Consider yourselves warned. The Watchmen is not your typical superhero movie, and the heroes are not what most would consider “super.”
Despite having mixed reviews, The Watchmen grossed $55.7 million over the weekend, earning $4.55 million at its midnight showings alone.
The film presented some interesting concepts and did some good things while destroying the image Superman, Batman and Spiderman have built.
The superhuman group isn’t all that different from any average Joe. They curse, drink and smoke cigarettes while trying to save New York from the criminal population.
If I had to compare the characters to a popular superhero, I would say they are most like Batman.
Batman is an average guy who helps Gotham as a vigilante, just like the Watchmen.
The group is made up of six members: the Silk Spectre, Dr. Manhattan, Ozymandias, The Comedian, Rorschach and Nite Owl. The only character with supernatural abilities is Dr. Manhattan, a godlike figure in the film.
The adaptation from graphic novel to film is impressive to say the least.
The visual styles are beautiful and vivid, and the special effects add an exciting feel to the production. Like the innovative Sin City, The Watchmen uses interesting camera angles and overly-dramatic lighting to give a dark touch to the movie.
**ADVISORY** this film is not for young viewers or people with weak stomachs.
The content of the film is surprising.
There was much more cursing, nudity and gore than I anticipated, and the naked Dr. Manhattan made several scenes uncomfortable and awkward to watch. The Watchmen almost boasts its R rating by filling the movie with nude scenes and other adult content.
The gore also made viewers in the theater cringe at times.
Many would deem the film inappropriate and lewd at times, but The Watchmen does a couple of things right.
First, the plot is pretty interesting and keeps true to the “save the world” theme that most superhero movies stick to, but puts an exciting twist on a stock idea.
Second, the film ties the plot into important events in U.S. history and shows how things might have gone with a superhero group helping out the American side.
The movie gives an alternate reality of a New York City gone wrong during the Cold War. The nuclear standoff between Russia and the U.S. is a key element in the story.
Now, on to the things the movie did poorly.
The nudity, language and gore really take away from the value that The Watchmen could have had otherwise. It all just gets a little ridiculous and over the top.
The 163-minute run-time for the film makes the movie seem to drag, and the film gives too much background on the characters, with almost 30 minutes devoted to the developing of each of the Watchmen.
With the interesting plotline, the film creates much confusion while exploring historical moments and each character’s past.
The Bottom Line
Overall, the superhero movie was not super-impressive, but did some interesting things regarding visual styles. It tries to be visionary but ultimately fails to deliver effectively to both the fanboys and newcomers to the supergroup. The odd take on heroism was fun to watch and made me appreciate the Dark Knight a little more.
Some of the R-rated elements steal integrity from the movie and lower its value. The length can make viewers restless.
The Bells gives the film a three-bell rating out of five for its innovative nature and the effect of the R-rated material on the movie as a whole.