Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Watchmen (Zack Snyder, 2009) Review

So Marvel just released the trailer for their next film after Captain America: The Winter Soldier which is Guardians of the Galaxy. Marvel clearly know how good they are since they can release a film about a talking tree and a raccoon with a machine gun (but seriously, it looks great) but on the other side, DC can barely get a film based on Wonder Woman started. DC do make good films though (The Dark Knight is on of the best and one of my favourite films) but still don't dominated like Marvel. Let's take a look at DC tackle a not as popular comic, Watchmen.

In an alternate 1980s world, costumed superheros have lost their popularity as a result of change in the government but a costumed hero known as The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is murdered by an unknown assassin. Mysterious detective Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) takes it upon himself to find out who the murdered was while other masked heroes, Niteowl (Patrick Wilson) and Silk Spectre (Carla Gugino), begin to reunite after the mutated Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) is brought into the public eye.

One aspect that makes a film good is how well developed the characters that are presented are. Character driven films normally come down under my favourites and Watchmen, while not perfect, has some great characters. Rorschach alone would've captured my attention but, in addition to him, he have the rest of the team who are all memorable and...okay, likable isn't the word (The Comedian is a horrible person) but they will stick with you...especially Rorschach. Part of this is probably down to the fact that they did an amazing job of bringing the characters perfectly out of the comics. I must congratulate the costume designer of this film.

In terms of content, Watchmen seems to bring the heavy stuff down in scene one as we dive into a story about prejudice and injustice. By all rights, the ending (no spoilers, don't worry) should've had me in complete rage due to how much injustice sickens me (my review of The Hunt seemed to imply that) but the gritty world that the film establishes makes the right seem easier. Our suspension of disbelief kicks in and we allow ourselves to be immersed into the world of Watchmen. There are twists and turns throughout and, while it leaves on a horrendously down-beat ending, it is poignant.

Watchmen is a very different comic book film. The tone is like no other I've seen (although The Dark Knight trilogy is close...but this is ironically still darker). DC specialise in dark stories and, with strong characters and costume design, Watchmen is worth a watch. It's not perfect as there are a few forced parts but I was glad I saw it and I may watch it again...probably just to see Rorschach be awesome...

The characters are very strong and leaped right out of the comic and the tone and content is a good step for DC.

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