Watchmen Review

Thanks for checking out our Watchmen Review. For years, Watchmen has been the one graphic novel that most comic book fans have been waiting for with insane anticipation. Very few other graphic novel properties held as much potential to be a classic movie… and yet at the same time no other graphic novel seemed to hold as many challenges.

The big question that I, and many other had about Watchmen was: “Could a faithful adaptation work on screen as well as it does on the printed page”? The fear was that a literal translation from page to screen would be too slow and heavy for the average film fan… while at the same time a fear that too much of a departure from the novel would dilute Watchmen into just another shallow comic book superhero film. So with much anticipation and much apprehension I went in to see Watchmen. Did it live up to it’s massive potential or fall into snares of the unique challenges it faced? In my opinion, it lived up to, and exceeded its already impressive potential. For me, Watchmen is the best movie of 2009 so far.


The synopsis for Watchmen looks something like this: “Watchmen” 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?”


Where do I begin? Let’s start with the action. For those of you who have read the graphic novel, you know that Watchmen is not your typical superhero comic book. It’s not filled from cover to cover with big action sequences… yet somehow director Zach Snyder was able to find that delicate balance of inserting very impressive action / combat sequences without taking away from the real identity of the film by making it look or feel like an action movie. Each and every fight / action sequence was masterfully put together. Exciting, beautifully choreographed and shot in such a way that we the audience got to clearly see each second of the action. I’ll tell you right now that while I won’t say Watchmen is either better or worse than the recent Christopher Nolan batman movies… the action sequences (especially the fights) are far superior than anything The Dark Knight offered (aside from maybe the armored truck chase scene).

A theme that went extremely unappreciated in Superman Returns was also used in Watchmen with just as much if not more effectiveness. How does someone with god like power stay connected with the human race? Not just with the others they live with, but with their own humanity as well? As a result of a tragic accident (isn’t that how all superheros get their powers?), Dr. Manhattan finds himself in that situation. We see him over time losing more and more of his humanity and his interest in the human race as a whole. Still barley holding on to his intellectual belief that he SHOULD help humanity, but increasingly letting his actual emotional connection slip away. He still thinks he SHOULD care… but he increasingly doesn’t. In this way Dr. Manhattan, for me, is the most fascinating character in the film whose own moral dilemma stands in a juxtaposition to the self inflicted crisis the human race finds itself in. For me, Dr. Manhattan’s observations of the sinking world sets the context for the entire story of the film and it was executed beautifully.

If Dr. Manhattan is the most fascinating character in the film, Rorschach is flat out the most cool. I admit I was not thrilled with the casting of Jackie Earle Haley at first. He’s a wonderful actor, but I didn’t buy him for a minute as Rorschach… that is until I saw him actually playing the roll. Now I think it was one of the best castings I’ve seen this year. Without the god like powers of Dr. Manhattan, Rorschach is no less complex of a character. His very loose grip on sanity is grounded in his desire to enforce justice… mostly manifested by a bloodthirsty drive to punish the wicked. Even his old comrades in the Watchmen keep their distance from him now and see him as dangerous, but as we explore the history and past of Rorschach we start to understand what made him snap, losing his connection with humanity. Dr. Manhattan is losing his as a result of his god like power and his lack of common ground with humanity… while Rorschach is losing his as a result of his increased disgust with the state of humanity. Brilliantly played out.

Creating an alternative world within the real world and real history is no small task, filled with the potential to be cheesy. Thankfully, Snyder found a way to make it interesting and remarkably believable. Sure… Richard Nixon was elected for a third term as president… and the audience didn’t blink. This world was gritty, real and filled with the authentic fears and tension of the cold war which were pivotal to making the story work.

At it’s heart, Watchmen is a mystery film. Who is killing off the heroes? What is the bigger conspiracy and what is its goals? The movie is pushed along by these questions which also sets the framework for the rest of the story to exist within. On this level it works extremely well. Since I read the graphic novel I already knew the answers to those questions… and somehow the movie got me just as caught up in the pursuit of the answers as other people who had no idea. Brilliant!

Throughout the film the movie raises larger moral questions. The standard black and white textures of comic book films (which is often perfect for comic book films) is replaced by endless shades of grey. Where does justice stop and vengeance begin? To what extent do the ends justify the means? How great does the “greater good” have to be in order to warrant unspeakable actions? Does humanity even deserve to be saved? These are huge questions that Watchmen resists the urge to give quick trite answers too. Each character comes to their own conclusions and beliefs.


I’ve got to say that I wasn’t impressed by Malin Akerman’s performance as Silk Specter II. As a matter of fact, I found that just about anytime she spoke it pulled me out of the film. The dialog was fine, the character itself was fine… the performance was not. I’m not saying Malin Akerman isn’t a fine actress (I haven’t seen her enough to give that opinion), but for whatever reason, she stood out as a high school play in the midst of a Shakespearean festival.

The film’s decision to use of a younger actress, Carla Gugino, to play the aged Silk Specter I was a terrible one. Oh she was great in the flashback scenes showing her when she was a superhero and young… but they should have just cast a different older actress to play the much older version. Not only did they not have her ACT old enough, she LOOKED terrible… she looked like a young woman in bad old woman make up. Much like Malin Akerman’s performance, it pulled me out of the movie whenever it was on screen.

I found the last 5 minutes of the film or so started to unravel a bit. I think the film did indeed need a little bit of an epilogue to it, but they didn’t do one very well and felt like it was just filling screen time as opposed to putting a book end on the story. But this is a minor point and thankfully it was pretty short.


