What happens to a world when it is watched over by government sanctioned costumed crime fighters?
From the acclaimed Writer Alan Moore and Artist Dave Gibbons comes a groundbreaking graphic novel that changed the whole comic book landscape! Published as a limited series throughout September 1986 until September 1987 as “Watchmen”, it was set in the early 1940’s to the 1960’s, as they were called “The Minutemen” that later reformed as a new group “The Crimebusters” lead by Captain Metropolis. Where street level heroes and crime fighters in an alternate reality became self-serving law enforcers authorized by the government to help both in domestic and overseas crisis specifically in winning the Vietnam War while a storm front impending for global supremacy as the United States duke it out with Russia to be the super power of this god forsaken planet!
Directed by the slow motion maestro, Zack Snyder (300) who actually took up art classes which he has obviously used as his template for making his films visually centric and lavished with opulence! His earlier work was the remake of George Romero’s classic “Dawn of the Dead”! Now, this film had way better cast and talent courtesy of Casting Director Kristy Carlson (Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole). The story Zack delivered was fantasy oriented while grounded in broadening its horizons on politics and power circumvented by human emotions as they are trapped in a world from which they cannot actually save more so from themselves!
Creator Alan even said that Writer David Hayter’s (The Scorpion King) work was too close for the comic book and that he insisted that this was treated as such and not to be presented literally as a film to be conveyed to the viewing public. To add, Alex Tse (Sucker Free City) got the best parts on the two drafts to mould it into a more detailed story setting where the timeline of the 80’s in which politics was blasphemous and freedom of speech is a crime! This film was so anti-climactic to see how a compelling medium for readers not just by fans has too much zealotry to this so-called “holy grail” of comic books. This is the where all junctions cross paths, it’s not a pretty sight but it will get you to the exact same destination!
Jeffrey’s take on the role got too personal since he never had so much fun…brutalizing people that is! Until he had an epiphany that forever changed his perception of being a hero and a human being which was an understatement since changing his mind after he read the whole story to accept his role.
Since there were plenty of heads to juggle around, we start off with Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Accidental Husband) as the indispensable member of the group! Edward Blake known to his friends as The Comedian, he takes into account the works from his previous group before rejoining the modernized version to make it concurrent for the era!
He had too much baggage in his body that it is mandated for him to be “uplifted” since there was too much confidentiality and clandestine operations going around! You see life is stage play there is drama and there is comedy! One minute you’re sitting in your sofa drowning in alcohol while burning your lungs with regret and shame and on the next, you’re lying flat faced with shattered bones and skull on the pavement! He served his purpose well, making someone laugh his heart out!
THE END IS NIGH…
A definite work horse and as I’ve read, he was the most fanatic at least of the comic book from the bunch! Jackie Earle Haley (The Outside Man) He is the resident detective and is the man you don’t want to mess with, he plays Walter Joseph Kovacs also known as Rorschach, a masked anti-hero, small in stature but tough as nails. History suggests that Walter was a son of a prostitute who grew up later on in a foster home where he became an instant prodigy in terms of studies and sports specifically in boxing while Jackie explains his Kenpo training contradicts Walter’s more aggressive style of fighting.
Jackie gave his character’s persona from the get-go since he was able to read the graphic novel and his portrayal gave him accolades from fans. Much of his time in the film was investigating on who was killing the superheroes and what conspiracy lies behind the recent demise of his fallen comrade. He was unrelenting as he acted like a subliminal not just for the viewers to discern but what his true purpose from human suffering brought by society’s filth!
TORN BETWEEN TWO LOVERS, FEELING LIKE A FOOL…
Originally the heroine Silk Spectre aka Ms. Jupiter was Carla Gugino (Wedding Bell Blues) her real identity was Sally Jupiter who turned over the silky sheets to her one and only daughter Laurie Juspeczyk played by Malin Akerman (The Utopian Society). Not much development was given to the only rose among thorns but rather, a connection from the past to present and a happenstance just to give more depth in terms of back story and for the premise to move on. By the way there were two things that was coherent wit h Malin’s character in the film and that is: flirt around and she can kick ass well, that’s about it…
WHEREVER THE WIND TAKES ME
The guy who needs a little more persuasion coming back in wearing the underpants! Patrick Wilson (Life in Flight) stars as Daniel Drieberg the Nite Owl II, a charismatic genius that relies more on his inventions and gadgets than using brawn. Patrick took the job even though he was not into these types of genre but as least he did tried to give a convincing performance seeing he was just too practical when it comes to social responsibilities that is why it was never difficult to sway him to stop these crime fighting adventures when law prohibited it.
