Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach
Patrick Wilson as Night Owl
Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhatten
Jeffery Dean Morgan as The Comedian
Running Time- 2 hours, 42 minutes
RATING: 4.5 out of 5
Now, I'm a huge fan of comics. I've loved them since I was a kid. And even though I love a few DC Comics characters (Batman, The Flash, and Green Lantern especially), I will ALWAYS be a Marvel guy. I've always thought that Marvel made better comics than DC, and I like pretty much all of their heroes, especially Spiderman, The X-Men, Daredevil, Blade, the Hulk, and the Punisher. One of my favourite comics Marvel came out with was a popular miniseries from the 1980s called THE WATCHMEN. It was praised for its gritty and dark atmosphere, its ruthless and badass characters, and its mature content, which was rare for a comic series in the 80s. Obviousely, when I heard that Zack Snyder, the guy behind the awesome 300 and the very awesome DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, was helming a film adaptation of WATCHMEN, I was pumped. I went to the theatre with some buddies when it came out, and it was one of the funnest moviegoing experiances I've ever had.
In an alternate 1985 , the country is on the verge of a nuclear war and masked heroes have outlawed. Once part of a vigilante team known as the Watchmen, they have disbanded. Silver Spectre (Malin Ackerman) and the Night Owl (Patrcik Wilson) are retired, and Adrian Veidt (Matthew Goode) is now the CEO of a major company. Only three of the Watchmen are still active: Dr. Manhatten (Billy Crudup) and The Comedian (Jeffery Dean Morgan) are working for the government, and the team's former leader Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley in his most awesome role so far) is fighting crime illegally, without government backing, causing him to be a wanted man among the authorities. One night, a mysteriouse assassin murders the Comedian, leading Rorschach to believe that someone is hunting down masked heroes, and he seeks out his former teamates in an attempt to save the heroes, and possibley, the country.
Watchmen has to be one of my favourite movies of 2009. I love comic book movies (especially the Spiderman movies, the first two Superman movies, Tim Burton's BATMAN and BATMAN RETURNS, and the Dark Knight), and this is one of the best comic book movies I've seen in a LONG time. Where to begin on what makes this movie awesome?
Let's start with Zack Snyder's direction. I love this dude, he always makes very balls-to-the-wall movies and is a master of atmosphere, pacing, and fight/battle scenes. He directs WATCHMEN perfectly, and I think this is one of his best films. The atmosphere and mood is fantastic, giving a dark, gritty, and gloomy feel to this alternate 1985, g=really making us believe that the country was on the verge of nuclear war. I certainly wouldn't want to live in THIS 1985!
The acting is really great in this, and is one of the film's best aspects. Jeffery Dean Morgan (who looks EXACTLY like Robert Downey Jr.) is great as the Comedian. Here's a guy who's a complete douche bag, and has done some horrible stuff, and yet you can't help but like him due to his charismatic nature that Morgan portrayed perfectly. He was funny, witty, and one tough motherfucker. Patrick Wilson was also very good as the Nite Owl. He really captures the feeling of a retired hero who's past his prime and feels empty without fighting crime. I hope to see him in more roles in the near future. Billy Crudup was OK as Doctor Manhatten, but I couldn't really enjoy his performance becuase I HATED Doctor Manhatten. Seriousely, I HATED that character, he was annoying, pretentiouse, a dick, a fucking cry-baby, and showed his penis in EVERY GOD DAMN SCENE! But, Crudup did a good job playing him, and he IS a good actor, but he played an annoying character.
But the best actor, by far, was Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach (my favourite performance of his EVER). This guy was one badass superhero I would NOT want to fuck with! He wore a trenchcoat, never took off his mask until it was forced off him, and beat the living shit out of anyone who got in his way, even killing quite a few people. He was like Batman, with his badassness and detective work. And I'll be damned if, during his unmasked scene in prison, he didn't look like a young Clint Eastwood in ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ. I have to admit, when I heard the kid from the origional BAD NEWS BEARS (still one of my favourite baseball comedies ever) was going to play, Rorschach, one of the most ruthless and tough superheroes ever depicted in a comic book, I was skeptical at first. It was like my reaction when I heard Heath Ledger would play the Joker. I love Heath Ledger, but I couldn't see him in the role. Then the DARK KNIGHT came out, and I was blown out of the water by his performance. It was the same with Haley, he really blew me out of the water. Plus, he had all the great lines. Especially this one: "And all the whores and the politicians will look up to the skies and shout 'SAVE US', and I'll whisper...'NO'." Plus, that prison scene rocked! Just a fantastic performance by Haley.
Everyone else was good, but no one really caught my attention the way Wilson, Morgan, and especially Haley did. So the acting was great overall.
Overall, WATCHMEN is an awesome superhero film, and one of my favourite films of 2009. I will DEFINATELY buy this first chance I get! I highly reccomend this!
Here's that awesome prison scene that I was talking about: