In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
It's 1985 in an alternate reality. The Watchmen - comprised of the Comedian, Dr. Manhattan, Nite Owl II, Ozymandias, Rorschach and Silk Spectre II - are a disparate band of masked superheroes, modeled after the Minutemen, who were masked superheroes of a generation earlier, most of who are dead or afflicted by the ravages of life. The Comedian belongs to both groups. Despite the activities of the Watchmen leading to the west winning the Vietnam War which in turn has kept Richard Nixon in the White House, Nixon has now outlawed masks, resulting in the Watchmen disbanding and going into retirement, most hiding their Watchmen past under their human identities. However, the Comedian, in his human persona of Eddie Blake, and Dr. Manhattan - former physicist Jon Osterman who obtained his superhero powers through a scientific accident which almost killed him - now work for the government. Dr. Manhattan's powers in particular have kept a watch over nuclear proliferation, as he is able to stop...Written by
(at around 1h 6 mins) During the 1959 accident at the Intrinsic Field Laboratory, the door lock time mechanism uses a Nixie tube digit display. The '5' digit can be seen to be an upside-down '2'. This is a characteristic of Russian (or Soviet) Nixie-tube displays and therefore would not be used in a U.S. scientific facility. See more »
[a quote from Percy Byssche Shelley's poem "Ozymandias" is placed on a statue of Ramesses II at the top of the stairways in the hall at the arctic base. The poem is said to be inspired by such a statue of Ramesses II, exhibited at the British Museum in London. UK]
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!
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The opening credits themselves often cast shadows in the frame that correspond with the flashes from photographer's bulbs. See more »
The "Ultimate Cut" brings the film from its theatrical 162 minutes, to a whopping 215 minutes. Scenes include the expanded action sequences and additional exposition from the director's cut, even more exposition segments, and additionally interweaves the animated Black Freighter short into the story to mimic its role as the story within the story in the graphic novel. See more »
Stays True to the "Big Joke," But This May Confuse Some.
Before anyone sees this film, Zach Snyder should be given a pat on the back. He did what a dozen directors struggled to do for twenty years: he made a Watchmen movie. It seems unthinkable that anyone could properly put the greatest graphic novel of all time on the screen. But Snyder has done pretty much that.
While it is not Alan Moore's Watchmen, it is the closest thing that anyone else could have put on the screen. Snyder approached the material with enough reverence that fans of the comic will appreciate the film. As Snyder has openly declared, the final act does include significant changes, but the alterations that take place fit better on the big screen than the original ending would have. It works because it cuts down on a lot of the necessary back story which Snyder could not include.
Even though many pages of the book were not included, Snyder did take the time to try and preserve other information by including short "historical" sequences in the fantastic opening title sequence. By this point, viewers will also have had a chance to appreciate the stellar, and time appropriate, soundtrack. Unlike the hard rock recordings the Snyder chose for the background of 300, Watchmen's background fits the tone and mood of most of the scenes. The only questionable choice was the selection of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah," not because of the recording, but rather its awkward placement. Some may also question Snyder's inclusion of gore not present in the book. While the comic does include it's share of violence, Snyder did overtly change several scenes to be more violent. These changes, while flashy on film, may disturb squeamish moviegoers. However, changes aside, Snyder has captured the essence of the book and packaged it in a beautiful 2 hour and 40 minute delight. Overall, it is a satisfying film experience for someone familiar with the source material.
But this might be a different experience for anyone who does not know the book. There is a lot to digest, and the overwhelming visuals may distract some moviegoers from the bigger picture. The interaction of these unique characters remains an integral point to understanding this film, and when the book was pared down for the movie, the relationships of the masked adventures became a bit more forced. The best part of the comic was the glimpse of what is "beneath the hood," and we have less of that in Snyder's adaptation. Additionally, the ending, while simplified, is still a bit convoluted.
Fans and those previously unfamiliar with Watchmen should go in with an open mind. Snyder has performed what Doctor Manhattan might deem a miracle, so it may take more than one viewing to truly appreciate this unique adaptation.
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