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Watchmen

Movie Watchmen
Director Zach Snyder
Starring

Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

It’s the 80’s, Superheroes have been outlawed by president Richard Nixon now in his third term of office, and most of what’s left have died out or been murdered. A ageing hero/psychopath is thrown out of his high-rise window after a bloody battle with an unknown but powerful assailant. The most paranoid of the former watchmen and alleged sociopath Rorschach believes that someone is killing off heroes, so he goes on a quest to enlist the aid of his former colleagues. The great irony of this is revealed as the plot progresses but was missed on most, which is the films major problem. I never read the original graphic novel but as an excited movie goer I was so disappointed, the original couldn't have been as vague and disjointed as Zach Snyder made it look. With this in mind I re-read some other reviews of this film, and I've found that in spite of the good reviews, the reviewers insist you must read the graphic novel first, which is a huge failing. If the movie can't tell its own story, it shouldn't have been made. Watchmen feels slow for at least the first hour, and the first action sequence of note is a prison break which occurs exactly 2 hours into the film. Before this we are exposed to the horrific origins of the considerably unfortunate individuals who become our superheroes, and we are taken there by the scenic route. There is so much posing and slow motion action and flashbacks it’s difficult after a while to care about how good it all looks. It does look beautiful, dark and yet vibrant in places, and the look of this film is definitely its strength.

The director needs to have a good look in the mirror if he wishes to be considered a serious movie director as opposed to a comic obsessed fanboy, or even a teller of stories because this story was lost amid a sea of dull repetitive sequences that leaves a dark taste in the mouth. The pan on the cemetery sign last forever pointlessly in one scene, the credits last so long, and everything lasts so long. There is no pop, no excitement, nothing to bring your rear even slightly closer to the edge of your seat. Snyder should take notes from Ridley's Scotts masterful adaptation of Philip K. Dicks great novel do androids dream of electric sheep. In the actors chair The Comedian and Rorschach are fantastic as larger than life but troubled superheroes and an enjoyable performance at times from Night Owl II in a Clark Kent esque awkwardness around the Silk Spectre II is enjoyable. I did like this stylish to a fault movie but I don't know why, and I believe my review to be objective, generous and judged on its merits.    

Score
This movie scores 8.0/10