Directed by Zack Snyder
Starring Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, and Matt Frewer.
I’ve already outlined my long, complicated history with Watchmen in this blog entry. Long story short: I’ve spent the past decade reading everything about it. With the announcement of the movie, I finally got around to reading the book. I can honestly say that I’d never known more about a movie before walking into the theatre. But, did all that knowledge take away from my enjoyment of the film? That’s the quandary…..
The year is 1985, and superheroes are real. Although, they are illegal. And then, one of our heroes, the Comedian, turns up dead. The only illegally active superhero, Rorschach, begins an investigation, convinced that someone is hunting down and killing superheroes. He sets off to warn his brethren: Nite Owl, a Batman-like figure who has since retired and is a shadow of his former self; Ozymandias, the world’s smartest man who became a billionaire industrialist when he hung up his cape; the Silk Spectre, who was forced into superheroing by her mother, and Dr. Manhattan, the only hero with superpowers, who’s godlike abilities have caused him to drift away from humanity. As we delve deeper into the world of these heroes, and the USA and USSR draw closer to the brink of nuclear annihilation, the question remains, who watches the Watchmen?
What I Liked
Well, can’t deny that it is about as faithful to the comic as you can get. Zack Snyder uses the same techniques he used in 300 for creating a 100% faithful adaptation. There’s lots of great little in jokes (I loved the Muzak playing when Ozymandias describes his admiration for Alexander the Great). Speaking of the music, lots of fuss has been made about composer Tyler Bate’s music score, which is done all 1980’s style, full of synthesizers and electric guitars. It was a nice touch.
What I Didn’t Like
I had pretty much the same complaint that I had with that other Alan Moore adaptation, V for Vendetta. I know what’s missing, and I miss it. I have to agree with other critics that some of the old age make-up does look a little…off. And Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre was a little flat.
As I said, I know what’s missing, and I miss it. However, that doesn’t take from the fact that is probably the most faithful adaptation we could hope for right now. And when the ending came around, I still felt the same emotional impact that I did at the end of the book. So, I recommend it. (But the book is better.)