The Alien Critic Reviews...
The Alien CriticReviews...

TAC Reviews...Watchmen

 

Watchmen is a live action film released in 2009 and is an adaptation of the comic book by the same name by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.  The film is set in an alternate timeline in which superheroes working for the United States have changed some of the key events in history, including victory in Vietnam thanks to the God-like powers of a superhero named Doctor Manhattan.

 

Watchmen Poster

 

By 2009, audiences had seen superhero franchises like the Spiderman X-Men and the newly born Marvel Cinematic Universe had gotten underway with the first (and best) of the Iron Man films…Iron Man. But more importantly The Dark Knight had been released the previous year and this is and always will be one of the BEST superhero films of all time with a strong performance from Christian Bale as Batman but a legendary performance from the late Heath Leger as the Joker. Don’t get me wrong superhero movies had stumbled a few times but by and large they were getting better and better…[sigh]…and then Watchmen hit the screen.

 

That thump you just heard was my head slumping forward and hitting the console in front of me…but this is a film about superheroes I hear you cry…even the recent films that were not exactly brilliant like Fantastic Four were not painful to sit through…so how bad could this one be???

 

Allow me to lay a little wisdom upon you all, but first, what’s going on??

 

Set in an alternate timeline in which a group of costumed crime fighters have arisen to deal with the growing problem of masked gangs. In the 1930s and 40s the group, known as the Minutemen, would ‘finish what the law couldn’t’. Decades later a second generation group called the Watchmen have been formed. However, by the 1980s the group has been made illegal by Congress after a series of anti-vigilante demonstrations and resulting tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union.

 

By 1985 only three former Watchmen are still active, the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), Doctor Manhattan (Billy Crudup) and masked vigilante Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley). The Comedian is murdered and Rorschach investigates suspecting that someone might be trying to destroy the former Watchmen. He warns his retired friends but they dismiss his fears.

 

After the Comedian’s funeral Doctor Manhattan is accused of giving his former girlfriend cancer and exiles himself to Mars. Without Doctor Manhattan to protect the United States from its enemies, tensions increase and things get worse for the retired superheroes as they find themselves being drawn out of retirement to protect the world from a new threat looming on the horizon.

 

Trust me when I say that there is absolutely nothing super about this film. I have never read the graphic novels so I have got no idea how true to the source material it is but apparently writer of the graphic novel Alan Moore has completely distanced himself from this film and does not want to have his name attached or associated it in any way. With that kind of endorsement from the creator of the universe the film is set in what does it say about the trash that has been thrown at the audience??

 

I am not 100% sure what the powers of the majority of the characters have, Doctor Manhattan is a massive blue man that has the ability to blow up people with a gesture from his hand and has apparently evolved to the point where he basically views humans as insignificant little creatures, much like human beings would look at ants scurrying around their feet. As for the others…hmmmm…I don’t know, one of them seems to be pretty strong I guess and there is a pretty hot woman (well hot for a human) who does show off a pretty sexy body a couple of times.

 

But let’s not get distracted with a firm pair of breasts, a tight ass, long legs…ahem…I’m an Alien that is not interested in the human female form, although when I’ve finished this review I might have to jump into my skin sack and seek out some human female company.

 

Anyway, Watchmen is a film in which it takes a very long time for anything interesting to happen, and seems to concern itself with trying to show what becomes of superheroes when they become unnecessary and the public starts to turn against them. As Batman said in a line from the FAR more superior film The Dark Night in 2008 - those who try to do good either die as heroes or live long enough to see themselves become the villain, and that is the theme that is being examined here. What happens when society decides that it doesn’t need any more heroes?? Do those heroes just disappear?? It seems that is exactly what they are supposed to do. The public are safe so the heroes are just expected to bugger off like they were never even there in the first place. It is an interesting idea. Most superhero films deal with men and women that are mostly accepted by the public, but are not seen when people start to believe that they need to just disappear because they are no longer needed.

 

Sadly, that slow process does not exactly blow the audience’s mind and will instead leave them to just watch Rorschach as he struggles to figure out exactly what is happening, and clear his name after he is framed for murder.

 

It is BORING, so very, very BORING…you will be sitting there just waiting for something to happen and blow your mind, but it doesn’t happen, you are waiting for a payoff that never materialises.

 

Doctor Manhattan is a large blue man who spends most of the film wandering around naked because he has evolved to the point where he views clothing as unnecessary. He is hugely powerful, and in typical superhero fashion he was created in an accident. What is puzzling is that the technology that created him still exists and yet no-one (super villain or otherwise) seems to have made an attempt to replicate the accident to make themselves as powerful as him. In virtually every superhero film, if the means to make someone super is known then others try to replicate it. But in Watchmen it seems that no one has tried to make another Doctor Manhattan despite the fact that he is unchallenged as the most powerful being on earth.

 

The length of Watchmen is one of its biggest flaws because nothing much happens and by the time the film picks up a bit of momentum the audience will probably have dozed off. It is one of those films in which all the interesting stuff happens in the two and a half minute trailer and leaves nothing but a tedious amount of dialogue to fill the massive gaps between the occasional moments of action.

 

In Watchmen nothing really happens, the audience are treated to some nudity courtesy of the beautiful Malin Åkerman but her sex scene doesn’t add anything to the story and seems to have just been thrown in for the sake of it.

 

For the sake of fairness I guess I have to say that visually the film is impressive and the effects are top notch but it is like staring at a magic eye pattern, yes it is interesting when you first spot it but your eyes get sick of staring at it fairly quickly. That is the same as the visuals here, yes, you see them and initially you are impressed, unfortunately because nothing else is happening you get sick of staring at pretty effects before anything that might hold your interest pops up.

 

There is also some very graphic violence especially when Rorschach is thrown in jail and must protect himself from some very nasty people who are in jail in the first place because he sent them there. Ultimately it is too little too late, the film is dull, tedious and you spend more time trying not to doze off than trying to get invested in the story.

 

Doctor Manhattan has the ability to crush humans beneath his thumb and believe me if I had his powers that is exactly what I would do to this film, I would crush it beneath my Thumb as I forced this Down into the pit of shit where it belongs.

 

 

2/10 – Nice visuals and a very nice ass and pair of boobs pop up a couple of times but they are certainly not enough to keep anyone with half a brain invested in this over long, tedious and dull film that fails to do anything other than bore.

 

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© Chris Sharman