Rewind time to early 2009, a young Mark Robirds Jr. had seen the trailers for a movie called Watchmen. I was so excited about the movie that I could not wait for March 6th to come around so I found a series a videos on Video On Demand that were the making of/behind the scenes of Watchmen so I watched all six to seven videos around twenty times each learning about how to make a movie. Not only did this boost my excitement for Watchmen but it interested me to see how all this stuff came together in the final product.
About a week later, my brother and I went to the theater where I saw, what I consider even to this day, my number one favorite movie ever made. Yes, I think that Watchmen is the greatest movie ever made. Seeing all the scenes come together in the final product made me realize how amazing being a filmmaker could be and so from then on, it has been my dream to become a film director and writer. Zack Snyder is my inspiration and if it weren't for him, I wouldn't be here right now and he has yet to make a bad movie in my opinion: Man of Steel, 300, Sucker Punch, Dawn of the Dead: all amazing movies but I still think his best movie is Watchmen.
Watchmen is a beautiful movie. I know audiences think that DC movies are too bleak and unsaturated, well then they should take a look at this movie. Sure there is a grayish color palette to the film but the backgrounds, the costumes, the sets, and many visuals are so beautifully vibrant and colorful that it creates a very interesting style. This style is also shown better by the large amount of slow motion shots which had become a stale trick to do in Hollywood but Snyder used it perfectly in this movie with having slow-mo but the scenes that do, don't last long but long enough so that the visuals solidify.
Fantastic characters are featured in this movie. Let's start with the one that everybody thinks of when they think of Watchmen: Rorschach.
The character that writer of the graphic novel: Alan Moore despised but EVERYONE loved. Is he a hero or an anti-hero? No one can really tell but we all know that this character is 100% amazing. Brutal, cold, dark, mysterious, smart, somewhat funny, with a perfectly comic booky design. In the movie he is portrayed by Jackie Earle Haley and he just owns this character and any scene he is featured in.
The CGI for Rorschach's face was jaw dropping when I first saw it, there was nothing like it at the time and I loved how Snyder protrayed the mask with the ink blots moving due to different things: his movements, his mood swings, and when he would get hit in the face (like in the fight with the villain in the last act, I loved that). Rorschach has earned his way into one of my all time favorite DC heroes and he's on many others' lists as well. I don't know what Moore's problem was with him but I don't care cause I love Rorschach.
Next there is the hero who has lost his way: Nite Owl II.
Portrayed amazingly by Patrick Wilson, Dan Dreiberg was one of the masked avengers until Nixon declared masked vigilantes as outlaws so he retired along with many. Patrick Wilson really does emote that part of the character who hates being retired and wants to continue fighting for good but he's just a little to broken. Luckily with a little bit of a boost from his girlfriend: Laurie Juspeczyk, he dons the suit once again and flies out. Nite Owl is written better here than in the book because he actually cares about his friends and actually wants to save the world.
One of my favorite changes from the book comes at the end, when Rorschach is stopped by Dr. Manhattan from telling the world about Veidt's plans. In the book, Nite Owl doesn't care and goes to have sex with Silk Spectre in Veidt's palace. In the movie, Nite Owl goes after Rorschach and witnesses Manhattan murder his best friend and he reacts with a yell of pure sadness: he actually cares about Rorschach, which makes sense since they have been partners and friends for so long. Again a much superior ending than the horrible one from the book.
So Nite Owl is written perfectly, acted perfectly by Wilson, and looks fantastic. Plus his alter ego is themed after my favorite animal, so that's definitely a plus.
Oh and let's not forget the greatest superhero vehicle in history: Archie the Owlship.
Dr. Manhattan and Silk Spectre II will be the next couple of characters we focus on since...well they are the least likable characters.
One is a woman who can't make up her mind about which man that she loves and the other is an indestructible man who thinks himself as a god. Both are unlikable and...I think they are supposed to be. Think about it, if a man were given the power to create, manipulate, and destroy anything, teleport, see the future, and be indestructible, more than likely that man would become a pretentious and vain being that people would be scared of.
Manhattan is played by Billy Crudup and he plays the part to a T. The performance capture is astounding, his acting is top notch for an actor I've never even heard of before this movie, and for a character that's supposed to be unlikable, I really wanted to reach through the screen and strangle him.
Next there is Laurie Juspeczyk or Laurie Jupiter AKA Silk Spectre II who while not as hate inducing as Manhattan, manages to still be quite annoying and unlikable. When you become a rich celebrity off your superhero status, it only makes sense you become a snobby and selfish individual just like her mother played fantastically by Carla Gugino.
Now let's get to the reason this story begins: the Comedian.
Murderer, psychopath, rapist, mercenary, killer of JFK, this guy is one twisted and nasty perversion of a superhero. Jeffery Dean Morgan goes all out with this character and I just eat it up. You just HATE this character for all that he's done: murder a woman who was about eight months pregnant in cold blood when he is the one who impregnated her...wow. Attempted rape of a fellow member of theMinute Men: Silk Spectre. Nothing to like about this guy but yet when he dies, Rorschach still cares enough to find out who the killer is.
While there really is no way to forgive this guy for what he's done in the past, we do see a scene where he breaks down and realizes how horrible he is which is a big plus in my book. It doesn't redeem him completely but at least he didn't die being a monster that he was for so long. By the way, the scene where he dies is one of the best death scenes in history thanks to Snyder's directing and the choice of music.
And we end things off with the final member of the Watchmen: Adrian Veidt AKA Ozymandias.
This superhero had no problem releasing his secret identity to the public and even used his superhero identity for profit: toys, comics, a movie in the works. Making an entire industry based on this superhero gig of this. Once again, it actually makes sense that somebody might do this in real life which is what I give props to with the movie and book is showing a very realistic take on superheroes and I love that.
Now I can't exactly talk about this character more without saying spoilers so skip this next section.
While I saw the twist of Veidt being the villain coming, it is still a good twist. Once it's revealed he is the villain, he becomes quite the force to reckon with: intelligent, smarmy, fast, strong, and skilled. The fight between Nite Owl, Rorschach, and Ozy is quite awesome. Matthew Goode brings a very cold and sinister touch to the character of Ozy that I did not expect to see since he was sort of wooden through the rest of this movie. Not a bad wooden, but like the character is supposed to be wooden.
Matthew Goode did a great job with this character and I hope Goode gets more blockbuster work because he is a pretty good actor.
And those are just a fraction of the characters featured in this movie and I won't even bother listing more otherwise I might turn this article into a five hour read so I'll just say that all the characters are written well and performed well by the actors.
This movie's soundtrack is up there with some of the best and I have the entire list of songs ready to be listened to on my iPod.
Snyder's directing is at his best here, he managed to perfectly recreate panels from the graphic novel and give the characters lines that are word for word from the graphic novel. Not many comic book movies have done this and I definitely give props to Snyder for doing that.
Zack Snyder in my opinion made one of the only perfect movies in history with this adaptation of Alan Moore's graphic novel. Beautiful filmmaking, great acting, great story telling, amazing visuals, and a bunch of interesting characters. If you haven't watched Watchmen, I highly recommend you do and please check out the Ultimate Cut which is over three and a half hours but you will not be bored once in it.
This movie changed my life forever, I will forever aspire to become the next biggest director in Hollywood. It is my dream to sit in a theater and when the credits begin rolling I see the words: Written and Directed by Mark Robirds Jr. then the audience cheers for the movie they just saw. I can thank Zack Snyder for inspiring me to begin this journey.
Watchmen earns my rating of a 10/10 or in my rating system: a High Platinum. I adore Watchmen and I always will. It is because of this movie that I have so much faith in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice.