When a film starts while One of the most influential Bob Dylan songs is playing in the background, you know that you’re in for a wild ride. Such is the story of Zack Snyder’s Watchmen. Based on the popular graphic novel by Alan Moore, Watchmen is a very brooding take on the superhero genre.
The director of the film was Zack Snyder, who previously worked on 300 and the little-known film called Sucker Punch. With Zack Snyder on board; this project was either going to be incredibly good or incredibly bad. Fortunately, it was much more good than it was bad!
How to Stream or Download Watchmen
To stream or to download the movie, click on the Download button that is located below this review. Check out also our reviews of other films by Zack Snyder: Man of Steel, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Wonder Woman, Justice League, Wonder Woman 1984, and Zack Snyder’s Justice League.
The Movie Review
This is a film that was caught up in development for almost 20 years. Initially, it was planned to be a film that would be releasing in the 1990s, since the work started back in 1987. However, after many studio, director, producer, and actor changes the film finally came into existence in 2009.
The film follows a band of superheroes known as the Watchmen. The members of the Watchmen are Nightowl, Silk Spectre, Rorschach, Doctor Manhattan, Ozymandias, the Comedian, and there is an internal conflict that they have within. The film takes place after the murder of the comedian, by an unknown murderer.
All of the superheroes and vigilantes in the city are in peril, now that a comedian has died in the city. The story follows Rorschach, Nightowl, and Silk Spectre as they investigate the murder of the Comedian. In doing so, they uncover a terrible conspiracy and a huge plot to create the third World War.
This is a very lengthy film, stretching over three hours of runtime. However, this runtime helps this film and taking its time in developing characters. The characters in this film are very detailed, they take a huge portion of the screen time and are being developed. Their stories are shown in flashbacks, and in other moments that are happening in the present time.
The best characters in this film are Dr. Manhattan and Rorschach. These two serve the purpose of the story, being the emotional part and the logical part. Ozymandias on the other hand is a Titanic character who influences the story in a terrifying yet brilliant way. Without giving much away, I can simply say that every single character in Watchmen is very well developed and serves a huge purpose in the story.
Now for Zack Snyder’s direction, for the most part, he does his job pretty well in keeping the characters developed and giving the story a good adaptation. The problem here lies though, is that the film flows pretty badly. It takes huge chunks of breaks just showing flashback moments and I’m talking about the ultimate cut.
The flashback scenes while giving the characters hugely important moments, don’t really serve much of a purpose aside from showing how morally grey these characters are. However, 30 minutes into the film you already do realize that these characters are morally grey.
Though in the film’s defense, Zack Snyder does push for more character development on some characters rather than others. Doctor Manhattan, for example, is shown to be a very logical character yet his back story is highly emotional and does serve a huge purpose in his role in the film.
This back story is hidden until the almost very end of the film and comes as a bit of a revelation and surprise. This was a great step in the direction of this film; however, the backstories and flashbacks of Nightowl and Silk Spectre were not great. Rorschach’s Entire development was done just for the end of the film, the film’s ending is quite different from the actual comic book ending and Rorschach plays a huge part in that.
I cannot really compliment this film’s acting, most of the characters speak in a monotone and those that don’t speak in a monotone have very few lines. Though I must say, Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the comedian does an exceptional job at being despicably unlikeable.
There is also our man Patrick Wilson, who is just as good as always in any role as Nightowl. I cannot say much for the rest of the cast, due to the roles being quite monotone in their conversation styles and the acting not really popping out much.
When it comes to the film’s aesthetic, Zack Snyder’s classic style over substance filmmaking is present here. The problem with it is though; this film could have been shortened at least by 30 minutes if the slow-motion scenes were cut out. You don’t even need to cut any of the sequences out; you just need to speed them up a bit. Though overall, the film cinematography is quite decent. I would have preferred if the film chose to be more practical over slow-motion effects, though that is not the case.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, Watchmen is a very slow burn of a superhero film. It is very uncommon in the superhero genre to be a film that builds itself up for an explosive (and I mean that literally) finale. Zack Snyder does a good job of adapting the Watchmen comics by Alan Moore, yet his filmmaking style is just as style over substance as before and it takes away from the overall experience.