Watchmen

Bomb Rating: 

With so much exposition to get through, there are sequences of the film that feel like someone reading page after page of the Old Testament out loud.

Watchmen

The current vogue these days is to fashion an epic film out of every single graphic novel or comic book series that had attracted a whiff of critical acclaim back in its heyday – even if said heyday was in 1985.  Witness the excruciating mess that was "The Spirit" and the lifeless "Fantastic Four" films. 

The latest piece of 4-color fancy to fall victim to this trend is Watchmen, a gritty tale from Alan Moore (V for Vendetta, From Hell) that focuses on a group of not-so-superheroes with about as many interesting problems as your parents bickering in the front seat of the station wagon. 

The biggest problem with Watchmen is that it’s just too damn ambitious.  It has long been said that the storytelling of the original comic is far too convoluted to be successfully translated onto the big screen.  In fact, Alan Moore refused to have anything to do with the adaptation whatsoever.  That didn’t stop Zack Snyder, director of such art-house fare as "300" and "Dawn Of The Dead" from trying.  He apparently turned down the Wolverine film in order to complete Watchmen, so at least that’s one movie he won’t be capable of ruining through his mere presence. 

What follows is a narrative mess about as coherent as a Baywatch Nights episode.  With so much exposition to get through, there are sequences of the film that feel like someone reading page after page of the Old Testament of the Bible out loud:  ‘And Jehobeth begat Jeremiah; and Jeremiah begat Methuselah; and Methuselah begat…and so on and so on. 

The audience is treated to a series of poorly cut together montages every time an aspect of a character’s back story needs to be explained to the audience in order for the plot to make any sense.  My favorite?  A short vignette where the entire country of Vietnam personally surrenders to Dr. Manhattan’s 3-story tall glowing blue penis.  Truly a cinematic first. 

Other areas where Watchmen breaks new ground?  A scene where a sort of hot chick has sex with a sort of Owl-man in a floating tin can;  a scene with two fat men and a midget in prison where no one is penetrated or ‘sexually awakened’ in any way; and a scene where I slowly drew a razor blade down the length of my arm, breaking the skin just so I could feel alive as this train wreck of a film plodded into its third hour. 

If I were capable of re-assembling matter with my mind – like the only character in this film who actually possessed a true superpower – then I would have surely created a time machine that fit into the seat beside me so that I could travel back to the previous day and kill my double before he could ever set foot inside the theatre that became my prison of boredom.

Instead of wasting a Titanic-sized chunk of your life on this stinker, consider doing something productive with your afternoon, like joining a 12-step program, or organizing your sock drawer by thickness.  You’ll thank me later.

 

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Hmmm

Rajah's picture

Some how Owl Man or whatever he's called seems less sinister a name than Bat Man

Who?

RidingFool's picture

Who?

What about Batmanuel?

michael3b's picture

Batmanuel is the best

Spidremonkey's picture

Batmanuel is the best character in the history of ever. When I was watching "Dark Knight" and the mayor showed up, it took me a second, but realizing Batmanuel was IN A BATMAN MOVIE made me cry tears of nerd-joy.

This guy's also a mysterious

jazzdrive3's picture

This guy's also a mysterious character on LOST.

He's everywhere these days!

Did they really have to fetish up Silk Spectre II's costume?

FearlessFreep's picture

Oh, well, I'm bound to see it anyway *sigh*

Re: Silk Spectre festish costume

worlebird's picture

Look a the comic again; seriously, it fetished up there too. Late 70s early 80s fetish, but fetish nontheless. Actually, the costume in the movie shows less skin and less cleavage than the one in the book. It's just tighter. It was Nite Owl and Ozymandias's costumes that bugged me - they look like rejected concepts from that bellyflop of a movie "Batman and Robin".

Points I liked, points I didn't like.

the_demon's picture

Nite Owl looked way too much like Phil Helmuth. It was disturbing.

A review I read before seeing it said that the acting of SSII and of Ozy was both awful. Half right - the twat playing Ozy was excruciatingly bad, and nearly ruined it for me. I didn't think Laurie was that bad - the source material does have some bad dialogue to wade through.

And way too violent. I'm not sure why; the book managed to get the same sense conveyed without being so graphic. I was going to force the Librarian to go see it; now I'll have to make her read instead.

However, it was worth waiting just for Rorschach. Haley was perfect.

mike

Mike!!!!!!!!

