Watchmen Falls Short of Expecations (A Watchmen Review)

Posted by David D'Angelo | 7/01/2009 01:06:00 PM | | 0 comments »

The Watchmen movie might just have fallen short of the expectation of its fans. Although highly acclaimed as one of the greatest graphic novel of all time, the movie makes you wonder why it been that way. It seems that I finally understand why Alan Moore does not want nor watched the film adaptation of his co-created comic book.

Watchmen is a twelve-issue comic book limited series created by writer Alan Moore, artist Dave Gibbons, and colorist John Higgins. The series was published by DC Comics during 1986 and 1987, and has been subsequently reprinted in collected form. In 2009 however, the film seemed not to have the same class and acceptance as its comic book original.

In the comic book, Moore used the story as a means to reflect contemporary anxieties and to critique the superhero concept. Watchmen takes place in an alternate history United States where superheroes emerged in the 1940s and 1960s, helping the United States to win the Vietnam War. The country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union, freelance costumed vigilantes have been outlawed and most costumed superheroes are in retirement or working for the government. The story focuses on the personal development and struggles of the protagonists as an investigation into the murder of a government sponsored superhero pulls them out of retirement.

The film adaptation stars Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Matt Frewer, Stephen McHattie, and Laura Mennell.

Seeing Watchmen personally and perhaps because its story line was no longer the issue at present makes most of those who do not know the comic book harder. Most people cannot relate anymore to the Cold War and an impending Nuclear Attack by Russia although at present there seems to be the same kind of threats at hand. The movie is less blood and gore compared to what is contained in the comics. On the general fist impression I heard from a fan that Watchmen is about justice but I seem not to see it in the film.

Although people are cool about their beloved comic book coming to life through film it seems to have been short of expectations or is it because it was not in my line of taste for a movie or a comic book story?

  • STORY: 5 - means the depth of the story and the overall plot.
  • CHARACTERS: 6 - this pertains to the ability of the characters to portray their roles.
  • COHERENCE: 7 - ability of the story to be coherent as the episode progresses.
  • DEPTH: 6 - the effectiveness of the story to relay the full plot and to show the story of each character.
  • MUSIC: 7 - effective use of music in the story.
  • VISUAL EFFECTS: 10 - amount and effectiveness of special effects.
  • POPULARITY: 8 - relative popularity of the story/tv series.
  • RECOMMENDATION: 5 - my recommendation
  • TOTAL RATING: 6.75

  • I was not even amazed by the story and how it was told. The story which dwells and concentrates so much on so many issues seem to lost its focus. This is probably because Zack Snyder seem tried hard to put all of the comic book content into one film. The fear of nuclear war from the Soviets did not materialize but instead an annihilation using the technology which created Dr. Manhattan killed thousand of people and level buildings to the ground. Ozymandias who is behind all that had happened did not show remorse and even the heroes and people did not even seem to care nor find out how to bring him to Justice.

    Dr. Manhattan fearing that people will blame him for what had happened after the U.S. President pledge support to Ozymandias and blamed him for what had happened. He just disappeared after kissing Silk Spectre II. Very non-typical superhero style indeed.

    The oddness and the difference in script and structure would probably be due to the fact that when the original comic book was created it aims to really create a new imagery of superheros thus we see the not so usual actions of the characters in Watchmen.

    Characters were also not that good in portraying their roles though I really applaud Jackie Earle Haley who plays Walter Kovacs / Rorschach in the movie. His character protrayal was perfect and had really given the audience a feeling of the psychopath nature of the hero.

    The movie fails to explore the impending nuclear attack on the United States and lost its focus on that main plot however, it seems the comic book's intention was to really focus on the fact that the enemy is within ourselves and not outside.

    I did watched the film but was frustrated at how it ended. I just might not be used to these brands of heroes who has uncanny characteristics. Although I do not like, I will not discourage anyone from watching the movie.

    So who watches the Watchmen? Hmm... perhaps none...

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