So, I saw Watchmen last night

7 Mar

And I’ll tell you – it was all that I expected.

In a world post-Dark Knight, it will be hard for any superhero movie to live up to Christopher Nolan’s masterpiece (except maybe the next Batman flick), but I was wholeheartedly entertained from the time I walked into the theater at 7:45 to the time I left, 3 hours later.

The film didn’t actually start until 8, but the pubescent boys sitting in front of me were amusing, especially during the film, but I’ll get to that later.

I’ll actually start out with how pumped I was after the previews. Transformers 2, Terminator: Salvation (yeah the movie that Christian Bale was filming went he went APESHIT), and Star Trek. I completely nerdgasmed, most likely along with all the guys in the theater. Hey, I’m a geek.

I am one of the minority that haven’t read the source material – and possibly one of a dozen girls in the theater last night, but it’s probably a good thing I hadn’t read it first. It’s always harder to appreciate a film for it’s sheer movieness if you have a preconceived notion of how it should be. But the look of the film awed me. I could easily spot the style of Zack Snyder, who’s last big film was 300, and it looked so much like a comic book. Now, that can be taken as a good or a bad thing. I liked it, even though I don’t read comic books. I like visual experimentation, and the crafty slo-mo camera almost looked like an homage to 70s superhero flicks.

The mixture of bright colors and high contrast especially added to the surrealism of Watchmen, without being annoying and pretentious like The Spirit. Each frame looked like a work of art in itself, but I figure that’s what Snyder was going for, seeing that a lot of the plot was quite confusing for the first 2 hours.

That may have been one reason to read the novel before. I didn’t quite get where the characters were going for most of the film, and I didn’t understand how nuclear warheads and the Comedian’s murder and Richard Nixon all added up. However, at the end of the movie (I WON’T SPOIL), the bad guy is eventually revealed and it kind of all makes sense. It leaves a sour taste in your mouth, because it isn’t exactly a happy ending, but not exactly a tragic ending either.

But it sure is original.

The acting – well, the acting was both, again, good and bad. Jeffrey Dean Morgan (the Comedian) and Jackie Earle Haley (Rorschach) were fantastic. Both of them wore their emotions well, and still had a sociopathic tendency, which is difficult to simultaneously portray. Morgan’s had some interesting roles in the past, but I think he’s best suited for the complex ones. He’s handsome and charming in real life, but its shows a true actor to make an audience completely hate you, even if just for five minutes. Haley’s portrayal of Rorschach was also complex. And even with the shapshifting mask on most of the time, his character still shone through, more than what I can say for Patrick Wilson and Malin Ackerman.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Patrick Wilson. He was awesome in Little Children, but his Nite Owl was a bit flat. You didn’t really get any tortured past or complexity with his character. All I really got was that he was totally in love with Laurie Jupiter. And I was kind of surprised when I saw Malin Ackerman cast for this part, because it’s such a stark contrast from her previous big role (Katie Heigl’s horridly bitchy little sister in 27 Dresses. The only time I really got any emotion was at the end on Mars (AGAIN, I WON’T SPOIL). Also, the love scenes between the two of them – I won’t deny that they were hot, but kind of awkward. And Leonard Cohen singing “Hallelujah” in the background to their lovemaking didn’t help much either.

Dr. Manhattan is an anomaly to me. I don’t know if he was supposed to be so…flat, but I’m guessing that’s what Snyder was going for, since he technically wasn’t human. He was truly the only “super” being, a result of a freak accident with nuclear power. I will give Billy Crudup some credit – the only organic part of him that the audience got to experience was his voice, which I think finally at the end – I was satisfied with.

And then there’s Billy Crudup’s penis. Never have I seen so much schlong in one movie. Granted, it was blue and glowy, but still, a dick. However, the pubescent boys sitting in front of me still got annoyed with it. “Really? Come on!” was what they said almost every time Crudup walked in screen, hanging out. Even the teenage boys thinks that the penis is ugly. Nevermind.

I mentioned the music earlier – it was a bit of a conflict with me as well. I liked the music most of the time, but the Leonard Cohen lovemaking didn’t work for me. I especially liked the intro music “The Times they are a changin'” by Bob Dylan. It may have been a bit too literal, but hey, it’s a good song. And I haven’t heard “The Sound of Silence” in a movie soundtrack since The Graduate. I love that song.

The one thing I will say – Watchmen was hella long. But the difference between this film and Benjamin Button, shit is happening all the time. I didn’t mind the 2:43 runtime, because I kept getting new twists to the already complex story. Portions of the film weren’t drawn out so much, and there were no blank spaces or longing stares at any point.

There was actually no moment in the movie that I was willing to get up and pee (because I had to pee at about an hour in).

If you’re a geek, go see it, whether or not you’ve read the graphic novel. Unless you’re squeamish about blood, or shlong.

❤ Abby


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