The entire novel was full of intensity; I don't know what really went wrong. None of the characters seemed to have enough time to shine other than Rorschach, which was done marvelously by Jackie Earle Haley. Dr. Manhattan's role looked rather pale compared to the insightful I had while reading the book. Though most of the contents had been taken straightforwardly from the novel still some segment looked consciously altered to mesh with the alternate ending. Even 'Tales Of The Black Freighter' was not included within the movie which I think can be justified with the limitation of the time constraint.

Visually this movie is stunning packed with slow paced action which we have already seen in Zack Snyder's earlier work 300, with some of the musical tracks of the late 80's. Unlike other Comic based movies, this movie had been too brutal for which it got 'R' Rating. 

Ever since the theatrical release came out; couple of different versions streamed later into the market. If any one is planning to put their hands on the Blu-ray or DVD edition I would rather recommend going for the Ultimate Cut of this movie as it is a complete from the books P.O.V.

I would like to consider this movie as a missed glory; still I would respect the attempt of trying to re-create this visually as the fans have waited for almost two decades, hoping that some one would definitely make a movie out of graphic novel 'Watchmen'.

My Rating : 6.5/10

1 comment:

  1. That was a great review, though it's a shame you didn't like the movie more. I thought Zack Snyder did an excellent job directing this movie and I loved the visuals. I don't think anyone will dare to adapt the visual novels any time soon again, but I'm really curious what it will look like when one finally will.