Watchmen is a brilliant, wonderfully shot, wonderfully told and wonderfully experienced movie that skillfully navigated the potential pitfalls that a story like this one presents. Vibrant and complex characters, exciting and beautiful action sequences, an exceptional story with a compelling mystery and broader themes and questions rarely approached in “comic book” films. A few small slips here and there with some poor choices in terms of casting or endings doesn’t at all derail the Watchmen steam train. A terrific film. I can understand and see why certain other critics may not appreciate the film nearly as much as I’ve ended up appreciting it… but I disagree with them. Go see it… see it a couple of times to really catch everything going on. You’ll be glad you did.

Overall I give Watchmen an 8.5 out of 10

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136 thoughts on “Watchmen Review

  1. I thought it was amazing.

    I’d never read about or heard (much) about the Watchmen comic. I was told that I would either LOVE it or hate it.

    I adored it.

  2. Who said that Return of the King sucked? Whoever said that, I say this with the most respect: Turn off Meet the Spartans and watch some real movies.

  3. Ok here we go:

    – Great Film. Watch It.

    – I did read de Comic Novel.

    – Loved Rorschach, The Comedian, Nite, Mr. Manhattan.

    – LOVED the action scenes. For Christ sake, finally somebody gets how to shoot some good ol action.

    – MUSIC: Loved. Perfect. Amazing. NOBODY catched the Vangelis reference? John???

    – I did missed some development on Ozzimandias character. I think if they include his training that would soften the transition between “normal-guys-with-no-powers” and “I-fucking-kick-ass”

  4. Look,k everyone is entitled to their own opinion, if you loved it, great. If not, oh well. You guys know i loved it, but some people are saying “I didn’t get it”

    How could you NOT get it!? People are so used to spider-Man and Batman they came in expecting just that, but you cannot do that with Watchmen, and that’s why they came out so dissapointed. Watchmen is dep and powerful, too not get it is beyond me. They don’t say OK the villian and hero are him and him. No, they make you THINK. Was Adrian right? Or was he wrong? That, for the people that didnt get it, is Watchmen. 9/10, epic movie

  5. Definitely a movie to check out. It was visually impressive and flowed well despite it’s long running time. My only disappointment was that the film failed fully develop the protagonists… Owl and Laurie Jupiter. They were bland and I didn’t care enough abt their characters to root for them. I much preferred The Comedian, his character development was solid. Also solid and outstanding was Rorschach.

  6. Ok, first off, I freaking loved it. I’ve read the graphic novel, and liked it, but I honestly feel like the movie is BETTER. Now for those of you who haven’t read the novel and are wondering how faithful the movie is to it, it’s very, very faithful. There’s only 1 major change that I can think of right off the top of my head (squid), altho I intend to go back and reread it, just to see what else I can find. Now, there is a fair amount of material that was cut, which in my opinion is different than changing it. But, realistically, if they had put everything in this sucker would run 6-8hrs+. And, while there are things I would like to see in it from the novel, Holis Mason’s death for one, I’m damn glad they cut the Black Freighter, I hated that in the novel and felt it detracted from the rest of the story.

    Now on the quality of the acting, I absolutely loved three of them, The Comedian; Rorshach; and the Nite Owl II. I won’t say anything about Rorshach, everybody else has talked him up, but on the comedian, he was AWESOME. In the novel I felt no empathy what so ever for him, but in the movie, I did. He does some absolutely HORRENDOUS things, but you can see how much it’s tearing him apart, loved it. And Nite Owl II, is probably my favorite character of all of them, a man who is completely ordinary; to the point of being a complete wuss in real life, when he puts on his costume suddenly he is capable and strong. That’s the origin of the comment about him hating the suit. It’s the only thing that makes him feel ALIVE.

    I personally liked the soundtrack, thought it added to the movie, except the song played over the primary love scene, felt it was too ironic and detracted from the scene. I actually like that particular song, it’s the version they use, it’s very over the top.

    Hmm, that’s about all I have to say. I wish Alan Moore had kept his trap shut about this movie. I like alot of his work, but I feel he is damaging this excellent piece of work out of spite. He’s been burned so many times by film adaptations, that he decided to knock it before checking it out. And so all his zombie fanboys are following along, MMMoooovvvviiiee ssssuuucccckkkss. Anyway, there’s my 2 cents.


    1. I half agree in that I almost fell asleep in the first 30 minutes. Not sure why, the way the background info was presented early on in the movie was just really dull.

      To be fair I skipped this same background info when reading the graphic novel because I just wanted to see what was going to happen in the main plotline.

      I think it picks up towards the end. Some of the best moments in the graphic novel were captured well in the movie. Even so the movie as a whole wouldn’t make much sense to anybody who hasn’t read the graphic novel. It barely made sense to me and I read it over 10 years ago.

    1. i think those comments were replies to comments that got deleted, yeah i wondered that same thing once.

      ps: ive visited your site many times and wanted to tell that its a great site

  7. I was very upset that the death of Hollis Mason was not included in the film. I thought that this was a vital part of the novel and the development of Dan. Overall I enjoyed myself very much throughout the movie, I didn’t mind SSII’s performance, until she told her mom I love you, That line was very poorly delivered.

    Overall I would give this a 8.5-9/10. I loved the book 10/10. I think this movie went over some of my friends heads. Some friends thought it was awesome and others said they thought other than Rorshach the movie sucked.

  8. Since I havent read the actual graphic novel, I cant say how well this movie is comparable to the original. Just considering the movie story, I feel a bit unsatisfied. None of the characters play a strong role. I thought that the action scenes would be similar to movie 300, but it was not even 25% near to that. And over that I wasted my $20 towards the tickets!

