Movie Review: Watchmen

Last night, John and I headed out to meet with some friends, then catch a late-night showing of Watchmen. Since our meeting went to 10:00, we picked up the 10:30 show, getting us out of the theater sometime around 1:30 am. Yes, this was a very long movie…nearly 3 hours with the previews…but aside from my drinking a really big soda, thus nearly exploding by the end of the movie, it was a great kind of long movie. Highly recommended!

First thing: Previews. Star Trek: Will go see it, but won’t hold my breath. Up: Will go see it with Ethan, but why is this trailer attached to this movie? Angels and Demons: Why are you in this movie Ewan MacGregor?!? X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Really want to see it, though certainly not for Liev Schreiber…I’m still mad at him for CSI. Public Enemies: Yay for another Johnny Depp movie!

Onto Watchmen. I’ll admit, I’m a comic book geek. To the point that you don’t even want to get me started on what was wrong with the Constantine movie. And I do own the graphic novel of Watchmen, though I haven’t actually finished it. The reason for this is pretty simple…I have a childhood terror of nuclear war. So I got up to about where the Doomsday Clock was set to 11:59 in the novel and had to stop. I didn’t really trust Alan Moore to not scare me to pieces by destroying the world. (Yes, I realize it’s fiction and set in an alternate 1985, and we’re in the 2000′s now, but still…)

Even so, I loved the look of the movie, and I think they did a pretty good job of capturing the feel of the comic book. One particular thing I liked about the look of the movie was that there were really no “name” actors in the main cast. Really, of the main Watchmen, Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan) was the only name I recognized, and he was glowing blue for most of his screen time. Of the rest of the cast, Matt Frewer (Moloch the Mystic) was the only face I recognized as that guy who played Max Headroom.

Three things about the look of the film bothered me. First was Malin Akerman’s (Laurie/Silk Spectre II) hair. You can chalk that one up to personal preference, as I don’t like stick straight hair, and she looked like she was just stepping out of a shampoo commercial. Second was Dr. Manhattan’s…er…nakedness. Not that I have a problem with nakedness, but one of my friends had mentioned Dr. Manhattan’s big glowing blue package, so of course, that was where I had to look. Finally, there was the violence. Yes, I realize it’s a pretty violent comic, but whenever someone punched a chunk of fireplace out, shot a bullet through someone’s leg, or broke a marble counter with someone’s head (without breaking the head, I might add), I flinched. It seemed just a bit too realistic, though I also know those effects were computer generated.

For the good parts of the movie…see the other two and a half hours. As John pointed out when we were leaving, I was rapt. I didn’t know how the story was supposed to end (having not finished the novel), and I was completely sucked in. I wanted to know! Yes, there was a lot of flashbacks and back story, though I think it was worked in well and everything did come together in the end.

Time constraints and really expensive movie tickets aside, I would definitely see this movie again. It will most definitely be added to my DVD collection, which now looks like it should have it’s own comic book movie shelf. Should you go see it? I would say most certainly. I do warn, though, that there is a lot of violence, and quite a bit of sex and nudity to boot.


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