Watchmen Review

The forums are already clogged as it is with these, so I will just post this to my profile. Give it a gander if you oh-so please. It is going to be in my high school newspaper.



Based on the infamous graphic novel by Alan Moore and directed by Zack Snyder, the director of "300," Watchmen definitely has some hype surrounding it.  Pleasing loyal fans as well as appealing to newcomers is a must, considering the film’s massive $120 million budget and the possibility of tainting one of the most revolutionary literary pieces of the 20th century. The end-result is a movie that should please both groups, and it is an excellent film overall.


To start, Watchmen opens with two excellent scenes of their respective type. The movie begins with The Comedian's murder (played with humor and menace by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and it is one of the most impressive action scenes in recent memory. The room the action is filmed in is dark but remarkably well lite at the same time, balancing the night setting and the comic book feel perfectly.  Each punch and crack is given another dimension due to the remarkable sound design and seeing this movie with proper surround sound is a must. The scene (and whole movie for that matter) follows closely to the comic but has its own flare that makes it familiar, though fresh and original at the same time. Subsequently, the title credits come up, and it is, at least on my humble opinion, the best opening titles I have ever seen. A montage of past Watchmen lore using slow motion techniques and recreations of past historic events (notably one with JFK) blew me away. It is a remarkable beginning to a remarkable film.


Okay, there is more to this movie than just the introduction. In fact, this movie is quite lengthy, clocking in at about 2 hours and 43 minutes. The story still abides closely to the novel and could have used editing here and there, but, for the most part, it flows and moves in a way that does not seem unnecessary or overbearing. The great sound and visual techniques employed in the beginning carry on, and the result is one of the most technically impressive films in years, catching the 300 vibe while not overdoing it to the point of nauseum. Clearly, a lot of time, work and money went into this one.


The performances, with few exceptions, are top-notch. The aforementioned Jeff Dean Morgan does a great job with his brutal, joking character. Malin Akerman is also very good at her role, Silk Spectre II, and she is the lone hot chick in the superhero crew (with a brief exception). Patrick Wilson is fine in his role of Nite Owl, even if his physical build is much more picture friendly than the somewhat portly version of the character from the novel.  His post-superhero life is shadowed in early retirement, and he joins in on the action again quickly. He eventually falls for Silk Spectre II, and then, hijinks ensue. Billy Crudup also executes his role as Dr. Manhattan rather well, even if it is a boring character in nature. Still, he performs the emotions (or lack thereof) perfectly and is a real contrast to the rest of the dynamic crew. His origins story is also a highlight in the film, giving the static character some much needed humanity. However, the real standout here is Jackie Earle Haley, the man who plays Rorschach. His role is the standout performance of a film already bursting with talent. He completely becomes Rorschach, mask on or off. He adopts a late Eastwood-type growl and has great body language to go with his dynamic character. He is menacing yet lovable, and he becomes the character you root for until the very end. The only exception to the excellent cast is Matthew Goode, the man who played Ozymandias. The script somewhat skewed the original approach the novel took on him and his character is a bit annoying as a result, as his motives aren’t fully clear. Also, I was honestly annoyed by that haircut of his throughout the film, even if that may be an artistic choice and nothing else.


Another aspect of Watchmen worth noting is its content itself. For starters, there is a lot of violence and it I was shocked to see children under 5 years old walk into the theater. I am sure the high school crowd can handle it, but your little brothers and sisters won’t gain much out of this. Zack Snyder seems to love amputations of every sort. Another thing Snyder loves is sex. The pervert clogged 300 up with liberal amounts of unnecessary intercourse and, unfortunately, he does it again. Though not as much or as blatant as the aforementioned film, Watchmen still sacrifices plot development for some useless sex scenes that do not progress the film in anyway. However, as I said before, the high school crowd won’t mind one bit.


However, those are the only cons I can bring up about this film. In the end, Watchmen is a tight, well-executed movie that should please both newcomers and veterans of Alan Moore’s masterpiece. Technically, this film is near perfect with its visual and audio design, and the acting is sublime. The story does not deviate far from the source material (a smart choice), and, for the most part, the plot progression flows well, even when the runtime approaches 3 hours. Overall, with films like The Dark Knight and Iron Man filling theaters and pleasing critics, Watchmen continues this newly found tradition: the rebirth of the comic-book movie.





Hopefully you enjoyed this review and there were no problems with formatting, hehe.

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10 Comments
Posted by RHCPfan24

The forums are already clogged as it is with these, so I will just post this to my profile. Give it a gander if you oh-so please. It is going to be in my high school newspaper.



Based on the infamous graphic novel by Alan Moore and directed by Zack Snyder, the director of "300," Watchmen definitely has some hype surrounding it.  Pleasing loyal fans as well as appealing to newcomers is a must, considering the film’s massive $120 million budget and the possibility of tainting one of the most revolutionary literary pieces of the 20th century. The end-result is a movie that should please both groups, and it is an excellent film overall.


To start, Watchmen opens with two excellent scenes of their respective type. The movie begins with The Comedian's murder (played with humor and menace by Jeffrey Dean Morgan), and it is one of the most impressive action scenes in recent memory. The room the action is filmed in is dark but remarkably well lite at the same time, balancing the night setting and the comic book feel perfectly.  Each punch and crack is given another dimension due to the remarkable sound design and seeing this movie with proper surround sound is a must. The scene (and whole movie for that matter) follows closely to the comic but has its own flare that makes it familiar, though fresh and original at the same time. Subsequently, the title credits come up, and it is, at least on my humble opinion, the best opening titles I have ever seen. A montage of past Watchmen lore using slow motion techniques and recreations of past historic events (notably one with JFK) blew me away. It is a remarkable beginning to a remarkable film.


