Let me start off this review by giving major props to director Zack Snyder for bringing Watchmen to the big screen. Everyone thought that Alan Moore’s graphic novel could not be made into a movie, it was deemed unfilmable. When I heard Zack Snyder was going to direct “Watchmen”, I didn’t think he would do a good job. I didn’t like his most popular movie for one. That being 300. It was good to look at and it had it’s moments. But overall it didn’t work that well. Directors Terry Gilliam, Paul Greengrass , and Darren Aronofsky were going to direct this movie at one point. If they failed, how could Zack Snyder do it. Like I said, he just didn’t seem right for this kind of movie. Against all odds though, he hit it out of the park.
Set in an alternative universe in 1985, the movies world is a highly unstable one where nuclear war is imminent between America and Russia. All superheros have long been made to cease their crime fighting thanks to the government-sponsored Keene Act. But this all changes when the death of the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), a robust ex-hero commando whose mysterious free fall out a window perks the interest of the country’s last remaining superhero, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley). In his investigation he believes he has uncovered a plot by a mysterious foe to kill off other costumed heroes. Rorschach then warns his former colleagues Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), Ozymandias (Matthew Goode), and the godlike Doctor Manhattan(he is the only one who actually has super human ability.) (Billy Crudup). This is a quick overview of the plot, this is because there is no need to get into this complex plot in full detail. The people who are going to see this movie will have been waiting for this movie to come out a while, and have probably read the book or the comics. So you guys now the plot. Watchmen is kind of a more complex and R rated version of the The Incredibles
“Watchmen: Directors Cut” is a long movie, it’s running time is about 3 hours. I am glad it was this long. This is a very complex movie. It is not a pure entertainer. With a complex story, characters, and themes, this movie could not have been made really good unless it had been this long. There is no need to go into the characters. Some people will know already, and the movie shows it for people who don’t know these characters. Just know that these are not your average superheros. They are more like people in costumes(save for Doctor Manhattan). They all have flaws, and some don’t have the most redeeming qualities. Let me just say that Rorschach is my favorite character. Throughout the movie each characters back story is raveled, it’s like each of them get their own part of the movie. All the flashbacks do a great job of showing who these people are and the viewpoints they have on themselves and the world.
The opening credits must be mentioned as well. I have to say that the opening credits to this movie is one of the best I have seen in a really long time. It was a great way to show us the History of the Watchmen, and it opened the movie on a high note. Even people who didn’t like the movie said that they still like the opening credits.
Like I mentioned earlier, “Watchman” is complex and a many layered movie. The messages the movie presents are strong ones, really giving you something to think about afterwords. One of the recurring messages deals with human nature. The characters are many layered as well. Each character is flawed, yet you find yourself wanting everything to turn out good for them. This makes them seem more human. Through the coarse of the movie all the characters change for better or for worse. Watchman can play at times like a character study. Everything would have completely collapsed though if the movie didn’t have two things. This would be a great screenplay, and great performances. Thankfully, the movie has both of these.
The screenwriters just nailed it. They did a great job getting everything they could out of the novel. Of course they couldn’t get ever last detail from the novel into the movie. Still, they got a great amount, and yes everyone knows the ending is changed. The ending is not better, but I think this ending works better for a movie. Now for the acting. Everyone did a good job and was well cast. Rorschach was the character that had to be perfectly cast and perfectly acted. Jackie Earle Haley was a perfect choice for this role. This is his best performance to date. He completely embodies the character. Jeffrey Dean Morgan was also perfectly cast as the Comedian. Even though he dies in the opening scene, don’t think that the movie is done with him. He gets his flashback scenes. He plays the most flawed character, but we come to understand him as the movie progresses. Jeffrey Dean Morgan doesn’t have the most screen time, but he is great in every scene he is in. Billy Crudup had the hardest character to play, Doctor Manhattan. Crudup does a fantastic job. Crudup’s voice, along with the motion capture of his face has certainly been incorporated well to make the intriguing naked blue man and his Mars adventure work well. When I heard Matthew Goode was going to be Adrien Veidt, I thought he was miscast. But he fits into the role nicely. Malin Akerman is the weakest member of the cast. She is not bad, but compared to everyone else she just falls a little short.
Another thing that I really liked about the movie was the soundtrack. The soundtrack is a mix of scoring, which seems to be channeling a gritty 80s crime film mixed with some quite nice pieces. Just like Zack Snyder’s other movie 300, the movie looks great. It is a treat to watch all the effects, you will find you won’t want to look away from the screen. I wasn’t sure that this movie would even be decent, let alone a near masterpiece. But against everything, it manages to be one.