    The comedian – perhaps the best part of this entire movie
    Nite owl – grounded the film, very well portrayed
    Rorschach – “your locked in here with me” need i say more
    SS II – effective and likeable.
    Veidt – a nice surprise, went in with low expectations from goode but he definately delivered.
    Manhattan – got the apathetic tone very well, and loved the mars and flashback scenes.
    Action sequences were awesome, the slow-mo, despite what many say, was some of the best stuff.
    The third act – from the jail on, it was all good.
    Nixon – anytime he was on i cringed.
    The music – didnt hate it, but didnt like it.
    Over the top gore – uneccessary and used for shock and not to make the film better at all. Ex manhattan blowing up mobsters wtf? just blow there guns.
    Hooker screaming at rorschach – this scene was so crass, i felt uncomfortable for those in the audience who had no idea what they had gotten themselves into. BTW im no prude, it was just uneccessary.
    Too faithful – hated rorschach’s journal narration. film could have been more “adapted” not just a carbon copy.
    The end – wasn’t bad, but i missed the squid, in the book its such a good wtf moment.


    1. You hated Rorshach’s journal? Did you read the book? If so why didn’t you like it? Its not like you just had to sit there and watch him write it, the journal is very vital to the tone of the story and especially the ending.

    2. yea i read the book and like i said it works well on the printed page. In the film however is sounds ridiculous, it goes with what i said about the film being to crass. For many watching its just like WTF, he’s spouting off about whores and whatever and his anger sounds so forced and contrived it just comes of wack. For the audience who haven’t read the book its like what’s he so pissed off about? Makes much more sense when reading the book and frames the scenes well. I don’t know, its strange but it just made me hate Rorschach for like the first 30 minutes of the film. His anger didn’t feel genuine.

    3. I just though he was venting to himself. Rorschach obviously has a couple of anger issues, I just got the vibe from it all that he was so pissed off with how fucked up the world was that he need to let off some steam about it, even if he was talking (or, in actuality, writing ) to himself.
      I really did love the twist at the end though when


      It turned out that he had sent it to the newspaper =3

  10. it already made 55 million dollars according to rotten tomatoes…its DOMINATING as the #1 movie

    this goes in my list of best (and favorite) movies ever along with shawshank redemption and the lion king…

  11. People saying that this is movie is downright shit and has no merits just can’t grasp any of it at all. I can understand if you don’t like it, but one of THE worst out of many, many movies?

    And complaining that most of the costumes were “too cheesy”? Honestly! For crying out loud! Weren’t the ridiculousness of the costumes supposed to show the naivety of the old Watchmen? The younger years? I swear, most people just look skin-deep and, if they don’t see what they like, ridicule it to death. Why don’t you try thinking more deeply next time and using your brain?

    I also thought the acting was swell. Malin was just decent, and I agree that the scene where she left Jon wasn’t emotional at all, despite how she tried to make it. Otherwise, the Rorschach was PHENOMENAL. My friend was very upset by his death, and even though I knew it was coming since I’ve read the comic, so was I.

    I don’t really understand why everyone is complaining about Jon’s nakedness throughout the movie, either. It was R for a reason. And to snicker at that, how immature can you be? I don’t know, it doesn’t make sense to me when people get all riled up about genitalia in art forms, but I’ve been an artist for a while now, so I guess it doesn’t bother me so much.

    The only thing I can complain about is the sex. I mean, did the producers HAVE to be so showy about it? I know you were supposed to “fill in the blanks” with the comic, but the comic was still less frisky than the movie. I just felt like, “Couldn’t you spend that extra minute where the two characters get it on to develop the more significant parts of the movie?” Oh well.

    Overall, I thought it was a fantastic movie. I don’t think it was as good as The Dark Knight in general, especially in the fight scenes or the acting, but it was a faithful adaptation to the comic book that I loved. I am a satisfied fan. For the record, two friends of mine saw it in theaters, never saw the comic, and loved it to death.

    So people who say it’s the shittiest movie they ever saw: STFU.

  12. I watched the flick. And I’m still thinking about how I felt about it. Visually it was great and Rosarch was great ( I still can’t believe he was one of the kids from the original “Bad News Bears”). I feel it was a bit long but then again the graphic novel is pretty big itself if you read. So still deciding as how to feel about it.

  13. This movie was a cross between 2001: A Space Odyssey and Gigli. I give it a rating of .0125 (1/8 of a star) and only because I liked “Archie”

  14. As an extreme fanboy of Watchmen, I was pissed when I heard that the ending of the movie was being changed. I cried blasphemy and was going to personally lead a nation wide boycott!! But I broke down and went and saw the movie… And all I have to say about is this…WOW!!! This movie is amazing…one of the best I have in years…do not fret the reviews guys…the movie is great!!! The ending is actually alot better…now that i have seen the movie, i dont think the original would have worked. GO SEE THIS MOVIE>>>IT IS A MASTERPIECE!!!

  15. Saw this in IMAX last night with my wife. I have read the book, my wife only read the first chapter.

    Few points:
    1. I’d saw the theater was at least 75% male, doesn’t bode well for sales if they can’t get women to see it.
    2. My wife had no problem following the plot wihtout reading the source.
    3. She did comment that the ads did not give a good impression about the type of movie this was going to be. (but she new the first chapter, so wasn’t too suprised)
    4. the time flew by, never got bored, but after leaving, it felt like we had watched a marathon, just so much going on.
    5. I think the ending worked better than the original
    6. I didn’t mind Silk Spectre II’s acting, but they needed an older actress for the old Silk Spectre (though she was really good in the flashbacks)
    7. IMAX is an interesting medium for the soft-core porn scenes
    8. the humorous parts worked really well.
    9. too much glowing blue dick
    10. too much foreshadowing of *SPOILER OMITTED*

  16. I never read the graphc novels and I didn’t care for the trailers but I must say I really thought the film was terrific. I was totally absorbed from the beginning to end. The minute Patrick Wilson comes on screen as Nite Owl I really liked him.He centered the film for me. That was perfect casting. Actually I found Malin Akerman quite appealing. Her first line reading was flat but after that she was fine and very appealing. Dr Manhattan was fasinating and Jackie Earl Haley was great as Rorshach.
    Interesting- When the movie ended the majority of the crowd walked out disgusted. I heard many people saying that they hated it and a few even saying “I told you this would be a waste of time” Bottom line this will go down as a huge cult film as it will have a strong loyal following from a minority of the movie going audience. Theres no doubt there will be huge fall off at the box-office in weekend number 2. Still, It totally worked for me.


