By Matthew Walker
Another problem Watchmen is going to face will be from those who are not invested in the graphic novel or the comic book medium. The depth of character development, underlying story of nuclear holocaust, and lack of action may have non-fans scratching their heads wondering why this is so revered. Even at the movie's near three hour run-time, there's so much involved repeat viewings may be required in order to discover everything Watchmen has to offer. Hell, I am a fan of the graphic novel and I needed repeat viewing to experience everything about the film.
If you were a fan of the visuals of "300," then Watchmen does not disappoint. Though not as exaggerated as they were in "300," Watchmen will still have most drooling because of the beautiful visuals this film has to offer. The costumes for the characters are near spot on renditions of the graphic novel; a few variances here and there, but solid representations, nonetheless. If "300" was an introduction of what Zack Snyder can do visually with film, then Watchmen is a solid and stunning follow-up that surpasses it's predecessor.
The actors and actresses in the film do an amazing job, so much so that it's hard to say which of them represented their characters the best. The not-so-obvious choices would probably be Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl… hell, even Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan was phenomenal. However, my personal nod has to go to Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian. His portrayal did everything for the character that I felt in the graphic novel. I hated him, despised him, but felt remorse for the life he lead and even felt the pain he had for the actions he committed. In addition to his performance, something has to be said about Carla Gugino as the original Silk Spectre. She too had decisions she was not proud of, but her portrayal developed the character with regret and remorse for the life and decisions she had made for her daughter. Everyone delivered astoundingly on their respective characters, and for the first time, I can say a film truly captured the mentality of the characters the actors were playing.
In a nutshell, Watchmen achieves something many thought was never possible. Do I wish that it were longer to include everything from the book? Yes, of course I do. However, everything clicks in this version. You will find yourself questioning the morality of everything in the film, from the characters themselves to the powers that be in the governments represented. There are changes, but none overshadow the true message of the film or the graphic novel. I won't say those changes here, because if you have read it and are wondering, then you have to experience them for yourself. Even though this is crafted more like a love letter to the fans of the graphic novel, I dare any casual movie goer to see this film and not be moved by the story. If you are tired of comic book movies and think they are all the same, then Watchmen may pleasantly surprise you. Even though it functions in the world of "superheroes," you'd be hard-pressed to deem any of the characters "superheroes" in the truest sense of the word. To answer the over-used question, "Who watches the Watchmen?" - You should.
Movie Score: 4 out of 5 Stars
Fan Score: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
CCC Project Coordinator