Okay, there is more to this movie than just the introduction. In fact, this movie is quite lengthy, clocking in at about 2 hours and 43 minutes. The story still abides closely to the novel and could have used editing here and there, but, for the most part, it flows and moves in a way that does not seem unnecessary or overbearing. The great sound and visual techniques employed in the beginning carry on, and the result is one of the most technically impressive films in years, catching the 300 vibe while not overdoing it to the point of nauseum. Clearly, a lot of time, work and money went into this one.


The performances, with few exceptions, are top-notch. The aforementioned Jeff Dean Morgan does a great job with his brutal, joking character. Malin Akerman is also very good at her role, Silk Spectre II, and she is the lone hot chick in the superhero crew (with a brief exception). Patrick Wilson is fine in his role of Nite Owl, even if his physical build is much more picture friendly than the somewhat portly version of the character from the novel.  His post-superhero life is shadowed in early retirement, and he joins in on the action again quickly. He eventually falls for Silk Spectre II, and then, hijinks ensue. Billy Crudup also executes his role as Dr. Manhattan rather well, even if it is a boring character in nature. Still, he performs the emotions (or lack thereof) perfectly and is a real contrast to the rest of the dynamic crew. His origins story is also a highlight in the film, giving the static character some much needed humanity. However, the real standout here is Jackie Earle Haley, the man who plays Rorschach. His role is the standout performance of a film already bursting with talent. He completely becomes Rorschach, mask on or off. He adopts a late Eastwood-type growl and has great body language to go with his dynamic character. He is menacing yet lovable, and he becomes the character you root for until the very end. The only exception to the excellent cast is Matthew Goode, the man who played Ozymandias. The script somewhat skewed the original approach the novel took on him and his character is a bit annoying as a result, as his motives aren’t fully clear. Also, I was honestly annoyed by that haircut of his throughout the film, even if that may be an artistic choice and nothing else.


Another aspect of Watchmen worth noting is its content itself. For starters, there is a lot of violence and it I was shocked to see children under 5 years old walk into the theater. I am sure the high school crowd can handle it, but your little brothers and sisters won’t gain much out of this. Zack Snyder seems to love amputations of every sort. Another thing Snyder loves is sex. The pervert clogged 300 up with liberal amounts of unnecessary intercourse and, unfortunately, he does it again. Though not as much or as blatant as the aforementioned film, Watchmen still sacrifices plot development for some useless sex scenes that do not progress the film in anyway. However, as I said before, the high school crowd won’t mind one bit.


However, those are the only cons I can bring up about this film. In the end, Watchmen is a tight, well-executed movie that should please both newcomers and veterans of Alan Moore’s masterpiece. Technically, this film is near perfect with its visual and audio design, and the acting is sublime. The story does not deviate far from the source material (a smart choice), and, for the most part, the plot progression flows well, even when the runtime approaches 3 hours. Overall, with films like The Dark Knight and Iron Man filling theaters and pleasing critics, Watchmen continues this newly found tradition: the rebirth of the comic-book movie.





Hopefully you enjoyed this review and there were no problems with formatting, hehe.

Posted by Everyones_A_Critic

Well the Dan/Laurie sex scene was a pretty big plot point in the graphic novel. Were there that many more? (The only one that comes to mind is the Laurie/Manhattan one, if you could call it a sex scene). Many found the Dan one to be akward due to the song choice. I didn't mind. Well written review though man, it'll surely be a hit at your school.

Posted by GamerGeek360

I'm interested in the graphic novel. I might have to borrow it from the library or something.

Posted by RHCPfan24

Thanks for the comments.
@ EAC. I have been reading the novel presently, and that sex scene was only like a half a page. Of course, it had to be overdone and extended. it was a bit unnecessary. Still, it was sort of hot and I didn't mind the song choice either.

Posted by Claude

I'll watch for free when it comes out on cable. I never read the graphic novel and my nephew saw the movie and told me to wait, but he did say it would be worth a watch when it comes to our $2 theater. Nice review.

Posted by c1337us

Personally I didnt like the movie much. But it was sort of a mixed bag for me because there were a lot of things about the film that were likable but the low points of the film really dragged it down. Some of the action I will agree was great particularly the Comedians murder you mentioned, the sense of style the film has is very good and obviously given the movies background so was the story.

On the other hand I disagree with the acting. I found it to be rather bland with a few exceptions. The Comedian, Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan were all well played. But I found the entirety of the rest of the cast to be iffy to plain garbage at best. I have heard a few people comment that Rorschach to be the Joker of 2009 which I find completely laughable. I also found the music choices to be quite grating all the way through and the end credits were especially horrible. Not what you want the audience to walk away with in their mind.

Posted by daniel_beck_90

Nice review , loved it  ^__^

Posted by RHCPfan24

Thanks for more of the comments, guys. @c1337us, I thought the acting for the most part was very well-done. As I said, I didn't like Ozymandias, but I just felt that the other actors fit very well, especially considering that I am reading the novel presently and the characters in the movie just feel right.

As for the music choices, I have heard some people criticize it but I found it one of the best parts of the film. "The Times They Are Changin'" and "All Along the Watchtower" were implemented very well, as was the opening somber song played over The Comedian's death (I forgot the name). As I mentioned in my review, I didn't feel that the sex scene was necessary, but the song choice was okay, if a bit flabby. Maybe that is why it got so much criticism; it felt more like a joke than a serious love scene.

Posted by Cirdain

Great review but maybe leave 1 line per paragraph instead of 3 or 2

Posted by JoelTGM

Very nice review.  I want to see this movie :)