Coaster's picture

Good to see you slumming around here.  Note that we're planning a Crankycon September 19th in Jackson, NJ.  This will be at Six Flags Great Adventure, home of the Kingda Ka, the world's tallest fastest thrill ride.  See the Meetups topic off the Main Forum page.  Note that the ride is less than a minute long.  I'm sure Becky could maintain a continuous scream for at least that long.  Say hi to her for us. 

==Coaster (Whooooeeee!) <--Scream of my own

How is "Watchmen" different from "Mystery Men"?

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

The first movie seems to be about some dumb-asses with no super powers who dress up in weird costumes.  Ditto for the second one.

{;-) Dan (Super-Critic-Man) in Miami

They do seem kind of lame

Rajah's picture

Like that Nite Owl, who who does he think he is?

Don't get the wrong idea about the Watchmen...

bdoleza's picture

You're going to hear all kinds of Cranky-esqe comments about The Watchmen on the interwebs--it was too long, it was too violent, there was too much time spent buiding back story on each of the heroes--but what hasn't been said is that you'll probably enjoy the movie in the end. Basically you have to be up for a superhero story told in (literally) gory detail, and because of that detail, the movie is a long one.

 

But it's the Blues Brothers kind of long, where the length is due to a careful, detailed recount of a good story, rather than being the King Kong or Pearl Harbor kind of long, where the movie just seems to ramble on endlessly, trying to make an interesting story out of a dull one. Every minute counts toward a cohesive scene, every scene towards the climax of the movie entire.

 

Make no mistake, though, this is not your father's superhero story. It takes the whole bad-guys-as-good-guys motif to new heights, and it's visually quite shocking at times. You will see blood, you will see guts, and you will know precisely just how well-hung Mr. Manhattan is. Precisely. Some of the violence is decidedly over the top--severed limbs, gruesome gunshot wounds, broken limbs--but it wasn't sufficient to detract from action or the storyline flow.

 

The directing was superb. The movie takes place in an alternate reality, circa 1985, where Richard Nixon is still president and conservative war-mongering has brought America and the Soviet Union to the very brink of nuclear war. There are caricatures of real historical historical figures througout the movie, like Pat Buchanan, Lee Iacocca, and the entire McLaughlin Group cast.

"The very brink of nuclear war"

FearlessFreep's picture

Not totally different from the actual 1980s. (Americans don't appreciate how lucky they were.)

 

Nor the Soviets, I'd wager.

bdoleza's picture

Nor the Soviets, I'd wager. Ronald Reagan had his finger on the trigger every second of his two terms.

The historical detail may be OK for old farts

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

But younger people will probably only get the gore.  Also word is that the movie was shot in a type of video game style that younger people would relate to.  Perhaps something like "300"?

{;-) Dan in Miami

Dan, you've posted two speculative posts here. Question...

Coaster's picture

Are you planning on seeing this movie?  Like Star Wars, Watchmen is best viewed on a theater screen, with theater sound.  I'd be interested in what you'll think of Watchmen once you've seen it.  I liked this movie so much I had surgery just so's I could give it three thumbs up. 

Coaster, when you tear down that naked picture of Dr Manhattan..

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

 

...from your bedroom ceiling, I will consider seeing Watchmen.

 

{;-) Dan in Miami

 

PS:  You're freaking your wife out dude.

 

Simply not true

Coaster's picture

For one thing, nobody glues pictures on mirrors. 

ignore.

michael3b's picture

I said go AWAY! look down the thread.

$317,200 paid for Superman comic

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

 

In this file photo released by Metropolis Collectibles, Friday, Feb. 27,2009 in AP – In this file photo released by Metropolis Collectibles, Friday, Feb. 27,2009 in New York, the June, 1938 …

NEW YORK – A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman has sold for $317,200 in an Internet auction. The previous owner had bought it for less than a buck.

It's one of the highest prices ever paid for a comic book, a likely testament to the volume's rarity and its excellent condition, said Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the auction site ComicConnect.com and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles.

The winning bid for the 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, which features Superman lifting a car on its cover, was submitted Friday evening by John Dolmayan, drummer for the rock band System of a Down, according to managers at ComicConnect.com.

Dolmayan, who is also a dealer of rare comic books, said he acquired the Superman comic on behalf of a client he declined to identify.