  17. Ok..I just saw it today. WOW. Amazing film. Not the caliber I was hoping for, but awesome nevertheless. Here’s a few thoughts (w/SPOILERS):

    It did feel rushed…but still it came out to almost 3 hours…I didn’t miss Tales of the Black Freighter…They could have left the death of Hollis Mason in…That part of the book really punched me in the gut…I think the movie needed it to add more drive to Dan’s character.

    Ozymandias was BAD ASS. I don’t know why he’s getting dumped on. Matthew Goode was awesome. NOT the same Ozy from the book…but I think he gave him enough smugness and I’m sorry….but he knew how to fight and kick ass. I LOVED the fight scenes he did. He really was the “Uebermensch”.

    Silk Spectre II was HOT…but the acting was HORRID. The whole, “I just left Jon” scene FLOPPED. In the book I really felt her the movie…she came off like a bed hoping slut.

    Jon…Dr. M…all I can say is…Pocket watch…$20….Intrinsic field generator…$3 million dollars…Forgetting your watch and getting your atoms ripped apart and put back together with a HUGE blue dong…Priceless.

    Nite Owl…well done…Esp the end when he flips after Rorshach dies and then goes back in and beats the piss outta Ozy…powerful (IMO).

    Rorshach…Jackie…FUCKING BRILLIANT performance…Worth the price alone…Just amazing…He really saved the day in a lot of places…

    All in all…I agree with John…best of 2009 so far…good as Dark Knight? Why compare the two? Watchmen is FAR deeper…Could have used a bit better acting…but fuck me if I didn’t love the hsit out of it.

  18. Just got back from seeing it. I thought it was very, very well done. It could of been great, but yeah John she was bad in the movie. I’d get a hard on for the movie, then she’d say something and I’d go limp.

    The flesh was annoying… its like yeah yeah fucking get on with it.

    What the fuck with the blue Weiner throughout the whole flick? People kept giggling in the audience like a bunch of girls… that was annoying too haha.

    Whoever said the Return of the Kings sucked… I hope you get cancer.

  19. Just saw it last night and I have to say I was very impressed. I never read the graphic novel and I didnt want to find out too much about the story going in. I thought the film did a great job of telling the story and it balanced all the characters and the overall timeline very well.

    I have to disagree with John about Silk Spectre II, I thought she did a fine job, I completley agree however with your assessment of the older version of the original Silk Spectre, that came close to taking me out of the film more than anything.

    Billy Crudup was great, but the CGI animation of his mouth reminded me of those babies from the E-trade commercials. It just seemed sloppy at times, but knowing how crazy difficult it must be, it didnt bother me that much.

    Overall I loved it, 8.5/10 seems like a fair grade here, good story, good casting and I am such a Rorshach fan now!

    “You just dont get it, Im not stuck in here with you…You’re all stuck in here with ME!”

  20. I thought this movie was really bad. the opening credits had me pumped. They did a really good job with that. But from there on out, I was truely dissapointed, almost angry. Don’t get me started on the acting. Horrendous; all of them except for The guy in the scarecrow mask. The comical scenes were forced, the love scenes were random, and a lot of the dialouge tried way too hard. Not even the fight scenes were that amazing. The Villian’s motives were just stupid, and the ending wasn’t even an ending. But I guess you have to blame that on the comic. I have so much more to say, but why bother? Everyone will have thier opinions.

  21. The movie was OK at best. I love sci-fi and comic book movies. I love dramas. I love thrillers…hell, I love most movies.

    The pacing was too slow, the music was horrid. Im a child of the 80s…but never read the novel…

    After the movie, I really felt like it was a “fan film” and that’s about it. I’ll probably catch it again once it hit’s DVD, but at this point, I definately will not be recommending it to friends.

  22. omg. awesome movie

    i would have given it a nine or more…it had absolutely EVERYTHING in it…fantastic movie

    the theatrical ending is better then the squid ending IMO
    i was afraid theyd translate it in a shit way but they nailed it

    oh and i loved the acting of ozymandias, i dont know why people are so down on it…

    i felt…SO BAD when rorschach died =[

  23. Adaptations are tricky. The greater the source material’s foundation or place in the culture, the greater the hazards.

    Maybe it’s like this:

    Loving a graphic novel such as ‘Watchmen’ and wanting to put it on the screen in such a way that elicits the same responses…

    …is akin to having an alcohol-accentuated, full-bore, mind-blowing one-night-stand…and wanting to live happily ever after with the person.

    Two entirely different ‘mediums’, two entirely different experiences, two entirely different results.

    Can a beloved song evoke the same responses as a cartoon, if a sufficiently heartfelt and faithful adaptation is attempted? Can a video game evoke the same responses as a beloved piece of literature if a sufficiently heartfelt and faithful adaptation is attempted? Can a film evoke the same responses as a beloved graphic novel if a sufficiently heartfelt and faithful adaptation is attempted?

