Daniel’s Critical Corner: “Watchmen”

drmanhattan1[1] by you.
Blue Man Group Promoting Hydroxycut

~ Hello Everyone ~
Welcome To Daniel’s Critical Corner !
In Need Of Some Comic Relief Today:  Watchmen

Hey !  What’s that up above ?  In the sky ?  I think…  It’s a bird !
No… It’s a plane !  Wait, it’s…  it’s…  A naked blue guy !!!  Could 
someone call Superman and tell him he left the house without his
tights ?  Better get back to the phone booth, pronto

Oh !!!  That’s not Superman.  This dude is balled bald and VERY
well endowed.  Don’t get jealous boys, I’m sure that it’s all CGI. 
Either that or it’s Milton Berle’s grandson…  At any rate, the guy
in the sky is none other than “Dr. Manhattan”.  And he’s here to
save us…  I think.

Dr. Manhattan is one of the unconventional superheroes in the
highly anticipated new flick “Watchmen”.  A movie that features
tons of DICK !!!  That’s right… President Richard Nixon himself is
one of the star players.  Our story takes place many years ago,
in an upside down (and inside out) vision of the mid 1980’s.

This is a world that looks like something out of “Blade Runner”,
and in it superheroes are just a natural part of everyday life…
There is the very buff and very blue Dr. Manhattan of course,
as well as hottie “Silk Spectre II” !  And the rather studly bird
guy, “Nite Owl II” (played here by Patrick Wilson).  It just so  
happens that “Nite Owl I”  was a victim of evil poachers, and 
his head is over a mantel at some woman’s cabin in Alaska.

Also, we are introduced to the very strange “Rorschach”, who
seems to be the most introspective of the bunch.  He wears a
mask of material on his face with ink blots all over it…  I kept
wanting to pluck it off of his head and throw it into a washing
machine.  Rounding out our rather odd crew is the gruff, cigar
smoking “Comedian” and the highly intelligent pretty boy they 
call “Ozzy Madness” (or something like that).

 

wm4_435x326-1-1[1] by you.

‘Nite Owl

 

 

  richard-thomas-then by you.

‘Nite John-Boy

  

When the twelve-issue comic series for “Watchmen” was first
created, the general idea was to “deconstruct” the superhero
  persona…  In other words, the writers wanted to make these  
masked avengers more human, and therefore more vulnerable. 
Well, they went too far if you ask me.  These superheroes are 
 just a bunch of weirdos in disguise.  Still, they are played with 
such sincerity that it is fun to watch them in action.

No doubt, the biggest extreme in this group is The Comedian. 
He really shouldn’t have been part of any superhero elite.  This
guy is a nut, who just shoots anyone he pleases !  (They even
show him shooting JFK).  If Peter Parker’s “Uncle Ben” came up 
to him saying “With great power comes great responsibility”, he
would just blow the old fart’s head clean off.  So, the logic of   
this wacko being allowed to stay in a justice-seeking vigilante
team really never makes one lick of sense.

But then again, a man dressed up as an owl having intelligent
conversations with some naked blue dude makes no sense at 
all either !  I’d probably start giggling…  It wouldn’t matter if I
was Nite Owl II or Dr. Manhattan, in that scenario I would be 
thinking to myself  “You’re kidding me, right?”  Ha Ha !  At one
point, Dr. Manhattan actually does nude yoga while floating 
in midair…  What a crack up

Anyway, for obvious reasons, President Nixon outlaws so-called 
“superheros”.  Then, one of them is found murdered.  Rorschach
 decides to lead his team on a final mission, to find out who has   
killed their buddy and get revenge.  But, while all of this stuff is  
transpiring, the world is on the brink of a full scale nuclear war. 
The Soviet Union is ready to wipe America off of the map  !

So, numerous hijinks ensue.  Rorschach is caught doing superhero
stuff, and then temporarily incarcerated with a real angry midget. 
Midgets always earn a film an extra point here at “Critical Corner”,
whether they are angry or not.

Silk Spectre II finds herself in a pickle as well, because she can no
longer relate to her well hung meaning boyfriend, Dr. Manhattan… 
She starts to realize that the Batmanish Nite Owl II is more up her
alley.  Gratuitous sex scenes soon follow.

 

large_SilkSpectre[1] by you.
Uma Thurman, Eat Your Heart Out !

 

 It isn’t very long before someone tries to kill brainy Ozzy Madness, so
everyone regains their focus and gets back to the daunting task now
at hand:  Find out who wants them all dead and save the world from
total annihilation !!!  A series of flashbacks occur as we put together
pieces of the puzzle.  When our heroes get closer to the answer, the
blood and guts really start to fly !

Things look bleak as the “Doomsday Clock” gets closer to midnight,
and Dr. Manhattan decides to take a vacation on Mars.  Strangely
enough, he is the only character that has any real “superpowers”. 
An accident at some sort of nuclear facility mutated him, similar to 
what happens in “The Incredible Hulk” !  (Except the Hulk managed
to keep his pants on)…

Everybody else is just an average Joe with exceptional fighting
abilities and technical savvy.  Nonetheless, these characters are
really kind of cool in their own way.  Our heroes have dark sides
and deep secrets, but they are still somewhat likable…  I’ve got
to admit, the costumes and special effects are very well done.  

“Watchmen” is not your typical superhero film.  Then again, it
never professes to be.  I am a bit of a traditionalist in respect
to comics, always preferring the stories of “Iron Man” or even
“Green Lantern” over such hardcore issues and violence.  But 
director Zack Snyder (of “300” fame) keeps this fiercely true 
to its source material, and rather unique at the same time.   

We are looking at a “thinking man’s” superhero flick here, which
is rather philosophical at times, but never preachy.  This movie
shows both sides of every story, and then leaves the audience 
to ponder the outcome’s moral implications.

Still, it is a far cry from a masterpiece.  The characters are not
quite developed enough, and the narrative is all over the place.
The gore is effective in some spots, yet unnecessary in others.
And, at almost three hours long, this film noticeably drags…  At
     least it should tide everyone over until “Star Trek” comes out !    

      “Watchmen” remains watchable, despite a few shortcomings.     

 ~

Would I Recommend This ?  Yes

Daniel’s Critical Rating:  “7.5” out of “10”