The modern-day film industry is filled with superhero movies. Between Marvel and DC we seem to be getting five to six superhero movies a year, which whilst being enjoyable, are beginning to just stick to a formula and offering nothing new. That’s what makes superhero films like Watchmen so special.
Set in an alternate 1985 where superheroes have existed for years, along with other drastic changes, this film presents its viewer with a very bleak world on the brink of nuclear holocaust caused by America and Russia. The story revolves around a group of superheroes, known as the Watchmen, who had disbanded when the government banned superheroes. When one of the former heroes is brutally murdered, the others reunite to uncover a plot against them, but find an even darker one lurking underneath.
Made by Zack Snyder and based on the comic book by Alan Moore, Watchmen is recognized on the Time’s list of 100 best novels published since 1923, this film is a gripping, character driven story that will leave you questioning what is right and wrong. With intense violence that most superhero films will shy away from and scenes that look like they have been lifted from the pages of a comic book, as well as points about corruption in government and war that can easily be applied to today’s society and world.
With Jackie Earle Haley putting in the performance of his career as the unrelenting Rorschach, Billy Crudup as the all-powerful Dr. Manhattan and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the polarizing Comedian, bringing the same energy he does to his role as Negan in The Walking Dead, the characters are what really make this story so powerful. Everyone of the main characters has relatable features that make their story arcs so compelling, be it Nite Owl feeling so powerless in the face of the impending apocalypse, Silk Spectre being forced by her mother to be a superhero or Dr. Manhattan being expected to save everyone whilst not knowing if he cares enough about anyone or anything.
The film is so layered that you will pick up on something new no matter how many times you watch it, whilst offering something refreshing in an oversaturated genre to first time watchers.
by Finn Basketfield