Post 300 I was awaiting director Zack Snyder’s next movie, but unfortunately could not watch it on the big screen due to constraints of time and travel (not time travel as of now). I finally got around to watching it albeit the HD version of it on video and here is my take of it.
As far as superhero movies go this is unlike anything you’ve ever watched. An intense and visceral look at the dirty underbelly of superheroes and humans alike, Watchmen will convince you everything is bad and going wrong with the world. Of course the only superhero (with real superhero powers) is Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) who was involved in a laboratory accident in the late 1950s and survived to come out on top with superhero powers to the point he can walk on the sun and see any point in the past or the future as if its happening right now in the present. The story kicks off with the murder of The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) who is beaten to pulp and then thrown out of the window of a high rise apartment. The Comedian happens to be a superhero and it is very obviously surmised by Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) another superhero that it had to be a superhero who killed The Comedian. It is all the more alarming because all the superheroes have gone underground and taken off their masks and are leading normal lives with their real identities undisclosed to the general public. This brings the rest of the superheroes (Malin Akerman/Silk Spectre II, Matthew Goode/Ozymandias, Patrick Wilson/Nite Owl II) together in a quest to find the real killer before the rest of them are killed.
The movie also takes place in the 1980s during the height of the cold war with Vietnam having just ended and Afghanistan about to begin. Also, the Government has outlawed superheroes and declared them illegal with the exception of the Dr. Manhattan who works with the Government in developing weapons. To the fans who have read the book the story would be obvious and to those who have not read the book and not seen the movie suffice it to say mostly things end satisfactorily though watch out for the twist at the end.
The movie is set in New York in the 1980s and I personally do remember the New York of the 1980s with its music, its sights, sounds and smells. The movie does an excellent job of capturing the New York/America of the mid 1980s. The music too is excellent especially the background score and very much from the 1980s and pure pop bliss. Finally Watchmen is about morality and the choices we humans make for the world we live in and that is conveyed perfectly. Coming as it does on the heels of Batman Begins and The Dark Knight it definitely bodes well for comic heroes and superheroes on the big screen. Very definitely worth a watch.