I was just a kid during the 80’s, but I remember The Cold War: the ever-present threat of Global Thermonuclear Mutually-Assured Destruction. The Government “Star Wars” programs. Books about how to create a fallout shelter in your backyard. The “Tornado” drills in school, that we all knew weren’t just for tornadoes.
So while movies like War Games and Red Dawn are period pieces which hold a certain charm for me, I have to admit they won’t work for everyone. The same goes for Warner Bros new release: The Watchmen. The story is an alternate history, dated in the 80’s. (The Watchmen graphic novels were released in 86-87) The “alternate” part is that superheros rise to power and help America to win The Vietnam War. President Richard Nixon is elected for a third term, and a comedian is killed in New York…
The movie intro is great, and I appreciated the quick overview of the alternate history of how the Watchmen came to be, and then came to Not be. (All backed by Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin.)
While the movie’s alternative time period didn’t seem as surreal as the real 80’s were, it was very distinct, and gave the movie an other-worldly feel. More than one person mentioned a feeling reminiscent of Blade Runner.
The heroes were fallible, to a fault. The good and bad are not clear-cut, and I love that. Too many years of Disney handing us Good and Evil on clearly-labeled trays so we know who to like and who to hate; you won’t find that in the Watchmen. The characters Rorschach (Played by Jackie Earle Haley) and the Comedian (Played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) are as deep and as real as any superheros I’ve ever seen on the big screen.
Disjointedness aside, the plot was great. Big. Great Big. Earth-shatteringly earth shattering. Once it gets rolling, it’s a Juggernaut, and it isn’t boring. The mythos of the Watchmen was well thought out, and it shows.
The first third of the movie is a mystery, and that mystery is, “What the hell is this movie about?” The movie’s dyslexic buildup made me wonder if it was a political drama, superhero saga, mystery, or soap opera. The movie didn’t try too hard to pander to those unfamiliar with the mythos, the philosophy was, “Start the movie and the audience will catch up eventually!”
The music was trying too hard. Way too hard. I never thought I’d say this because I’ve said the opposite so many times but here is a movie that would have benefited by replacing some of the songs with musical score. I guess they couldn’t get Danny Elfman, so they bought up the rights to every song played in the 80’s except Don’t Fear the Reaper by Blue Oyster Cult.
And if I *never* hear the accursed song Hallelujah again, it will be too soon. I don’t know who decided to include this song, much less why they thought it might work over a sex scene, but people in the theatre were laughing, myself included.
And if I *never* **ever** see an uncircumcised blue penis again, it will be too soon.
The Twitter Review
#MovieReview The Watchmen is good. A great character study, even if you don’t like superheros. Soundtrack tries too hard. The 80s were cool.
I’m predicting that the 80’s gigantic earrings, neon pastel colors, and Nagel prints will make a comeback because of this film.