Patrick is one of those actors that had much to offer but was given few opportunities to explore his talent. He was nominated for a Golden Globe in the tv series “Angels in America” and this was his second time working with Jackie from the Academy Award Nominee “Little Children”. Maybe his break will come or is he just shying away from blockbuster films whatever the case may be, he does follow only his “flight pattern” just to have a steady course in his career!
His role in the team was plain and simple, to be a voice of reason and do what he needs to in order to save the world from this ominous threat! Good man…
TO ERR IS HUMAN TO FORGIVE DIVINE
Most of his films can be used to inject the pun and to put sense to his role as Billy Crudup (Without Limits) is the all powerful but soft spoken Dr. Manhattan! Jonathan Osterman was at the top of his game as a Physicist and finally achieved near omnipotence and yet he still searches for his soul! Billy is one of the underrated actors who can basically take on a role and put an unforgettable performance. His resume inclines more on drama projects and that makes it more challenging for him to don the capeless god-like who willfully resurrected after his body was obliterated in an “intrinsic field” test chamber in an accident in 1959.
In spite of his new found near limitless gifts, his personality slowly went down the drain and for that, his apathy for humanity has gotten the best of him. In principle everything has its limits but Billy was able to utilize these circumstances by at least reflecting more on his shortcomings since he was visually aesthetic already on screen tapping on his “human” side to make his character relatable to audiences.
THE GREAT DECEIVER OF MEN
Multi-faceted and coming to be a rising star, Matthew Goode (Copying Beethoven) plays the manipulative well-bred Adrian Alexander Veidt’! Ashamed of his Nazi ancestry, he left his worldly wealth and constantly travelled seeking to find his own worth. Adrian had a vision that “Alexander the Great” his idol from childhood and further with “Ramses II” from which his alter-ego Ozymandias was derived had great plans for the world and only he has the power to reclaim it!
His machinations from the beginning hide a catastrophic event that will alter history and favor his dream to create his own utopia in the expense of his fellow so-called heroes and most especially for the one he deemed fit to compete with his greatness, Dr. Manhattan! The Director altered the overly clichéd plan of this self-righteous prick as an alien invasion concept both in the Justice League and even with Marvel’s The Avengers from their comic books, animation and film adaptations was perceived but the one time hero was so sure of himself that he overlooked an integer that will haunt him for the rest of his life!
AND THE WINNER IS…
Some cast members had the spotlight to at least make their screentime not only memorable but also significant! The first one was Edward where his membership from two generations has given a major impact on how things were in their former glory and how they cascaded, trampled by their own superiority complex that resulted to his demise. The second one I believe was Walter, he was there from start to finish as he tries to save his team from extinction as he connect the dots and put the pieces of the puzzle to see the bigger picture but only to find out it was a catch 22 situation that got the best of him and the worst in others! Lastly, it was Jon’s character that made the last cut, where I can’t help but listen to Eiffel 65’s “I’m Blue” song! Dr. Manhattan although not the Alpha but the Omega as someone else in the film claims, he has all this power at his disposal but ambivalent to use it until it was necessary to do so! To add, another angle would be finding out who actually has the last say when a megalomaniac truly achieved his plans while a paranoid hero gave his life for the better of mankind…
Their actions towards public responsibility had been led to scrutiny which led to the enactment of different laws intended for these types of people like the “Might for Right Act” which serves as a mandated registration for all super powered beings and crime fighters and work for the government while the amended “Citizen Crime Fighting Act” suggests that they can participate or not in upholding the law and lastly the “Keene Act” which prohibits all operations made by non-registered crime fighters to be put in effect thus making them obsolete and retire abruptly from the cause.
I really don’t agree if it’s bad taste for comic books to be discussing and being inculcated with violence, sex and lust for power. Where in fact our lives has been tarnished and stained by people (without capes and masks) all throughout these years and up to the present just to compensate and give meaning to the words liberty, justice and equality! Henceforth, it did not make any sense on how screenplay was devoid of “code of ethics” where vigilantism runs rampant on the streets and heroes get the back stabbing when the law cannot comply what it needs to do to maintain order.
I wanted to discuss this on a socio-political standpoint rather than another typical superhero film where the heroes’ conflict was weighed more on their beliefs and their anxieties and how they were treated by society rather than actually facing villains. It was genuine at best seeing that how Alan and Dave reminds everyone that no matter how we try to achieve greatness or excel our potential (superhuman or not) it does not devoid us from the susceptibility of being human. That is why the minds behind these achievement did accomplish greatness and merit not just from fans but because they know something or someone higher is watching over them!