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'Watchmen' Is Awesome!
It has everything. Gritty 80s retro, flashbacks, comic lore action, fantasy, action, gadgets
Nicolas van der Leek (Nick)     Print Article 
Published 2009-03-11 10:50 (KST)   
©2009 Paramount Pictures
Adrian Veidt: We can do so much more. We can save this world... with the right leadership.

After reading two idiotic reviews by geeks who ought to have known better, I'm happy to report that "Watchmen" is a work of art. It has everything. Gritty 80s retro, flashbacks, comic lore action, fantasy, action, gadgets and a subversive plot. It is gratifying to see an intelligent film that speaks about a bygone era but remains relevant to ours. Zack Snyder deserves a smacker on his forehead for a great job on his adaptation of Alan Moore's and Dave Gibbon's universally lauded graphic novel.

Why does "Watchmen" work? The ethos of the story deals with the problem of fear and losing hope in an increasingly troubled world. How should we respond? The flick shows Moore's premise that we shouldn't expect heroes to save us, or "leaders," we have to save ourselves. It also deals with the hopeless reality, thanks to Dr. Manhattan, that there isn't a God to save us, there's just us. To believe otherwise and to wait for rescue invites disaster. Yup, some serious topics for inner debate.

Meanwhile, a confession: though I grew up in the 1980s and like any normal 80s teenager ate Green Lantern, Thor, Captain America, the Fantastic Four and X-Men for breakfast (of course Bats and Supes too), Watchmen kinda went off my radar. Can you blame me? If you don't know the backstory, the glowing blue naked dude, and Batman ripoff, and a masked fella with a name like Sasquatch...never mind Ozymandias... all seemed a bit absurd at the time. The clue lies in the yellow and black smiley face, with the drop of blood on it.

©2009 Paramount Pictures
"Honestly, if I have a complaint it is that the film feels brief to me. Two hours and 40 minutes and it went by like a blink for me. I easily would have patiently sat for another 2 hours, but that's me." -- Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News

Ditto for me. A movie that's this long, but feels this short has got to be good. It has a brilliantly dense, credible and incredible tell-it-once storyline (which explains why you can't make "Watchmen I", "II" and "III" (in theory at least).

At one point when the Owl guy and Sally Jupiter/Silk Spectre break into a prison to rescue Rorchach(I had to look up that name to check how to spell it) it occurred to me that they were beating up prisoners and prison guards - so why are we on their side? I think the reason why we like the idea of a super-hero is that for a time at least we like to believe we can be special, and powerful, and exceptional in our talents. We like to believe we can make a difference. And that's a start. But "Watchmen" kinda turns that psychology on its head.

"Who is watching the Watchmen?"

This flick - as you'll hear a million times - paints superheroes as ordinary people (who smoke, drink and beat up women) with exceptional skills. So it's dark and credible like Dark Knight, but not completely credible, and yet at times, more in touch with the real world than Dark Knight or any other superhero story for that matter. It deals with the threat of annihilation by nuclear weapons, among many other similar debacles we face in our era.

Silk Spectre II, I also had to look up her name. She and Rorchach are the catalysts of this flick. Silk Spectre II is the movie's hot chick, and the daughter of another ex-hot chick hero.

Rorchach is the star of the show, played well by Jackie Earle Haley, who is as good with the mask on as off.

The sound effects I thought were brilliant, the music much better than I was lead to believe based on the reviews.

Look, the diehard obsessed Watchmen geeks may not like it, some people that this sort of movie was never meant for (housewives and cynical movie reviewers) won't like it either. I knew virtually nothing about the flick and loved it. I do recommend that you read up a bit on the premise on WIKI and WIRED. You may find elements confusing (I didn't) such as the flashbacks to when the Comedian was still alive (if he's alive you're back in time, if he's not, you're in the present).

Edward Blake: ...we're society's only protection.
Dan Dreiberg: From what?
Edward Blake: You kidding me? From themselves.


You may also find some elements shocking - gasp - full frontal male nudity, gasp - two superheroes having sex (er...that is definitely something of a turn on) and there are a few funny moments. For example Rorchach being interviewed by an overweight black policeman, the copper showing Rorchach ink blot cards...

Overall Zack Snyder has done an incredible job here; an incredible piece of movie making. Not everyone will get it, but the crowd who liked "Dark Knight" will like this, in fact it's quite close in content. I give "Watchmen" 8.5/10.

Jon Osterman: Why would I save a world I no longer have any stake in?
Laurie Juspeczyk: Do it for me.



For more on the writer visit www.nickvanderleek.com
©2009 OhmyNews
Other articles by reporter Nicolas van der Leek

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