Watchmen Movie Review

I mentioned a week or so ago that I'd seen Watchmen. Now that I've gone and seen it a second time with Wifey, I can properly review the film (warning: spoiler alert).

First off, I won't bother comparing the film to the graphic novel as almost no-one I know has read the graphic novel, except to say that if you haven't read it, a few of the minor plot threads will probably only become apparent on a second viewing of the film. If you have read the graphic novel, there's a few surprise references to bits that didn't make it into the film. I've read the graphic novel and wasn't disappointed, and if you go to see Watchmen expecting to see a good movie you won't be disappointed either.

The movie looks great, almost in a work-of-art way, but occasionally scenes appear a little too computer-generated. The opening sequence - a montage explaining a lot of the back story - is fantastic. It really sets the scene for the characters and the tone of the film, plus it's set to one of the better songs in a collection of pretty good music featured in the soundtrack.

In terms of characters, Rorschach is brilliantly depicted, The Comedian comes a close second, and the other main characters from Nite Owl to Ozymandias are good (but not great). No actor is totally out of place, but none have the charisma of Christian Bale or Clive Owen, either.

Most of the movie is set in an alternative 1985, which is made very clear from Rorschach's journal voiceovers, music and other clues, but for Aussie filmgoers there's a lot of US-centric stuff in there which might be a little hard to follow (Woodward and Bernstein, Lee Iacocca, President Nixon, to name a few). More of a heads-up really, this didn't ruin the film for me at all.

I'll re-state what I've already mentioned: the movie is an adult movie. It's violent, like The Dark Knight or The Matrix. There is some gore on-screen, but not as much as, say, Kill Bill. It has three sex scenes, one which is probably unnecessary explicit (and long), while the others are not explicit at all. There's a few seconds of full frontal, computer-generated male, too, which has attracted a lot of attention in the press but I personally didn't find offensive.

Watchmen is not a typical Hollywood superhero flick - the timing and mood match the graphic novel, there's a lot of dialogue, and the movie is nearly 3 hours long. About half the running time revolves around the "mask killer" detective story, another third is flash-backs, and the rest is the obligatory action sequences.

The final score: 11 out of 12. I'm not going to recommend Mum and Dad to see this (as I did with The Dark Knight). It's still a fantastic movie (Rotten Tomatoes gave it 64% in comparison) and I'll definitely be adding it to my DVD collection.

Links: 'Watchmen': Epic film...or epic fail? (a good collection of reviews at LA Times), official movie site, IMDB link, Rotten Tomatoes review, Box office: $55 million opening weekend in the US, $140 million in two weeks worldwide, according to, at a cost of somewhere in the vicinity of $150-$200 million to make

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1 Response to "Watchmen Movie Review"

Anonymous said... Wednesday, November 18, 2009 6:44:00 AM
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