    I’m beginning to think the answer is ‘No’. There’s always going to be exceptions, but by-and-large, more and more I’m feeling that people are wishing for something they’re just not going to get when adaptations are attempted.

  24. I saw the movie today and loved it. there were a few weak points. I thought Malin Akerman’s performance was just ok, nothing really special. and I agree that casting a younger actress to play the older Silk Specter was a bad decision. And i would have liked the ending to be like the one in the graphic novel. but i still loved the movie anyways

  25. I just returned from watching it
    i loved it so much, i plan on seeing it again definitely!
    Even though I’d already read the novel the whole thing felt new again
    I really loved it, it was a great cinematic experience

    ps. saw it on IMAX, and i’d say it is worth it seeing it on that format

  26. John, I don’t know if you will reply to this, maybe you will. I saw Watchmen opening day hear in Melbourne and I walked out of that film feeling absolutely nothing for what I had just saw. All I can say is I felt like I had seen a really awesome fan film, where they dress up and has OK special effects.

    I skimmed through your review, I always appreciate you taking the time to write them. I have to be honest and say I had to stop because I was starting to become a little bit confused and irritated. You say this movie is brilliant, now the book yes, we all know that, but in the film, as a film, for someone who has never read the book, what is the story? I almost feels sorry for people going to see this having not read the book, because it wont make any sense at all, your expected to know the characters because they are so already developed on screen. When Night owl is like I’m sick of been afraid of this suit, an audience member with know book knowledge wont have a clue of the emotion depth that goes along with that. Then two seconds later hes in the suit. That was just one example.

    Another thing I hated, was this movie made them all super, super as in strong for fast, only were they not, when fight each other. Its silly, whats awesome about the book, is that these people are just normal people doing a job, Dark night or Begins captures that aspect much more than Watchmen.

    I thought the change of ending was good, it worked, but I think they could have left the squid. I’ll tell you why. The explosion goes off and then they are told is was Manhattan and for peace to work we are to fear him blar blar blar. At the end of the novel you could imagine something like that happening in the real world and saying hey under condition similar something like united peace could occur. But in real life Dr Manhattan doesn’t exist, so the whole point and film becomes extremely fantasy like and looses all messages.

    I have to comment of the music, you clearly loved it, I thought it was ridiculously stupid, something a naive collage student film maker would use to show off and look trendy. when 99 red balloons came on in that “date” scene the film went down hill, all that was needed then was Drew Barrymore to show up and I would have given this film another star!

    One last thing, who agrees? the CGI in this film was terrible, I’m pretty much over use of cg now, and I hope the trend of people starting to not like it continues because it sucks. All that along with myself not been able to see a non fan sitting through this movie along with your review made me comment. It was a good adaption and well shot with some neat little tricks, but over all, misses all the beats and all its points.

    Watchmen is at 65% on

    1. Whereas I can see where you’re coming from on some of the other points, I really don’t understand why people find the plot so hard to understand =/

      I myself have not read the comic, heck, I didn’t even know ‘watchmen’ existed until I saw the trailer a couple of weeks ago. Yet I managed to understand it all perfectly well. I n fact, the only thing that I was confused about (an remain confused about ;P ) is why Rorschach’s mask moved about if he had no powers to control it, which is slightly puzzling, but I’m guessing the entire plot does not hinge around that one fact.

      I also really enjoyed the music chosen and thought it fit in really well… But each to his or her own, eh? =P

  27. Looks like im in the small group that didn’t really like the movie. In my opinion it was too long and i felt a few parts could have been cut short like some of flashback sequences and intro. I read Watchmen a few years back and just didn’t feel they did a good job adapting the book. I agree with john that Malin Akerman’s performance wasn’t too good, when there was an action sequence it was done well. I know Dr. Manhattan’s character’s supposed to be somewhat apathetic but the performance felt a little too flat. I as much as people liked the book will be proportional to how much they will like the movie.

  28. I saw it today, actually I loved it so much, but they made Adrian so obvious, Manhattan on mars is still my favorite scene, Ackerman did not do a good job I don’t think, wow this thing was SO adult, like 4 or 5 sex scenes, and there was, i kid you not, like a little kid with his dad right beside me. Anyway, I loved it so much, the beginning credits were interesting

  29. I’ll make this short and sweet.

    1) Graphic novels are not movies…and vice versa.

    2) As a filmgoer, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the source material, I care ONLY for what’s on the screen. The rest is fodder for fanboy sandbox scraps.

    3) ‘Show, don’t tell’. How many times does anyone working in film need to be told this?

    4) Great cinematic achievement (ie, technical glitz) does not automatically make for great cinematic experience.

    5) Ugh.


  30. Watchmen was just a movie that wanted to overrate The Dark Knight. It will never overrated that movie,not in a million years. Watchmen is a good movie if you read the comics,not a lot of people read it that also means that there will not be sequels or prequels. The end of Watchmen begins at the beginning.

  31. To Formless: I got that damn thing, it was just fucking frustrating to sit there and watch this drek. Its form of storytelling was not enjoyable to me, eventhough I understood it well. The action scenes sucked. The acting, wooden and stale. Costumes: Cheesy as fuck! Just imagine if Hugh Jackman had to wear yellow spandex and a gay-ass mask.

    To Slushie Man: I’m sure as hell spamming now jerkoff. I am my own person and always post on this blog as Madmax_007. I’ve said this about many movies on this blog-site, and Watchmen also blows big whale-dick. Better yet, it blows Dr. Manhattan’s blue dick when he is in giant mode.

