Sunday, December 13, 2009

Watchmen. A-

It's a parallel universe in 1985. President Nixon is in his 5th term and America is in a bitter conflict with Russia. Analysts are predicting an immanent nuclear holocaust between the two countries that could destroy mankind. Another aspect of this alternate world is the existence of superheroes called Watchmen. They have been around for decades helping fight crime (and wars, including Vietnam, which helps Nixon to his third term). But they're threatened when one of the superheroes, a vigilante called the Comedian, is murdered. The few remaining Watchmen wonder who is trying to get rid of them, and what the real reason might be? 'Watchmen' is of course based off the popular and important graphic novel created by Alan Moore. Having not read the novel I can't really make a good assessment as to how accurate the film is. I'm not sure how much devotees of the book will actually like the adaptation. But all I know is that I was intrigued by this superhero epic. It's philosophical and very concerned with real world conflicts. It brings about the different things that drives man to madness-and glory. It's also beautiful to look at. Visionary director Zack Snyder, who's known for adapting a much less profound graphic novel in '300,' clearly respects the source material by trying to bring the art of the graphic novel to the screen. And he succeeds. So far 'Watchmen' has polarized audiences. Some think it's brilliant, while others walk away scratching their heads and wondering what exactly they just saw. I like a movie that does that. And I think 'Watchmen' will continue to have this effect on people in years to come. It's a film that will be around forever, studied and debated endlessly. I've only seen 'Watchmen' once. I plan to see it again very soon. But with that one viewing I was absolutely mesmerized. I didn't have trouble with the story and by the end the movie really had me thinking. In a sense, it had the same effect on me that Kubrick's films do. And that for sure is a very good thing.

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