When Watchmen was announced once again fans thought it foolish to try and make the “unfilmable movie”, many thought it would be ruined by Hollywood. For over 20 years Watchmen has struggled to become a movie, but now that it’s finally seen the light of day, was the wait worth it?
Watchmen takes place in a very colorful envisioning of America in 1985. Much like the comic itself, the movie uses a dark color scheme full of alternate colors than traditionally used in average comic books. Zack Snyder did a magnificent job showcasing a world that at times seemed directly from its source material, as well as the generations that inspired it. Unlike some movies that attempt to have the audience believe its a different time, Watchmen’s look actually feels like you’re in the 1980’s depicted in the comic. However some of the movies special effects where noticeable as cgi, they didn’t distract from the movies flow.
The score itself seemed to be one of the biggest things to stand out in Watchmen. Unlike some superhero movies that tend to have an orchestrated score, Watchmen chose to showcase music that further addressed the time period of the movie. From Simon & Garfunkel’s “Sound of Silence” to Nena’s “99 Luftballons”, Watchmen’s score at times can feel a little off while at other times feels spot on. The only problem with its score was that because of its out of place feel at times members of the audience may be left feeling confused or, in my case, cretin immature members of the audience will burst out laughing and into a state of mockery towards the scenes the music was introducing.
Just like the comic book it was based on, Watchmen is dark, gritty, and at times frightening. Watchmen is not a movie for children and should never be considered appropriate for an immature audience, not just because of the graphic nature of its content, but due to the nature of the message that is not only told, but shown. While the movie itself feels like you’re a part of the generation its showing, it also at times distills feelings of mystery, suspense, fear, hate, love, and curiosity. But what was most apparent was a feeling of moral confusion due to the actions and words of many of the leading characters.
Most of the story for the movie is very faithful to the comic, but dramatic changes were made in order for it to become a movie. Watchmen takes place mainly in 1985, with scenes depicting the early 1940’s, the 60’s, and 70’s. Watchmen shows a world that has been effected by superheroes, but unlike the average comic book showing the world as a better place, this alternate 1985 is filled with war, rape, murder, and petty violence in a more horrific rate than our own history shows. With America winning the Vietnam war, Nixon changed the constitution and was elected for a third term, and with his influence came a society that uses a superhero named Dr. Manhattan as its object of protection and as a weapon against all opposing countries. With the ban of free roaming superhero vigilantes in affect came an end to most heroes with the exception of an outlaw anti-hero named Rorschach who uncovers a dark conspiracy that could mean the death to millions of innocent people in the name of the greater good.While the ending to the movie has its major differences to the source material it still achieves the same goal and message.
Bottom line: Watchmen may be too graphic for some people, but the overarching message makes it a movie worth seeing. This can easily be considered the best movie of the year thus far. If you’re a die-hard fan of the comic, you may find some of the changes unsettling, but even with these changes, the movie and it’s message are amazing.
You owe yourself to see this movie, and buy it when it comes out.