Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Film Review: WATCHMEN (2009)

Director: Zack Snyder
Running time: 155 mins (approx)
Certificate (UK): 18

UK Release Date: 6th March 2009

Watched on DVD Tuesday 9th march 2010.


First of all, I must say that I have not read the graphic novel by Dave Gibbons and Alan Moore. With that out of the way I can now get on with the business in hand. It’s kind of weird watching this film, its set in 1985, but not a 1985 that we would recognise. For a start Richard Nixon is president of the United States, there’s a lot of tension between the US and the USSR, oh and there are superheroes about (seemingly only in America though). These superheroes have been discredited and are banned from wearing their disguises. So most have gone into retirement, hoping to keep their identities secret.

It is night and one of the superheroes, The Comedian, a.k.a., is disturbed by a knock at the door. A man comes in and a fight ensues, a fight that culminates in the death of The Comedian. The following day, another Superhero, Rorschach begins to investigate the murder. He calls on Nite Owl II, a.k.a. Dan Dreiberg, and also Dr. Manhattan, a.k.a. Jon Osterman and Silk Spectre II, a.k.a. Laurie Jupiter, looking for information but he seems to be getting nowhere. The story is broken up with lots of flashbacks giving us the background to each of these characters, some of which are descendants from previous Superheroes. We also meet Ozymandias, a.k.a. Adrian Veidt, a Superhero who has revealed his identity and is working to find a cheap energy source for the world. It’s a very complicated plot, so I won’t go any further, you have the bare bones of it there… And no spoilers so far!

A really well made film with some really great special effects, CGI and some brilliant fight sequences, hats off to the stunt guys for that. It’s visually quite stunning as well, I don’t know a lot about the technical side of cinematography, but, for me, they got this one just right! Decent performances from all of the main cast, honourable mentions go to Malin Akerman as Laurie Jupiter / Silk Spectre II, Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan / Jon Osterman, Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias, Jackie Earle Haley as Walter Kovacs / Rorschach, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Edward Blake / The Comedian and Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg / Nite Owl II.

It’s a really interesting film with a lot of philosophy and politics and some really dark comedy thrown in. I found it quite enjoyable, although it was just too long; if it had been cut to two hours I feel it would have been better. So, overall, a really enjoyable film with some great action and effects, only let down by its length, even so, I still recommend it to you.

My score: 7.9/10

IMDb Site: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0409459/
Official Site: http://www.watchmenmovie.co.uk/intl/uk/dvd/index.html
Trailer: http://uk.imdb.com/rg/VIDEO_PLAY/LINK/video/imdb/vi3326279705/

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