R for strong graphic violence, sexuality, nudity and language.
Action / Adventure, Science Fiction / Fantasy, Thriller, Crime / Gangster, Adaptation
March 6, 2009
Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution
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- Watchmen regrettably is a repulsive, mediocre, overlong movie. Reading the production notes, it is clear that the director, Zack Snyder, had some very ambitious plans. Unfortunately, those plans do not translate to the big screen. In fact, the dialogue often comes off as hokey, preachy, and static.
One of the big problems is that the movie tries to include all parts of the 12-part comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons that became a famous graphic novel. That means the movie is very repetitive and episodic. Almost any viewer can divide it into 12 parts. That is not a good thing if you want to entertain or interest people while trying to make them think.
Watchmen opens in an alternate 1985 New York City. This is a world possessed by fear and paranoia of the Communist threat. A thug spraypaints, “Who watches the Watchmen?”
The Watchmen are a group of six masked crimefighters. Three of them have forcibly retired, and all but one have no super powers. The exception is Dr. Manhattan, who got turned into a nuclear phenomenon in a tragic accident. Dr. Manhattan, who is completely and graphically nude throughout most of the movie, can grow to any size, teleport himself, divide into multiple people, and has become, as the news commentators call him, a god. One news commentator says gods are bad news for America.
In the beginning, in a movie filled with flashbacks, a masked intruder breaks into the penthouse of The Comedian and beats him to a pulp before throwing him out the window. His blood on the street below splatters on a happy smiley face.
The Comedian was part of an original group called The Minutemen. One flashback shows The Comedian attempting to rape Sally Jupiter, aka Silk Spectre, years before. According to the original comic book and graphic novel, The Comedian and Sally later have a consensual relationship that results in a daughter.
Rorschach, one of the Watchmen who has refused to retire, finds the smiley face and discovers that The Comedian has been killed. He tries to tell the other Watchmen that someone is trying to kill and discredit them. They think he’s a psychopath because he believes in good and evil. His diary tells the story of the Watchmen. He believes in truth and justice, but he eventually loses because he doesn’t understand that the other Watchmen think that he has a limited vision.
Eventually, Dan Dreiberg, aka Nite Owl, and Laurie Jupiter, aka Silk Spectre 2, and the former love of Dr. Manhattan, must join together to find the killer. Soon, the remaining retired superhero, Adrian Veidt, aka Ozymandias, a wealthy playboy and the smartest man on the planet, becomes the likely suspect. He believes killing a few million people will save the world. The only person who can stop him is Dr. Manhattan, but he’s sulking on Mars because Laurie abandoned him. Can Laurie convince her former love to join them? Will anybody stop Adrian? Does anyone care after two hours forty-five minutes of this nonsense?
Watchmen is the year’s most heavily promoted movie so far. It will open big, but as one filmmaker at the screening said, it is so mediocre it should take a nosedive.
Parents and people of faith and values must be warned that this movie has very grotesque, disturbing and repulsive violence, very strong blasphemous, anti-American content, very clear explicit male nudity throughout, and very intense sexual content. A few years back, showing the male private parts was a clear NC-17. How this movie got an R rating illustrates the corruption of the entire rating system.
In any sane world, Watchmen would die quickly. Episodic plots are usually a deal killer for audiences, even on TV. The plot of Watchmen starts and repeats so many times that the critics at the screening were yawning at the two-hour mark. The repetitive, nostalgic music does not work in most instances, though some of it did. The acting seems to be something out of a regional theater. Furthermore, the direction seems to be more obsessed with gore, violence, and sex than with plot, character, dialogue, and development. For many reasons, someone at the studio should have said, “Stop!”
If this movie succeeds, it will be a travesty. Please warn your family and friends. If your children still insist on seeing it, and you don’t want to believe this review, go and watch it first. You have never seen so much gore, blood, sex, and sadism, especially in a major action movie that’s trying to get a broad mainstream audience.
The end of this gory, perverse, anti-American movie affirms the international, socialist, humanist worldview of the radical left. The one hero who believes in good and evil is considered an obstacle to progress. Although there are some positive references to faith in Jesus, there are many more references mocking faith, including a mean satire of Leonardo Da Vinci’s reverent painting of the Last Supper and denigrations of God. Ultimately, Watchmen’s perverse interest in sadomasochistic images of gore and blood and its prurient interest in graphic sex scenes shows how morally and intellectually bankrupt atheism, socialism, liberalism, and leftist ideology have become.
Everyone who makes the mistake of seeing it should demand their money back.
Address comments to:
Jeffrey L. Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner
Barry M. Meyer, Chairman/CEO
Alan Horn, President/COO
Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (New Line Cinema)
(A Time Warner company)
4000 Warner Blvd.
Burbank, CA 91522-0001
Phone: (818) 954-6000
Web site: www.movies.warnerbros.com
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NOTE from Dr. Ted Baehr, publisher of Movieguide Magazine. For more information from a Christian perspective, order the latest Movieguide Magazine by calling 1-800-899-6684(MOVI) or visit our website at www.movieguide.org. Movieguide is dedicated to redeeming the values of Hollywood by informing parents about today's movies and entertainment and by showing media executives and artists that family-friendly and even Christian-friendly movies do best at the box office year in and year out. Movieguide now offers an online subscription to its magazine version, at www.movieguide.org. The magazine, which comes out 25 times a year, contains many informative articles and reviews that help parents train their children to be media-wise consumers.
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