  32. даи мне лицо!!!!!,thats give me back my face , in russian,just watched it,exceeded my expectations especially with some of the bitching online, snyder did his best, i loved it, and I’ll be watching it again with the G.F

  33. I was a fan of the novel but… this movie was bad man… really bad. Four of my friends who hadn’t read the book didn’t even understand the plot of the movie, or how it ended. They were too fucking confused with all time switching and shit. And the acting… holy shit, it really hurted to watch some of the conversations. They were cookie (not sure if this is the word) and didn’t feel natural at all. And i don’t think it was the actor’s fault but rather the poor adaptation.
    This movie shoulnd’t have been made… and it comes from a fan.

  34. after seeing the film I think it is going to have a fucking massive opening weekend.

    I enjoyed the film a lot. I think it is being slightly over praised in some quarters. Snyder is a good director but i really hope he has gotten that speed ramping shit out of system for good because its awful.I am also weighing up how much praise he deserves for the film because it really is frame for frame taken right out of the pages of the book. I mean he has done it well but it is so faithful that it is almost distracting.

    I didn’t think akerman is anywhere near as bad as people are making out but whenever there is a girl in a comic book film she seems to get singled out as one of the weak points by everyone so I am not surprised. I thought she was fine in her role.

    i was happy with the changes made to the story because then at least I was surprised. I mean every frame was pretty much taken straight from the page of the book so there was a weird feeling of having already seen it if you know what I mean. It was so faithful that the changes were welcome.

    all in all its a very good film but with this and dark knight comic book movies are going to have to lift their game to keep up i reckon.

    oh and the wolverine trailer that played where I saw it got huge laughs. and not good laughs either. its looks terrible.

    but i give watchmen 8 out of 10.

  35. You are dead on with your Superman Returns comment. I was thinking the exact same thing the whole time I was watching the movie.
    Plus did Watchmen just win the Academy Award for Best Movie Ever Made?
    j/k. we all know that goes to Steven Spielbergs 1991 classic “Hook”

    Man Watchmen was awesome! Looks like Superman Returns has a little more competition now in the ongoing race for my favorite Superhero movie.

  36. What the Hell? This movie was a beautiful orchestra of visual effects that danced across my pupils and captivated the imagination…..Unlike the Plot…..Oh thats right….there was no plot…only foolish ramblings and alternate realities that confused the viewers….How the hell could Nixon be president a third time…thats the first thing that threw me off…..Then most of the freaking superheros werent super at all…Most were skilled Ninjas in silly suits…..Then the freaking blue guy is a tool…..I understand why they call it watchmen…cause the guy with all the freaking power just watches and makes no decisions to effect any outcome besides providing the means to the end of major us cities…..Dont waste your money please…You will be so angry that you’ll get out of the movie theatre at 257 am and you’ll go home and blog like I did…..I’d rather watch paint dry than watch this movie again…..Its three hours of slow dwindling confusion gift wrapped in taunting graphics….Finally a superhero who cant get it up is not very super…….This movie blows harder than superhead.

    1. Cannot agree more with you. I just come from watching that Bullshit Frankenstein of a movie called Watchmen. Thank God I didn’t pay to see it though. Shit!, and I thought PUSH was bad, at least that movie had exciting action sequences and a story that’s more believeable and easier to follow. Jesus Christ, talk about a retarded narrative. Story was aight, but it was tore up and stitched back together in the wrong places; it was all over the damn place. Costumes were so lame and cheesy! Did they also have to be that faithful to the graphic novel? Reminded me of the Van Damme StreetFighter movie copying the videogame costumes. John says the action scenes are more exciting and superior to the ones in Nolan’s Batman movies: BULLSHIT! Sure in Watchmen you can see where the kick lands, but it’s all mechanical and stale to me (just like most of the goddam performances here!). They should have at least paid Yuen Wo-Ping to choreograph the fights. I have seen better fights in a Power Rangers episode! The only decent fight scene is the one in the alley, and that’s only because there’s brutal joint snapping involved. It would have been better if it didn’t cut away to Manhattan speaking. But that scene in particular was pointless and only put in there because the audience needed it to be revived from boredom. Most of the scenes with Rorsache are what kept me from walking out from this abomination. All in all, I have never EVER!! been so disappointed in a movie that I was looking forward to seeing. I’m definately paying back my friend who bought me the ticket, as she was also disappointed with this bitchassness of a movie.

    2. Look, two posts by the same troll idiot. Way to not get a fucking thing about the movie. If people can’t understand this movie, which I also saw until 2:57 in the morning, you must have sort of mental retardation.

    3. Wow, you must’ve been too busy blogging on your phone during the movie. It’s set in an alternate reality, a president being elected to a third term can happen in that reality. The reason he was elected for a third term? By winning the Vietnam war in one week instead of losing for 4 years and having thousands of soldiers killed.

  37. I wasn’t really planning on seeing this movie, regardless of reviews. But it’s starting to crawl into my head. I am concerned though, about people who have not read the book. I don’t believe you mentioned this John, but DOES it dig too deep for anyone not familiar with the book? Obviously it’s release has inspired thousands to go read it, but I doubt they would base their profits on that. So the real question is: “Mr. Campea? Do I have to read the book for the test, or can I just watch the movie? Or do I have to do both?”

    1. No, you don’t need to read the comic to understand the movie. Anyone who tells you that is lying. The movie is virtually word-for-word the exact same as the comic, its just in a motion picture instead of on paper.

    2. Great review. I never read the book and avoided most of the previews. If you have half a brain, you’ll be able to follow it. Great story, amazing characters, and awesome visuals.

      Going to read the book this week and see if it lives up to the movie.

