Watchmen 2009 Movie Scene Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Edward Blake AKA Comedian using a flamethrower to burn people during the Vietnam war with helicopters in the background

Watchmen [2009]

Watchmen is a different type of superhero movie, a thought-provoking examination of the subgenre with style. After directing two blockbusters (Dawn of the Dead, 300), Zack Snyder was hired to finish a movie that has been in developmental hell for over twenty years. The comic books were released back in 1987 and many famous directors were hired (Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam), but everyone thought that this could not be done. Zack proved them wrong by making one of the most polarizing comic book adaptations in recent years. If you’re expecting an action movie filled with cool special effects, you’re in the wrong place.

The movie Watchmen is a rather slow superhero movie featuring the most human superheroes ever to grace the screen. It’s also rather serious, something that many of the viewers did not appreciate one bit. The general population still needs to have “real” people talking if they want a discussion about morality, the current system of values, and life in general. They still consider superheroes childish concepts that are beneath their big brains. This was, of course, before the big comic/movie fusion. Nolan’s The Dark Knight premiered one year earlier featuring the formula for commercial success.

Oddly enough, Batman had decades to build its world and characters, while Watchmen took the world by storm. The story takes place in an alternate reality making it a perfect place to go nuts with creative ideas. And went nuts they went. With a running time of two hours and 42 minutes, this is a movie that’s going to take up your whole evening. So, be ready for that and pick the right night for this type of adventure. It doesn’t have to be today, tomorrow, or next week. Watchmen is one of those movies you have to be in the right mood to enjoy. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can get the Watchmen Ultimate Cut edition featuring a running time of whopping 3 hours and 35 minutes.

It is the year 1985 and things are not looking good. Since the late thirties, The Minuteman, later dubbed Watchmen, were responsible for maintaining the world order and helping the USA in their efforts. Here, we find our heroes fighting the good fight. The tensions are rising between global powers and talks of a possible nuclear war seem to be frighteningly true. On top of all of those troubles, there seems to be some kind of secret plot in motion. A secret plot that could potentially be even more dangerous than the nuclear war.

I don’t want to give away any more of the plot, since it is pretty interesting. Especially the parts about alternate historic events, like the Vietnam war and WWIII. Watchmen has very well-developed characters that are very colorful and with some pretty intriguing background stories. They are basically ordinary people, with their faults and characteristics driving them to go both good and bad. Complex characters generate complex situations and moral ambiguity is one of the things that I loved about this movie. Plus you finally get the chance to see a superhero penis. And it is glorious.

Granted, sometimes the twists seem and bit cliche and forced, but those are minor errors when compared to the movie as a whole. The visuals were fantastic, a combination of special and practical effects that’s neither here nor there. We’re talking about huge sets, creative camera work, and excellent cinematography. Just think of 300 but a bit more stylized and you’ll know what I’m talking about. The entire cast was fantastic although Jackie Earle Haley who plays Rorschach definitely stood out. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan was one hell of a bad guy.

Delightfully subversive and visually stunning, Watchmen features subjects very much worth further exploration. It also forces the mind the toy with alternate universes and historic events, literally making people reexamine their own attitudes toward them. Vietnam war, Nixon, Russians, and many other fun subjects are waiting for you. So, it’s time to put on your favorite costume and delve into the strange, troubling but more importantly, the very real world of Watchmen.

Oh, and I almost forgot that if you choose the aforementioned cut, you’ll get the chance to see several segments featuring stunning hand animation. Yes, apart from the regular live-action, this version of Watchmen also features animated segments. They bring to life the graphic novels which inspired the movie we’re talking about today.

Director: Zack Snyder

Writers: Dave Gibbons, David Hayter, Alex Tse

Cast: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

Fun Facts: Jackie Earle Haley who plays Rorschach was the only cast member who was familiar with the comic book. It was his desire to play Rorschach.


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