Snyder delivers with Watchmen

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

The Comedian from Watchmen

Gazette File Photo

I DON’T THINK HE’S JOKING AROUND. Like many of his masked comrades, The Comedian doesn’t shy away from violence in Watchmen.

Directed by: Zack Snyder
Starring: Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman, Billy Crudup, Jeffrey Dean Morgan

4.5 stars

In an alternate Nixon-era America, a vigilante by the name of Rorschach (Haley) attempts to discover who murdered The Comedian (Morgan), as the omnipresent threat of nuclear war grows stronger.

Based on the widely acclaimed novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the Watchmen big-screen adaptation has had massive hype surrounding it ever since the film’s announcement. Living up to the expectations placed upon the film would be impossible, yet this picture still manages to deliver an intense and substantially satisfying experience.

A number of moviegoers will be appalled by what they see in Snyder’s interpretation. While many gave the film a standing ovation, others were taken completely off guard and walked out halfway through. The extreme level of violence and sexuality found in Watchmen is undeniable " something anyone planning to see the film should consider.

The opening credits will immediately draw audiences into the story by the use of decidedly eye-catching shots to Bob Dylan’s tune “The Times They Are a-Changin.” One thing most viewers will agree upon is that setting the stage for Watchmen through this montage was highly effective.

Snyder’s vision is almost certainly as close to the original novel as possible, save for several necessary changes and cuts that allowed Watchmen to translate well onscreen. The most notable of these tweaks is a completely different ending " one that may leave fanboys distraught.

For the most part, any variation of material was made to let viewers who haven’t read the novel comprehend the story and themes. Even with the changes Snyder made, audiences new to Watchmen will likely have a few questions.

After only having been released this past weekend, Watchmen has already stimulated discussion and produced wildly differing opinions. Opening day, fans were divided between loving and hating this movie. Among those who enjoyed the film, the words “Oscar-worthy” are being thrown around already. In contrast to this, predictions are being made that the film will flop.

Watchmen’s bleak look at an alternate past is ultimately a core theme that makes the film so appealing. An intelligent weaving of action sequences with philosophical discussions about the value of life within the film is a testament to the talent of those involved.

In the end, Watchmen becomes a memorable movie experience which will benefit from repeated viewings.

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