Movie Review. The Watchmen
Before the review starts, I need to say that I have not read the comic book that this film is based upon. So I have no idea if its the same as the book. In the past, When I have read the book first then seen the film, I have usually hated the film and I did want any ideas about this film clouded with the book. I have seen this film twice now as I am writing this review, with one of the times being at an Imax. I must say now that this film is so much better at the Imax. It was stated that, all of the USA's IMAX showings were reportedly sold out.
Have you ever seen a film and afterwords, you have no real idea how to explain it to any of your friends? This was my problem with the film after the first showing. I was not a "fanboy" of this series, so I couldn't openly praise it for being the first true adaption nor could I condemn it for not being like the comic book, since I had not read the book.
It took me watching this film at the IMAX before I finally did understand what I was watching and was able to explain it to try and write this review.
The film is basically a murder mystery set under an alternative 1985 reality in which the USA and the USSR are a few steps away from unleashing World War 3.
The film opens with the murder of one of the Watchmen, Edward Blake / The Comedian and you are left to wonder why this happened. The film then really takes off with the introduction of Walter Kovacs / Rorschach . He is also a Watchmen, but unlike the others in this group, Rorschach has continued his one-man battle against crime long after superheroes have become both detested and illegal. Rorschach’s actions and writings display a belief in a moral absolutism and objectivism, where good and evil are clearly defined and evil must be violently punished. He has alienated himself from the rest of society to achieve these aims.
He then goes to his old partners house Daniel Dreiberg / Nite Owl II to tell him of the Comedian's death and to warn him of other attacks on the Watchmen.
He then goes to try and warn Dr. Jon Osterman / Doctor Manhattan and Laurie Juspeczyk / Silk Spectre II but is basically thrown out of their place because they do not believe him. The the film continues with a fear of war and the hope of a free energy source that may stop all war in the future. I will leave the rest of the plot to the audience as not to spoil the film for anyone who has not seen it nor read the book.
What I really liked about this film was the music and how it was used exactly for the scene. I was laughing when certain songs were being played because of their subtle use in the film and after the film was over, I told the people who saw the film with me, why I was laughing at the music.
Another thing I liked about the film was the partnership of Nite Owl II and Rorschach. I saw in the film that they had been partners and I soon realized that the film had captured it quite well and made the film more believable for me. The film was made for me during the scene where Rorschach describes the moment when he stopped being "Kovacs pretending to be Rorschach", and fully became Rorschach. To me, this was the scene that made a good film into a great one.
My advice for this film is this, please remember that the film was set up in an alternative 1985 that did not happen but in this world what you see was reality. A lot of reviews that I had read seem to be stuck on this point and it makes no sense for me. The film is just a movie, no more and no less. Please see it when you can and, if the opportunity comes your way, please see the film in IMAX.
Rorschach: [reading from journal] Rorschach's Journal: October 12th 1985. Dog carcass in alley this morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face. The streets are extended gutters and the gutters are full of blood and when the drains finally scab over, all the vermin will drown. The accumulated filth of all their sex and murder will foam up about their waists and all the whores and politicians will look up and shout 'Save us!' And I'll whisper 'no'.
Opened in South Korea on 5 March 2009