  38. I believe that what may tell us if the movie is good or not is the number of extreme opinions. Unlike The Dark Knight, which had everyone on their knees worshipping it but had few moral dilema and no line-crossing, Watchmen goes beyond what everyone expects from a comic book-based movie. So I’m not surprised seeing some people saying they loved it and others telling they hated it.

    I’m watching it tomorrow afternoon. Still cautious, but also anxious.

  39. I am watching the movie on saturday. iIhope it is good, but I am one of the few people who didn’t like the Graphic Novel. I couldn’t stand it. I promised my best friend that I would see the movie with him however, and I always keep my promises.

  40. Campea! What are you smoking? The soundtrack was excellent?? LoL, that was my one complaint about the movie… the music was hilarious and totally took me out of the movie almost as much as Gugino’s makeup.

    1. I think, at some points, the music was supposed to have an out-of-place irony to it, mirroring Comedian and how he felt about humanity. When I realized that, it made me feel a lot better about the soundtrack.

      And Sound of Silence matched Comedian TO THE TOOTH. I didn’t ever realize it before.

  41. So how did I do in the movie? Was I limp as a gimp? Malin’s good eye candy…at least give her that. John…you know you’d hit it.

    Seriously though, how was the Nite Owl character? I liked how he was kind of like Batman in the novel, but not. However, in the clips I’ve seen he’s even doing the spread out cape flying thing. I never saw him do that in the book, so little things like that just make it too close to the other guy if you know what I mean. But how was Patrick Wilson’s performance as Nite Owl? Were the sex scenes hot?

  42. Nice review John! I’ve been reading on different reviews the same notes you had on casting choices on Silk Specter II.
    Can’t wait to see this tomorrow! AHHHH
    I live in Mexico, so I don’t know yet if they will release it on IMAX (as the comic is not known here) but hopefully they will!

  43. I swear if one more person told me that because I didn’t read it, I won’t understand it…I’ll kill em. I doubt the film is that hard to understand with no reading of the comic. None the less, I’m capable of spotting and enjoying a good film (comic or not) and I’m looking forward to see this. Although, this type of movie in miami is a nightmare to see, being that the overall movie going crowd is a few points below the retard limit. I’m gonna go see it next week in the middle of the day, with no interruptions. I’m stoked to see it.

  44. Hey John,
    I totally agree with your review though the aged Silk Spectre didn’t bother me as much as it did you, however I did find myself concentrating on her make up job a couple of times. LoL

    I definitely agree with your comments on Malin. Her performance was passable, but I never felt like she protrayed the woman Laurie became because of her experiences. At times I felt like Malin was merely recieting her lines and smiling pretty. She’s definitely the weakest of the emsemble.

    I liked the chosen songs for the movie, but I felt as if some of them were misplaced and took away from the scenes they were meant to highlight.

    The ending did lose a bit of steam and I wasn’t thrilled with the epilogue, but it worked. I’m looking forward to seeing it again this weekend.

    On a side note: the audience I saw it with, which was pretty diverse, appeared to enjoyed the film and were active in response to key scenes. My brother who’s not read the comic loved the movie just as much as I did.

    1. I think that the reason why audiences find the film so polarizing is because of the faithfulness to the source material. Some people accept the faithfulness and some can’t.

  45. Thanks for the great review John. I’m looking forward to seeing this over the weekend. Reading as fast as I can through the novel for the first time before Saturday.

    1. Adrian’s character is key, but the actor Matthew Goode’s performance is a little bland at times. I was impressed by his performance, but it was passable. I think the actor needed more conviction to his performance.

  46. i have not seen the movie but the person who put john down fuck off its only a movie you stupid ass. like every movie thats comes out it could be a hit or miss. just waiting to see it on friday night. i be suprise the movie will break a records.

  47. You’re being too generous, I feel. 8.5? The acting in this film was terrible (except for Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jackie Earle Haley). The direction was terrible: whenever people had to stand around and talk, it was like watching people who’d been cast in a local theater production.

    Almost EVERY scene had slow motion in it. There was so much slow motion that you thrilled every time Snyder let the scene run at full speed.

    The music placement was horribly obvious and not terribly enlightening.

    The script, like the performances and directing, was lifeless. What works for a comic book page does not work for the big screen. Especially now that Christopher Nolan has shown us that we can expect real, three dimensional, living characters in a real world — even in a comic book movie. People who haven’t read the comic aren’t going to buy into any of it; hell, I did read the comic and I didn’t buy in.

    There was as much wrong about this movie as there was right. There is more to making movies than having people dress up in the right costumes and saying the lines in a certain tone of voice. Ultimately we go to the movies because of the stories — without believable performances and interesting drama you have no story. Snyder doesn’t know how to direct drama, he knows how to direct action and visual effects.

    Watchmen has, under Snyder’s aegis, been reduced to action (usually slowed down action) and visual effects. It deserved better.

    1. Hey Nate,

      You’re not the only one who didn’t like Watchmen, but I have to completely disagree with you. The story was brilliant, and aside from Specter II, I thought the performances were wonderful. The soundtrack was excellent… and even though the score wasn’t all that great, it didn’t take away anything from the film.

      I respect your opinion, but you saw a different movie than I did.

  48. The one thing that nagged at me during the film is every time Dr. Manhattan had one of his many soliloquies, they sounded exactly like one of those fucking “Mastercard/Priceless” ads…And then when I got home, I looked up Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan) and found out that he is indeed the voice behind those ads. What I thought was at first a fault of the production was just a by-product of the casting. Now I’m okay with it.

    Anyway, having never read the graphic novel, I don’t feel like I quite got the whole gist of the story. Hopefully a second viewing (later tonight) will help fill those holes.

