Don’t Watch the Watchmen

The “Watchmen”. THE comic book. It changed the entire comic book industry by creating a world of realistic super heroes. The “Watchmen” universe is based on the idea of putting masked adventurers, or super heroes, into the real world. The “Watchmen” showed the problems that they would face by dealing with society, psychological disorders, inadequacy, or public dissent. The story’s originality isn’t the only reason why the “Watchmen” is so influential. It continues by creating a thick plot with many layers. Constant flashbacks and subplots run rampant throughout the graphic novel, creating a very full and heavy read and that is its greatness only from a literary standpoint. The “Watchmen” also contains a lot of social commentary, especially with regards to the Cold War and the tension that was felt throughout America. Although I never lived through the Cold War myself The “Watchmen” gave me an understanding of what the people felt during that time; a time where people thought that any day a nuclear war could break out. The novel directly attacks the scare attacks and anti-communism during a time where those were most prevalent, the Reagan Administration. To get around this, Alan Moore, instead of directly attacking an extremely popular American president, which would guarantee that Americans wouldn’t read the graphic novel, brought in Nixon under an alternate history. All of this made the “Watchmen” the graphic novel it is now known as. A complex plot. A realistic view of heroes. A moral dilemma. The political commentary. The movie had none of this. The movie was two and a half hours of none of this. The movie had potential. It was directed by Zack Synder, 300 and Dawn of the Dead, so at first it sounded like it could be good. All the reviews said it stays true to the graphic novel and all the previews seemed excellent, but they only did so in keeping faces not actual character development. The movie is just a shallow interpretation of what the “Watchmen” really is. The movie does have its finer points. Jeffery Dean Morgan and Jackie Earl Hayley, who play The Comedian and Rorschach respectively, both did an amazing job acting and stayed very true to their roles. For the most part, the first 45 minutes or so were what I wanted to see. They stayed true to the mood of the graphic novel, it was intense, emotional, and very real. But as the movie continued, the mood seemed to become more of a B-rated action movie starring Nicolas Cage. The acting took a turn for the worse, the editing seemed choppy, and the music was worse than Mad TV. The music was so out of place that even scenes that were supposed to be emotional turned out laughable. Scenes with Dr. Manhattan blowing people up and The Comedian flame-throwing people to death turned out ridiculous just because of the music choice. However, not all is lost. There is still the director’s cut which contains the original film before the studios asked Snyder to shorten it. There is also The Tales of the Black Freighter version which contains the director’s cut with the Tales of the Black Freighter incorporated throughout the film. The Tales of the Black Freighter direct to video comes out March 24. With the astronomical budget of $120 million one is only left with the question: That’s it? I would suggest that anyone who has read the graphic novel see it. But anyone who hasn’t yet read it can just skip over this film.