Watchmen Movie Review

Emily McCready (’11)/Eastside Editorial Assistant

A decade ago superheroes walked city streets alongside the rest of society. Watchmen takes place in 1985 America, and the masked superheroes -only one of which has true superpowers- were forced into retirement by the government.

The glory days of the Watchmen are over and essentially forgotten, living in the real world under secret identities until they are called together by Rorschach/Walter Kovacs (Oscar nominee Jackie Earle Haley), one of their own. Rorschach insists on investigating the recent brutal murder of a former member of their legion, The Comedian, Edward Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), because, after all, an attack on one is an attack on all.

As the ragtag group reunites, superheroes once again become a part of everyday life, and they begin again their job of avenging the defenseless victims of the crime-ridden city in which they reside. As violence, injustice and murder surrounds them, the Watchmen serve as society’s only protection from themselves. God help us all.

As well as the cities increasing crime rate, the “Doomsday Clock” attempts to depict the tension between the USA and the Soviet Union. The clock is set at only five minutes until midnight, and the country is in constant fear as it ticks closer to midnight, a symbol of a possible nuclear war to come. As the Watchmen continue to protect and conspire, they begin to discover multiple plots, one of which plans to kill all past and present superheroes, one by one.

So, who is watching the Watchmen? Somebody knows.

Possibly one of the greatest aspects of the movie, Billy Crudup plays an excellent Dr. Manhattan, Jon Osterman, the member of the Watchmen who is most god-like, after being “remade” following a nuclear accident. However, like any hero, he is flawed. He possesses the ability to see clearly into the past and future, but only his own, and not in a general view.

In addition, he can travel anywhere with light-speed, not only on earth, and he can take any shape. One of his greatest flaws shows his human characteristics – he cannot hide his subtle, yet true emotion from his fellow legions.

The other heroes in the story are simple humans, with the exception of their incredible physical powers. They act like humans, they eat and breathe like humans, and they make mistakes like humans. The movie also stars Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre 2, Laurie Juspeczyk, Matthew Goode as Ozmandias, Adrian Veidt, and Carla Gugino as Silk Spectre, Sally Jupiter.

Action-packed, yet faithful to its graphic novel, Watchmen successfully portrays the story of the only graphic novel to win the Hugo Award, along with a spot in Time magazine’s “100 Best English Language Novels from 1923 to the Present.” It is beneficial to have some background of the concepts and story line of Watchmen because of the fast pace and complexity of the movie.

Rated R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language, the movie does not shy away from showing “the true face of the city.” The concept of the bloody smiley face button leaves a chilling image in the audience’s minds, one they surely won’t be soon to forget.

Watchmen is a movie destined to impress and bound to make the audience think. Definitely unique, many people will find Watchmen to be captivating. The question is: Are you planning on watching the Watchmen?