Watchmen (2009)

Goddamn, do I ever hate Zack Snyder movies.  Apparently I’ve been in some form of denial for the past three years, as I had been saying that Watchmen was Snyder’s only good movie ever since watching it in the theatre (I still haven’t seen Dawn of the Dead and probably never will because fuck Zack Snyder).  I am still sort of right, as Watchmen is still his best movie, but I have come to the realisation that it isn’t even merely good anymore.

I have mentioned in other reviews how sometimes you have to disassociate the source material from the filmed material because certain elements might not work thematically.  Having just re-read the comic book maxi-series upon which it was based, I know for a fact that it would never ever ehhhhhhver work as a movie.  It could certainly work as a 12-part HBO series, but no, even as a lengthy movie (162 minutes), it will never work.  So yes, things have to be changed for it to even be filmable, and it is hard for me to say what changes did and didn’t work because I’m predisposed to hating Snyder’s work (Sucker Punch was a fucking abomination of a movie), and Snyder didn’t even write the adapted screenplay.

Look, this could just turn into an extended rage/rant about how fucking wrong the film adaptation of Watchmen was (and I think I’d be perfectly justified in doing so), but I’m going to try and find some positives here.  First, the movie looks pretty great.  The credit sequence that quickly establishes the Watchmen universe as different than ours works quite well.  Everyone looks like the characters they are playing (for the most part, it’s creepily spot on).  I just watched the Director’s Cut, and I can’t remember how different it was than the Theatrical version, but there seemed to be no shyness about displaying Doctor Manhattan’s (Billy Crudup) giant blue dong.  I think that’s about it for the positives.

I mentioned how everyone almost creepily looked like they were born to be these characters, right?  Well Snyder’s hallmark is that his films are all style, no substance, and that adage holds up quite well in Watchmen.  The entire cast (except for Malin Åkerman) are talented actors, but that doesn’t mean they were right for these parts.  It’s great that Patrick Wilson looks pretty close to the comic book version of Dan Dreiberg, but he can’t make me buy him as some schlubby guy.  Crudup is a great actor, but no, he’s no Doctor Manhattan.  Jackie Earle Haley is alright as Rorschach, but whatever direction Snyder was giving him was all wrong.

In fact, there are numerous scenes throughout the film that made me think Snyder thought it was some stupid comedy movie he was making.  Plus, the overall tone of the movie is JUST WRONG, especially the fight scenes.  Other than Manhattan, none of them have any special powers, but based upon how hard-hitting every punch and kick sounds/appears, all these costumed people hit like fucking Superman.  No.  The comic book series established them as fairly regular people that just started fighting crime for their own respective reasons.  And why the hell is the movie so unnecessarily gory?  It’s like Snyder thought it was a horror film too!  GAH so much wrong with this movie.

The first time I saw Watchmen, I left thinking that yup, that’s probably the best version of it that could ever be filmed.  Now I’m angered that yeah, that’ll probably be the only filmed version of it that exists and it certainly isn’t even close to the quality of the source material.  In closing, stop giving Zack Snyder money to make movies.  Give him money to make music videos, and when they stop making those, stop giving him money unless it’s payment for him not to ever make another movie.

1.5 / 5

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About SkoochXC
Long-time blogger, Canadian, cine-snark-aphile, Tweeter and generally lonely hearted guy.

3 Responses to Watchmen (2009)

  1. Bob says:

    They punch like ‘fucking superman’ because they’re meant to. Alan Moore created these characters to have abilities above normal humans, and what fun are the fight scenes if they’re not dramatic enough?
    PLUS, it is not ‘unnecessarily gory’ when the comic book is pretty freaking gory itself. The movie copies the comic book panel for panel, and word for word, so if you insult the characters and how they were created, you’re insulting the comic book too. AND THAT’S NOT COOL.

    • SkoochXC says:

      The gore in the movie is gratuitous. Yes, it can be bloody as all hell, but the execution of the bloodletting in Watchmen is over the top and on par with a slasher film. I have no problem with the comic series, I love it in fact. Read it prior to watching the movie. Yes, it is pretty shot for shot, but like all of Snyder’s movies, there is no substance to the style. It’s hollow. It’s like a Comic Con, everyone looks the part, sure. And nothing about the book states that these people have abilities above normal humans, in fact it pretty much states the opposite, that they’re just regular people who decided to do that their lives.

      • Bob says:

        All they did was copy the comic, so really, all Snyder had to do was to make all the actors look and act perfect for the part while the story line unfolded itself. The comics showed Rorscharch exploding into bits and pieces on the snow, and the movie did too. Everything violent came from the book, and maybe it just seems more bloody when it was acted out with real people. And average humans wouldn’t be able to beat street thugs 12 on 2 when cornered in an alley, or have the power to blow up millions of people to save billions.

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