"This is one of the premier books you could collect," he said in a telephone interview. "It's considered the Holy Grail of comic books. I talked to my client, and we made the move."

Dolmayan said the client has "a small collection, but everything he has is incredible."

Only about 100 copies of Action Comics No. 1 are known to exist and they seldom come up for sale.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090315/ap_on_re_us/superman_first_issue;_yl...

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Dammit Mom!  Why did you throw out my comics?

 

I wonder if Rajah's old porn collection will someday have value?

Coaster's picture

From what I've heard, he's got a wharehouse full of the stuff. 

"THAT was Bea Arthur????!!!!!"

These photos of Barbara Bush are priceless!

Rajah's picture

Anyone wanna offer a bid?

I was actually floored by

Drew_Atreides's picture

I was actually floored by how well done "Watchmen" was.   Admittedly i was a fan of the original source material, and wonder just how much that influences my opinion of the film, but this was obviously a film made by a fan FOR the fans, and  if you ask me it's quite a triumph...

 

Yes the movie is long, but i did not feel at anytime like it was wasted time.  Everything had a reason, everything was building towards something.

I absolutely loved it.  When i walked out i would've been happy to pay my 10 dollars again and go and see it...Again.

 

I know there are some complaints about the acting, but to be honest i thought the cast was overall pretty much perfect. 

 

And it was such a gorgeous movie to look at.   The opening credits alone are worth the price of admission.

 

The cockpit.. what is it?

Acting

dlew919's picture

I didn't even think Ozymandias was bad, and Silk Spectre II seemed to have gotten bad reviews for no reason.

 

On the whole, a good film: but I loved Cranky's review. 

That garter belt

Anonymous's picture

could have been replaced by stay-ups and a fine pair of fuck-me boots.

Hooray

gamerarocks's picture

for me.  I didn't waste $20 taking my girlfriend to see this one, just $3 to rent it, and I still feel taken.  Batman rejects, monologues rejected by Sin City, an unhot hot chick in unhot clothes (the boots at least were good), a good bad guy or a bad good guy or whatever who must have been doing something special for somebody, and a morality tale that takes forever to unfold to say we have none.  Nixon, Vietnam, 3rd term, 1985, huh?  Thanks for nothing Zack Snyder, and I like graphic novels.

Impeach Jim Gibbons!

 

Saw it 5 months ago, & liked it then. But all I can remember

Coaster's picture

now is Giant Blue Penis.

I have The Watchman on the desk right next to my keyboard and I'm going to read it this weekend. It's always better to read the book after seeing the movie. One day, I may even read the bible.

 

I'll save you the trouble, Coaster

Rajah's picture

God gets pissed and kicks some ass

the end

Superman comic sells for $1 million

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

Monday, February 22, 2010

NEW YORK —  A rare copy of the first comic book featuring Superman sold Monday for $1 million, smashing the previous record price for a comic book.

A 1938 edition of Action Comics No. 1, widely considered the Holy Grail of comic books, was sold by a private seller to a private buyer, neither of whom released their names. The issue features Superman lifting a car on its cover and originally cost 10 cents.

The transaction was conducted by the auction site ComicConnect.com. Stephen Fishler, co-owner of the site and its sister dealership, Metropolis Collectibles, orchestrated the sale.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,587180,00.html?test=latestnews

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  Well this definitely proves that rich people know what they are doing with their money.

Batman comic sells for over $1 million

Dan_in_Cincinnati's picture

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The Dark Knight may be Superman's next greatest nemesis, after Lex Luthor.

Just three days after auction site ComicConnect.com claimed to break world records when it sold an original Superman comic for $1 million, Batman stole his thunder.

A rare, high-quality copy of Detective Comics #27, which marked the first appearance of Batman in 1939, sold for $1,075,500 on Thursday. Heritage Auctions of Dallas sold the comic book to an unnamed bidder on behalf of an anonymous collector.

Seven bidders from three countries participated in the combination live and online auction, taking about eight minutes to decide on a final price -- an "eternity" in auction time, said Heritage Auctions president Greg Rohan.

http://money.cnn.com/2010/02/26/news/economy/batman_comic/index.htm?eref...

{;-) Dan in Miami

PS:  I can get my hands on a pristine Richie Rich comic #1.  Come on you Goldman Sachs guys with your billion dollar bonuses.  You know you have to have one of these.  How can you show your face at the yacht club without it?  And it's a steal at only $1.2 million!

 

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