    Jackie Earle Haley was fucking brilliant. When Rorschach makes his declaration in the prison cafeteria (“None of you understand. I’m not locked up in here with you…You’re locked up in here with me”), holy fuck that was awesome!

    Oh, and since Soul Video taught me the concept, I was able to apply the knowledge. Dr. Manhattan: definitely a shower and not a grower.

  49. An 8.5? That’s good news. I read something saying the adaptation from comic to movie didn’t work all that well, and Rotten Tomatoes currently has it at a 65 (I take that with a grain of salt) but from what you said, my excitement level has gone back up again. I can’t wait to see it tomorrow!

  50. John, great review, i havent read the novel but critics put this movie if is the most complicated movie ever but Pulp Fiction, Memento and The Pretige were movie i understod the first time without any problem, so you think is that complicated as critics say?

    1. Speaking for me, I hadn’t read the graphic novel and I felt like I was really in the dark about several concepts, such as the story’s take on the nature of time; the origins of the masked “superheroes” and whether or not they actually possessed actual superhuman powers; and the motivations of several characters ESPECIALLY the villain’s.

      That’s not to say that the film doesn’t spell each of these things out. I just didn’t catch it. I’m watching it a second time; hopefully, it will be clearer.

      Most importantly, I had a good time.

    2. @Chuck: In the graphic novel, the time frame and the origins/powers of the masked heroes are not made very clear either. The graphic novel leaves a lot of room to breathe, and it sets itself up such a grotesque society and time that you’re left a bit in the dark about those details. There’s a lot of mystery in the mystery, if that makes sense.

      The motivations of the characters, however, I think you will be able to pick up a second time certainly.

    3. ya i can say that after reading the first 2 novels i really had no clue what was happening except homeboy was thrown out a window and all the superhereos seemed like assholes with no powers lol….but as it progress’s u get lost in the actual comic book and start to see a actual story….havent seen the movie yet …cant wait…btw i dont see why they couldnt do the books actually ending….dude that would be something lol

      spnongebob’s friend!

    4. I have a buddy who went to see WATCHMEN at a midnight showing. He text my cell afterward and claimed it was hard to follow, but otherwise very good.

      On opening day I took a different friend with me to the theaters and afterward he said he didn’t have any trouble following the movie, we even had a spirited conversation about it.

      Both friends never read the novel but one could easily keep up with what was happening while the other missed bits and pieces. I guess it all comes down to whether or not you’re paying attention to what unfolding before you. Personally, I had no difficulty keeping up, then again I did read the graphic novel. It’ll be interesting on Sunday when I take my parents and sister. I do wonder if this movie will be too complex for them! lol

  51. THANK you for this long review john

    it was way better then the ones i checked out over at rotten tomatoes…you could tell which ones were by people who read the novel or not
    and sometimes in the tomatoe meter the people who gave it a rotten tomatoe gave the movie 3/4 stars or even 3 1/2 out of 4 stars(?) i dont know why

    THANK you for not talking about the ending and how they replace the squid, i read the novel so i know how it ends but i hear its been changed

    so the only suspense for me is whether theyll use a nuke or soemthing else to replace the squid, glad you didnt get into that

  52. Awesome an 8.5! I’m glad you liked it, bought my tickets for tommorow so i cannot wait! Malin Ackerman’s performance was not good huh? I have heard that from everyone, so I won’t be surprised if I don’t think she was good either.But 8.5, alright!

  53. I can’t see the movie until tomorrow, but from what you’ve said I think I’ll like it.

    I do agree with you though, IMAX is way overrated. Than again I think HD’s overrated as well.

  54. Right on John! I would have personally given it 9 out of 10 but you’re absolutely right about the aged Silk Specter I. When you go and look at how well they pulled off the same effect in the 1980’s with Back to the Future, you wonder what they were thinking.

    Other than that, this movie kicked ass and everyone should see it.

  55. There was a lot I liked about this movie, but it’s length really killed me. I picked up the graphic novel yesterday and I’m going to give it a second chance. I loved JEH as Rorschach.

    1. Really? I found the length not a problem at all. It didn’t feel dragged at any point for me either. I could have gone a solid three hours for this glorious piece of work.

    1. IMO I think a regular theatre ticket is enough. This is not The Dark Knight where the IMAX sequences did give the film a true EPIC experience. I’d say that the only films worth going to the IMAX theatre are films shot with IMAX cameras like the upcoming Transformers 2.

    2. What a goree sensless movie. Weak acting, weak plot, Everybody knows the danger of nuclear war. The skimmed over alot of character back drop, and just made it as bloody as they could. What was up with the swinging blue weiner?

    3. The graphics, the acting, the plot and maybe even the love story within this film could please the eye of the ignorant viewer. If one has never read the graphic novel then sure this movie could be the best of 2009 so far. However, if you have, you could see the disappointing adaptation. First of all, the visionary of not only ‘Watchmen’, ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘League of Extraordinary Gentelmen’is so disgusted by film adaptations that he did not even want his name mentioned in the credits or any money for what the film produced.
      What is put on screen by Zach Synder does not come close to Moore’s illustrations across the pages of ‘Watchmen.’
      Unless you’re entertained by sloppy interpretations, loud noises and iMAX screens, then I would spend the 10 bucks to get Alan Moore’s very own and read it!

      One positive thing I can say is that the cinematography captured my eye but I could have seen that through my 10″ television screen off ON Demand for less than a movie ticket.

    4. I thought that watchmen was a good movie and it stay
      true to the book it was a long movie but I like the part were walter craks the guy finger but I dd not like the part where dr.manhattahn is to blame for the distruction of the world in the end of the watchmen series it was supposed to be vedit but overall it was a good movie

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