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.
It's 1985 in an alternate reality. The Watchmen - comprised of the Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl II, Ozymandias, Rorschach and Silk Spectre II - are a disparate band of masked superheroes, modeled after the Minutemen, who were masked superheroes of a generation earlier, most of who are dead or afflicted by the ravages of life. The Comedian belongs to both groups. Despite the activities of the Watchmen leading to the west winning the Vietnam War which in turn has kept Richard Nixon in the White House, Nixon has now outlawed masks, resulting in the Watchmen disbanding and going into retirement, most hiding their Watchmen past under their human identities. However, the Comedian, in his human persona of Eddie Blake, and Dr. Manhattan - former physicist Jon Osterman who obtained his superhero powers through a scientific accident which almost killed him - now work for the government. Dr. Manhattan's powers in particular have kept a watch over nuclear proliferation, as he is able to stop...Written by
(at around 42 minutes) During the Crimebusters meeting, the labels of national security issues include: Illegal Immigration, Murder, Kidnapping, Black Unrest, Race Riots, Extortion, Prostitution, Anti-War Demos, Promiscuity, Corruption, Drugs, and Draft Dodgers. While some of these are actual issues of importance ("Corruption" and "Murder"), others were probably suggested by a single member, and begrudgingly included by the group: i.e. "Promiscuity" was seen as dangerous only by moralist Rorschach, and "Illegal Immigration" and "Draft Dodgers" by the ultra-nationalist Comedian. See more »
If you watch the shadows on Dr. Manhattan carefully, it appears that the blue light is coming from an off-camera source, not his body. When he turns his head, the side of his face that is in shadow will change. When he is sitting on the bed holding the bra, the shadow of the bra on his chest indicates this as well. (Note: while Billy Crudup was emitting blue light from his motion capture suit during production, the computer model of Doctor Manhattan must be lit independently by animators.) See more »
On a scale of 0 to 10 - zero being impossible, ten being complete metaphysical certitude - what are the chances the Russians will actually attack the United States? Pat Buchanan.
Zero. The Soviets would never risk going to war when we have a walking nuclear deterrent on our side.
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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 »
The "Ultimate Cut" brings the film from its theatrical 162 minutes, to a whopping 215 minutes. Scenes include the expanded action sequences and additional exposition from the director's cut, even more exposition segments, and additionally interweaves the animated Black Freighter short into the story to mimic its role as the story within the story in the graphic novel. See more »
There's no reason for me to expect I was going to like Watchmen. I knew the cast was interesting - Patrick Wilson has made smart film choices that don't rely on or intentionally subvert his good looks (Hard Candy, Little Children); Jackie Earle Haley was icky in Little Children (and I'm old enough to remember him from Breaking Away); Malin Akerman is cute but 28 Dresses and The Heartbreak Kid do not a superhero make; Jeffery Dean Morgan, Matthew Goode - ??? And director Zack Snyder did cool things with zombies in Dawn Of The Dead and made a wild and wacky movie in 300, which totally indicated his third film was probably going to be worth a look, but...you know, whatever...
So they all signed up for Watchmen - based on a comic bo...sorry, graphic novel...that I'd never read and that was coming to theatres less than a year after Ironman and The Dark Knight had redefined how good superhero movies could (and should, from here on in) aspire to be.
That Watchmen has turned out to be the most complex, exhilarating and deeply-moving fantasy film since Terry Gilliam's Brazil surprises nobody on Earth more than me - and, man, did it surprise.
In equal measure, it is a) an inspired vision of an alternate world that echoes but redefines our own existence; b) a subversive yet bracingly humanistic exploration of the role of the superhero in modern literature, c) a supremely adult take on the fetishistic pull of the heightened existence that life as a saviour of society creates, and d) a wildly exciting adventure story that turns normal people into exaggerated victims of their own creation and then back into mere humans.
An exploration of the plot would reveal more vast themes, but at this early stage of its release I don't want to risk lessening the experience for anyone.
I can reveal this - Billy Crudup as Dr Manhattan and Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach create characters every bit as captivating (and deserving of Oscar recognition) as Heath Ledger's Joker; Malin Akerman makes an entrance to the world of superhero timelessness that will be the fantasy of every teenage boy, aged 15 to 50; and from the flawless art direction, set design and special effects to a mesmerising soundtrack, Watchmen is a film that revels in the perfection of minor details.
Be warned - those expecting Spiderman-like teen-angst or Fantastic Four-like silliness will be stunned, perhaps not quite sure of what they have found. Watchmen is an extraordinarily mature, risky project for Hollywood to role the dice on, especially given similarly-complex explorations of social collapse and vigilantism (V For Vendetta, most specifically) have failed to do blockbuster numbers.
But Watchmen is something special and deserving of analysis and discussion. As bold an attempt at commercial film-making as I can remember, Watchmen is an undeniably unique movie experience - rich, perverse, violent and resonant.
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