I watched the Watchmen (spoiler alert)

First let me say there will be very mild spoilers in this mini-review, no specifics but if you are completely paranoid about spoilers (as I am) you probably want to stop reading now.

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Still here? Cool.

I have never read the Watchmen, in fact I hadn’t even heard of it before the hype for the film began. Oh I’m sure I’d seen or heard mention of it, but it had never stuck in my brain, so I went to the cinema completely fresh.

The introduction really pulled me in, I like it when a film makes you work things out for yourself rather than hand you everything on a plate. Trying to work out who people were, what their roles are and even what the date was (at first) was engaging for me.

The structure did detract a little, the constant flashbacks and switching between seemingly unconnected characters kept dropping me out of the film and back into my seat in the cinema. It really needed something to smooth out the transitions.

I spent a good chunk of the film trying to work out whether the “costumed adventurers” had superpowers or not (excepting Dr. Manhattan of course). The dialogue implied that they did not at least twice, but the actions of the adventurers implied they did. A better indication would have been nice, either mention something about the source of their powers, or if they don’t have any then indicate some amazing training programme they’ve performed (ala Batman Begins) to make their actions more believable.

While the 18 rating was completely appropriate, there was one scene where they went overboard. I’m talking about the sex scene of course. I have to say it was one of the most unsexy sex scenes in the history of film, I’ve seen porn that was sexier. I can only think they did it to make sure the film got rated 18 and nobody tried to get them to trim bits here and there to rate it lower.

On a related note, there is a moment where Dr. Manhattan is floating naked in the air and at the exact centre of the screen is his crotch. I found my eyes inextricably drawn to his penis and it was very difficult to tear them away. I’ve a sneaking suspicion it was done on purpose, but maybe that is just my hangups :-).

The fight scenes were well done, a combination of comic book violence and Sin City gore. The prison break-out was especially good, and it was around this time when the movie really started building momentum. Once all the flashbacks were over I was hooked in and stayed hooked.

The first big twist was very predictable, and it was telegraphed much to obviously. I’d suspected the villain since his first moment on screen (technically his second), and it was absolutely confirmed by the spoilery thing mid-movie that seemed way too obvious to me. That said I think you were expected to have worked it out, there was no big “OMG, bet you didn’t expect that, den den dur” moment. So it wasn’t that bad.

The second and third twists (not twists exactly but I’m not sure what else to call them) caught me completely by surprise on the other hand, yet they made complete sense, which is very rare and very cool :-).

I absolutely loved the ending, I’ve read this was the only thing they changed from the book and I have to say it fitted perfectly in with the story. I can’t imagine the books ending being superior in any way.

Overall I think it was an excellent film and I recommend you go see it if you haven’t already.