Watchmen: The Blue Man Group
Saw Zack Snyder's new film Watchmen tonight with a bunch of friends. I should mention first that I have not read the graphic novel which this was based on. With that being said…
Watchmen was damn good! It doesn't approach the greatness of V for Vendetta, but it is nowhere near League of Extraordinary Gentlemen bad. The biggest problems with the movie are hard to pinpoint, since it is difficult to say why it doesn't feel as great as it should have been. The use of music was often very over-the-top, and the plot seemed to meander quite a bit. Also, it runs nearly 3 hours long – this didn't bother me much aside from the three or four different endings (the last of which is almost completely pointless). And if you are easily distracted by male nudity (and I am – hey, I enjoy looking, so sue me!), Dr. Manhattan doesn't have any shyness about walking around completely nude most of the time. Talk about blue balls!
But damn if it isn't a pretty spectacular movie. A huge improvement over the crapfest 300, Snyder seems to have toned things down quite a bit. He's still playing in the comic book realm, but this one actually made me feel something was at stake, and even some real emotion. I was actually involved in the film's story, which is more than I can say for Snyder's previous venture into hyper-stylized movie making. And did I mention Dr. Manhattan's CGI-enhanced gigantic blue penis?
Watchmen is definitely one of the most adult films I've seen come out of Hollywood in a long time. If you enjoy nudity, gratuitous sex, graphic violence and gore, dark, nihilistic themes, and revisionist history, you'll enjoy Watchmen. Lucky for me, I love all of those. The performances from all the actors are really what drive this film, in spite of the mind-boggling sensorial overload. In particular, I've always liked Billy Crudup (the actor behind Dr. Manhattan), and this movie will probably throw him some fame he has deserved for a long time. If you want to see his range as an actor, watch this and then watch Almost Famous. Very different performances.
As a result, I really liked Watchmen, and I recommend it for adult viewers who can handle mature themes. I was surprised that the audience I saw this with wasn't tittering over the sex and nudity, but the screening was specifically for 21-and-older which probably helped. It's a very dialogue-heavy movie, punctuated by scenes of action, although they are pretty exciting when they occur.
All said, it's worth the money to see on the big screen. I can only imagine this would be a good one to see on IMAX.