Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson
RunTime: 2 hrs 43 mins
Released By: UIP
Rating: M18 (Violence & Sexual Scenes)
Official Website: http://watchmenmovie.warnerbros.com/
Opening Day: 5 March 2009
is set in an alternate 1985 America in which costumed superheroes
are part of the fabric of everyday society. When one of his
former colleagues is murdered, the washed up but no less determined
masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill
and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects
with his former crime-fighting legion – a ragtag group
of retired superheroes – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging
and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past
and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission
is to watch over humanity…but who is watching the watchmen?
Moore, the author of “Watchmen” had once said
that “Watchmen” is unfilmable and not very cinematic
in nature. Framed director Terry Gilliam who had once tried
his hands in adapting this movie added on that “Watchmen”
would at least required a 5 hours miniseries format to bring
this fable comic book tale properly to life in a film medium.
It’s understandably a tall ordeal for anyone to translate
this critical acclaim comic book to the big screen.
numerous attempts, that job finally landed on Zack Snyder’s
lap, the same director who just had a box office hit with
300. In his hands, “Watchmen” had been watered
down to 3 hours odd worth of materials. In order to fit into
a theatrical format, the “Watchmen” film had been
edited down to it’s current 2 hrs 43 mins runtime, leaving
the rest to be featured as extra in the eventual Director’s
cut of Watchmen dvd. In Singapore, Watchmen had initially
received a R21 rating and had to be watered down further to
obtain a M18 rating.
be fair, this clean edition that we are getting had been quite
deftly censored and we couldn’t spot what had been edited.
Although personally, I had not read the book, it felt that
Zack Snyder had kept it fairly faithfully to the material.
setting of this movie could have been updated to modern times
instead of the eighties; to allow the general viewers to have
a better understanding of what’s going on. But the filmmakers
stuck to mostly to the source material and gave a unflinching
look into a world of superheroes that are filled with various
conflicts, not usually dealt with in comic movies such as
your neighborhood friendly Spider-man. Each essential characters
of “Watchmen” receives adequate focus and are
being slowly brought out in stylistic tedious manner that
felt like a testament of Zack Snyder’s love for the
story and their characters.
as what Terry Gillian had pointed out, a complex story like
Watchmen would require far more than 3 hours to do it properly
and at the end of the movie, it felt that Terry Gillian was
right about not presenting “Watchmen” in a movie
problem for those who are unfamiliar with the original story
and had not lived through or well verse with the Richard Nixon
era or American politics back in the 80s, it was a bit hard
to immense oneself into what’s going on in the movie.
Coupled with the need to focus on the six different characters
and their perspectives on the issues at hand, the 2 hours
and 43 mins weren’t enough to effectively engage the
viewers to feel more for these characters and the story that
transpired. Additionally these are not well known characters
like Batman or Superman and there seemly not enough time to
build up the mythos for these “Watchmen” characters
in order to feel what they are going through.
Zack Snyder’s Watchmen did well enough to introduce
the comic classic to the general audience and excite one into
finding out more about the world of “Watchmen”.
However there is something lacking in this film edition of
“Watchmen” that I feel could only be fulfilled
by the director cut of this film or the actual graphic novel
('The existence of this movie is a highly overrated
Borrowing from the quote from Dr Manhattan)
Review by Richard Lim Jr