The Watchmen came out a few years ago and was really one of the biggest movies of the year, if not one of the biggest movies of the decade. The zeroes were kind of defined by the whole superhero film genre, and if you’re just plain tired of all these capes and tights flicks, then that’s actually a great reason to watch The Watchmen, as it really redefines the whole genre and turns it into something new. Next time you want to watch movies online, go ahead and give it a try.
The film was based on the comic by Alan Moore, the English king of comics. Like the comic, the story is actually something of a satire and a social commentary on superheroes and their place in contemporary pop culture. This is why it wouldn’t really work as a movie until superhero movies had become as common as superhero comics. It works as a commentary on these heroes on film rather than in comics.
Many readers of the comic were against the film adaptation, including Alan Moore himself. The story is firmly rooted in the concept of comics and makes a lot of use of the medium, so an adaptation seemed an ill advised idea. However, the story surprisingly came through intact, and all of the characters have been done justice.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the story is the fact that none of the heroes are really pure heroes. Every one of them has their own shortcomings as human beings. Doctor Manhattan has ascended to a post-human form, The Comedian is without a moral compass and Rorschach, perhaps the most righteous and moralistic of the characters, is also perhaps the most violent and sadistic, and that he only hurts “badguys” becomes something of a footnote considering all of the suffering he causes.
The story of the film is just as morally complex as the characters. You won’t really be able to just sit back and enjoy watching baddies get beat up, you’ll have to be actively engaged in the film. It’s not always easy to figure out and you won’t know exactly who to side with in the end.
Zack Snyder has really been knocking it out of the park in recent years. With Dawn of the Dead, he took Romero’s classic, reworked it into an action flick, and created something all his own. With 300, he adapted Frank Miller’s graphic novel about the Spartans and turned it into a great epic film. Now Watchmen was one of the biggest movies of the decade.
Snyder is one of those rare directors who’s actually capable of taking these huge, big budget movies, and actually turning them into something personal, using the auteur approach even while working with budgets of tens of millions of dollars.
Watchmen is one worth watching, especially if you’re just sick and plain tired of all these superhero flicks, as it really does turn the whole genre on its head as well as providing useful commentary on American society, culture and politics.
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