In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
Clark Kent, one of the last of an extinguished race disguised as an unremarkable human, is forced to reveal his identity when Earth is invaded by an army of survivors who threaten to bring the planet to the brink of destruction.
When bitten by a genetically modified spider, a nerdy, shy, and awkward high school student gains spider-like abilities that he eventually must use to fight evil as a superhero after tragedy befalls his family.
In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated. The reunited heroes set out to prevent their own destruction, but in doing so discover a deeper and far more diabolical plot. Written by
Ozymandias' love for Ancient Egyptian royal attributes does not stop at his furniture. He wears a belt with an Udjat eye on it, an Ancient Egyptian sign of protection. Below the belt, on his hips and over the pant part of his costume, he wears a purple-ish, short version of the Ancient Egyptian Shendyt. This is a royal apron, or kilt, which is pleated. Ozymandias' Shendyt is a rubber replica of what used to be cloth and is far shorter than it was for pharaohs, given that he still has to be able to move his legs freely. In addition to these Egyptian inspired costume details, he obviously also wears a modernized version of the old Roman golden laurels around his head, another nod to his love for all things ancient and powerful. See more »
In the beginning of the movie when the Comedian (Edward Blake) is thrown through the glass window, midway down his body turns face down to the concrete (which matches how he dies in the comic book). Yet when the camera shows the Comedian he is lying on the concrete face up instead of face down. See more »
Gerard Butler is given second opening credit in the Ultimate Edition (on the fuselage of the airplane in the montage), due to him playing the part of the pirate in the 'Tales of the Black Freighter' segments. See more »
For over 25 years now, I have cited Blade Runner as my favorite movie
of all time. After seeing Watchmen, I may have to reconsider.
First, I'm glad I went to see the movie alone. I've heard so many
comments focused on a blue dick, or the length of the movie, or some
other such nonsense, that I'm sure watching it with someone would have
been a constant barrage of commentary and complaint. And no, that's not
Yes, the movie is long; nearly three hours. But, unlike the dreadfully
insipid Titanic, at the end of this movie I wasn't asking for those
three hours of my life back. And, as with all such movies, you must be
able to look beyond the literal.
Watchmen is iconic and iconoclastic, deconstructionist and revisionist,
laden with allegory and allusion. Consider, for example, the character
Ozymandias. I'm wondering how many people who viewed the film ever even
heard of Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem by the same name. The character
even quotes the poem on a plinth in his Antarctic lair. The allusion is
amazing. Here's the full quote;
And on the pedestal these words appear -- "My name is Ozymandias, king
of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" Nothing beside
remains. Round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare The
lone and level sands stretch far away.'
Clearly one must see the allusion to the work, in this case, of a
superhero who hopes to leave mankind a lasting legacy, but realizes in
the back of his mind that everything is eventually lost in time.
Ozymandias was the first poem I ever examined from an expositional
point of view, and I was blown away. The use of it in this movie is
Then there is Dr. Manhattan, named, of course, for the Manhattan
Project, which yielded the atomic bomb. His character is an allegory
for God, and his relationship with man mirrors the apparent detachment
with which God sees suffering in the world He created. The deity
reference is reinforced often, and one thinks of Oppenheimer's citation
of the Bhagavad-Gita, in which Vishnu takes on a godly form and says,
"Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
In an expository scene in the second act, Dr. Manhattan has a sort of
recollection of his life. His account is dizzyingly elliptical, since
he does not see time as linear the way others do. This scene has the
lyrical feel of my favorite piece of fiction, Alan Lightman's almost
unbearably beautiful Einstein's Dreams, and the reference to Einstein
cannot be ignored.
But the real beauty of Watchmen is the moral diversity of its
superheroes. Each is flawed in different ways, allowing us to inhabit
different ethical perspectives, intellectually at least, and witness
their consequences. Everything from Rorshach's refusal to compromise,
which makes him a doomed fugitive, to the ultimate compromise
envisioned by Ozymandias, who can dispassionately evaluate scenarios
where millions of lives are sacrificed, calls into question our most
cherished beliefs. Where does it leave you? Well, that's for you to
From a purely entertainment perspective, Watchmen is stunning. The
visuals are state of the art, and do not suffer from the sort of mental
rejection I have for some movies that present too many special effects
to swallow at once as reality. And Watchmen doesn't suffer from
Hollywood's apparent fascination with camp in comic book movies. Camp
works to some degree in Spiderman, since he's a somewhat humorous
character to begin with. But the excess of camp rendered the Fantastic
Four sequel unwatchable. Watchman proves that superheroes can use more
subtle forms of humor, such as irony, without devolving into camp for
And the music, oh, the music. If you didn't grow up in the 60's and
70's, you will surely miss some of the impact, but don't worry. Even a
second hand recollection of such iconic tunes will suffice. I am
reminded of the painfully awful Across the Universe, which couldn't
even pull together a decent movie built around the greatest catalog in
modern music. Watchmen does it in spades.
I LOL'd, I cried. The people in the theatre applauded at the end. I
vowed to wait 24 hours before writing a review to see if my euphoria
passed. It hasn't.
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