I feel I should start this review with a disclaimer that I had not read nor studied up on the story behind Watchmen prior to seeing the movie. It seems that there are split opinions based on who knows the story and who doesn’t… as to how good the movie really is. That being said, I feel that my opinion is valid for those (like myself) who have not read the book or watched the animated version.
Watchmen follows the journal of one Walter Kovacs bka Rorschach as he tells the true story behind a nuclear explosion that rocks Manhattan. The tale details a motley crew of super heroes and their individual lives and histories, most importantly the life of a godlike being named Mr. Manhattan. The story itself played out very much like a comic book, leaving nothing to be guessed at or assumed. It was thorough, interesting but in my honest opinion about 40 minutes too long.
Purists of the comic book will be happy with this adaptation since the length is proof that little was left on the cutting room floor. I really, really liked Jackie Earle Haley and Billy Crudup in this movie (Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan respectively). The intensity that was put into Rorschach made him easily my favorite anti-hero. Carla Gugino was a little disappointing since her natural sexiness did not come off for the sultry Sally Jupiter. Not sure how this failed to happen since… well Carla is obviously a VERY feminine woman… something was just amiss with the bad aging job they did with her make-up and the lines she was forced to say… Oh well she’s still a hottie.
The sex meter is up to boiling in this film as one scene showcases Laurie Jupiter getting it quite convincingly with thrust after thrust… may want to leave little Billy at home parents. There are also a lot of scenes showcasing Dr. Manhattans junk (his penis). Nothing is left to the imagination as I stated before, just like a comic book so don’t say you were not warned about the glowing blue penis.
All-in-all this was a solid movie, the lines and acting bordered on silly sometimes but hey what can you expect from a comic book? Fans will no doubt love the over-the-top charisma of The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and the kickass action involved. Speaking of action, the movie takes a page from 300 with the aspect of slowing things down just enough to let us see what the hell they do to break people down whilst fighting. You get broken bones, meat cleavers in skulls and people evaporating, so no question about it, the action is not lacking at all.
I cannot recommend Watchmen for the average popcorn muncher but if you are a die-hard, spicy hotdog popping movie gopher then you may want to check it out. It’s long, graphic and a very pretty movie (nice graphics indeed) but it is geared towards fans of the Watchmen comic so I would advise you to read before you watch. There seems to be a difference in appreciation from those in the know versus people like me who saw it as just another comic book movie.