|Released:||Friday, March 6, 2009|
|Rating:||Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian.|
A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure, the film is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity…but who is watching the Watchmen?
Watchmen Property Being Developed As An HBO Series 6/21/2017 4:01 PM EDT
In what can easily be considered a highly anticipated project, HBO is supposedly in talks with The Leftovers' Damon Lindelof to develop an adaptation of the popular comic book series Watchmen. While there was a 2009 feature film and a previous attempt at an HBO Watchmen series both are unrelated to this latest endeavor.Watchmen premiered in 1985 under the guise of an altered history due to the app... More>>
Is There A Watchmen Prequel In The Works? 5/2/2012 11:36 AM EDT
Watchmen fans can debate all they want about DC's plans for the "Watchmen" prequel, "Before Watchmen." While some may be for it, and others against it, there is undeniable interest in the project, which reports say will include seven different miniseries starring popular characters from Rorschach to Doctor Manhattan (Billy Crudup). Jackie Earle Haley (2006's Little Women and All the King's Men )... More>>
Watchmen Mobile Website 2/3/2009 10:42 PM EDT
Thanks to Warner Bros., you can now have access to the "Watchmen" mobile website. Now, you can access ringtones, trailers, wallpapers, production video blogs, and more. You will also receive movie updates and trivia, sent directly to your phone.Simply text "watchmen" to 58671."Watchmen" will be released on March 6, 2009.... More>>
Watchmen Movie Will Be Released As Planned 1/16/2009 11:32 AM EDT
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the ongoing court dispute between Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox has been settled. 20th Century Fox is said to have received a substantial amount of money, but the terms of the agreement have not been disclosed.The studios will be presenting the settlement to Judge Gary Feess, who has been presiding over the case. "Warner Bros. acknowledges that Fox acted i... More>>
20th Century Fox Tries To Delay Watchmen Release 1/1/2009 9:39 PM EDT
The "Watchmen" saga continues. The Associate Press has announced that 20th Century Fox plans on continuing their quest for a court order to delay the release of the film. The law appears to be on the side of Fox at the moment. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Gary Feess had agreed that Warner Bros. infringed upon Fox's copyrights by developing the film. Warner Bros. says that Fox doesn't ha... More>>
Watchmen Trial Set For January 2009 9/3/2008 11:16 AM EDT
A trial date has been set for the Fox/Warner Bros. "Watchmen" lawsuit, which will take place on January 6, 2009. Depositions proceedings will also take place throughout this year.Judge Feess says that he would like the case to move quickly and has called for an expedited discovery. Warner Bros. Pictures still has the scheduled release date for the film as March 6, 2009.... More>>
Watchmen Theatrical Review
Through a brief introduction sequence illustrating Americas historical triumphs and tragedies we are introduced to a rag tag group of crime fighters who, despite the lack of "super" abilities have taken upon themselves to don masks to become "heroes". The self proclaimed Watchmen, led hard drinking, and hard living antihero named "The Comedian" band together to Watch over humanity and alter the course of history by seemingly any means necessary. As the decades pass , new Watchmen take on the call of protecting the lives of people at the behest of the government.
Fast forward to 1985. Masked heroes are outlawed by "third term" president Richard Nixon and the Watchmen are living their lives mostly in obscurity. Without warning The Comedian is murdered by a dark mysterious vigilante and the last of the Watchmen think they , for some reason, might be next. Donning their costumes once more the remaining heroes seek out The Comedians killer and unravel a plot to wipe out much of humanity.
Sounds like decent Superhero fare. The problem lies in the pace at which the story is told, in which the disjointed back stories of the characters serve only to slow the progression to a mediocre climax. None of the Watchmen come off as particularly interesting. "Rorschach" , who's mask inexplicably shifts to mimic different inkblot patterns, is the main stories narrator via his journal entries. Once he is defiantly yet all too easily brought in by the cops and evaluated (by, get this, a Rorschach test!) we see his dark past. Despite some cool, quotable lines the characters motivations come off as flat and his ultimate fate is unexceptional.
Then we have the preposterous "Dr. Manhattan". A blue, glowing, specter of a man who can manipulate physical matter, bend space and time, grow to gargantuan sizes and pretty much strike ultimate fear into the hearts of men and nations. Good thing he is on our side. Born of a nuclear experimentation gone wrong in the 50's, Dr. Manhattan is employed by the government to deter other world powers from gaining in the arms race of the cold war.
But, like all gods, Dr Manhattans got problems. A whiny girlfriend, (female Watchmen "Silk Specter II"), visions of the Apocalypse, and a lack of comfortable underwear (he's naked throughout) keep Dr. Manhattan up at night. For some reason, when he gets really upset with humanity he travels to Mars where hes buried a giant clockwork style floating space ship thing. Finally coming to terms with human nature after an unemotional, unintentionally laughable revelation to Silk Specter II he returns to earth for the final showdown where her and the other Watchmen make their final decisions on the ultimate fate of each other and the world.
Throw in the mix some over choreographed fight scenes and an affair between lonely Watchman "Nite Owl II" and "Silk Specter II" (who can no longer relate to Dr. Manhattan) and some tedious exposition between the two before they decide to "get it on" both literally and figuratively. Add a dash of overdone stop and go slow motion bone crunching violence and you have all 163 mind numbing minutes.
With no clearly defined antagonist despite, maybe, humanity itself the motivation for one to care about the fate of the characters is simply lost.
What might have been a deep, dark, emotionally gripping film comes off as hollow, cheesy, and ultimately forgettable. Despite the emotional ties to its graphic novel counterpart, Watchmen will be a footnote on the comic film adaptation genre. Perhaps the legacy of the initial box office success of the Watchmen will be to open to doors to more projects being green-lit by studios. As it stands on its own however, you'd do better watching something, anything, else. Sorry, fans.
-- Eric English
Read More Watchmen Reviews
- Marco Chacon (B) (Watchmen (Director's Cut) DVD Review)
For more reviews please visit our film/television review section.