Film Reviews

WATCHMEN

By • Mar 5th, 2009 •

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Astonishing and highly original. Like BLADE RUNNER, THE MATRIX, and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY, it will visually affect future movies. Stunning, mature, and elevates the genre.

If you have missed me, I’ve been in the Middle East. My weeks away from movies included a high-security visit to Saudi Arabia. We had an armed entourage and fleet of police cars guarding us wherever we went. Did you know that if you are not a Muslim, you are not allowed in the holy cities of Mecca and Medina? These cities hold special religious significance and only persons of the Islamic faith are allowed entry. I plan on asking for a special invitation from King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, to visit Jeddah and Riyadh. And why not Mecca while I’m making my plea? The King has a Facebook account!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/King-Abdullah-Bin-Abdulaziz-Al-Saud/28816309489

The provenance of the twelve-issue comic book limited series Watchmen created by Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons and colorist John Higgins is mythic and was considered impossible to translate to film.

I have not read the comic books. It is certainly not necessary to be enthralled with WATCHMEN.

Brilliant director Zack Synder (“300”) and writers David Hayter and Alex Tse have not sacrificed the source material, the political story, or the nudity for the uninitiated. It is clear Synder has not made any compromises. WATCHMEN is long. You get your money’s worth.

It is the 1980s and in a surreal us-against-the-Soviet Union Cold War World, ordinary people with fantastic fighting and leaping ability don masks and fight crime. This kind of vigilante justice is eventually outlawed by third-term President Richard Nixon, so Watchmen are forced into retirement or working for the government.

When one of the Watchmen, the curiously sexy masked man called The Comedian (Jeffery Dean Morgan), is brutally murdered, in a fight that makes Jason Bourne’s famous Paris apartment fight look like a tango lesson, his former comrade, not “Welcome Back, Kotter’’s Horshack but Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), wants to find out who is behind the assassination and if the rest of the outlawed team, known as The Masks, are targets.

Seems everyone in the world is busy watching the Doomsday Clock, which we now know was a propaganda ploy to keep the world distracted from the alien invasion from the star system Alpha Draconis. The herd of American citizen-sheep were led to believe that the Soviet Union was hell-bent on nuclear war. Now, Iran and South Korea are the main threats to peace, posterity and our God-given right to rule the world.

The rest of the banned Watchmen are Jon Osterman, known as Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), who was severely damaged in a laboratory accident that has made him into a giant God, manipulating matter, all blue, and happily naked.

Let’s face it, how would God dress if it was up to Him?

After Dr. Manhattan’s tour of duty destroying Vietnam, thus giving the U.S. an alternative-universe victory, he is working with another former team member, the smartest man on Earth, gay Adrian Veidt, known as Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) to kill millions of people. But there is a very good reason. Remember when Yahweh destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?

And finally, Dr. Manhattan’s sex- starved girlfriend, a second generation crime fighter, Laurie Jupiter, known as Silk Spectre ll (Malin Akerman), finally is fed up with Dr. Manhattan’s platitudes on mankind’s faults and his idea of lovemaking, turns to former colleague Nite Owl II, Dan Dreiberg (Patrick Wilson).

Everything is rich, bold and complex. Wilson, naked in LITTLE CHILDREN and castrated in HARD CANDY, has a great love scene with non-anorexic Akerman. Yet, it is circumcised and well-endowed Dr. Manhattan who stands as an emblem to our pursuit of extraordinary powers, regardless of any negative side-effects. And with X-Tina, Sasha Fierce, and The United States of Tara spearheading the trend, everyone in the future will have a legitimate alternative personality.

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2 Responses »

  1. Circumcision…

    Negative side-effects indeed!

  2. I seen this movie last night. It was really good.

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