After building up a foamy froth of anticipation, I finally saw the movie "Watchmen."
Seeing this movie is a continuation of a recent trend of mine, watching much gushed over movies that are versions of much loved books-which I have never read. My recent treats have been "Twilight," "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" and now "Watchmen."
I have to say that "Watchmen" was the worst experience of the three. I don't know if it was poor movie-making or the complex material, but I felt lost a lot of the way through.
The story is as follows: In an alternate 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.
Sounds pretty interesting, right? That's what I thought; I was wrong.
The director's cut is 186 minutes long-aka: way too long. It just kept going on and on. It got to a point where I thought I died and this interminable movie was my personal purgatory.
The movie is narrated by Rorschach (Jackie Early Haley), a gravel-voiced vigilante on the search for the murderer of his crime-fighting cohort The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan). His rambling becomes so monotonous, that I begin to make up my own dialogue-all in the gravel voice of Rorschach. "I'm walking down the street, it's dark and I'm feeling a little hungry. I think I'll stop off at the market and pick up a Snickers. I like Snickers they have peanuts. Peanuts are crunchy, but you shouldn't eat them if you are allergic. Your throat will close up and you will die. Die a horrible death, just like The Comedian." Trust me, my dialogue blends right in after a while.
Aside from the annoying narration, the movie didn't feel like a comic book movie. I don't know if we've been spoiled by movies like "Iron Man" and "The Dark Knight," but this felt awkwardly flat and cartoonish. It didn't have that epic, escapist quality that takes you to another world. A world we need to be transported to in order for us to become fully engaged, so we're not just watching adults prancing around in goofy costumes.
Along with the flat feel, the effects were amateurish, obvious and constantly bounced me out of the story. I wonder how much time they spent creating the fake blood and crafting new ways to make it shoot farther and farther. Did someone get a new blood spurting kit for Christmas? Way too much spewing blood!
The casting was another point of frustration. I'm sure Malin Ackerman (Laurie Jupiter/Silk Spectre II), Matthew Goode (Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias) and Patrick Wilson (Dan Dreiberg/Night Owl II) are lovely people, but they make for ridiculous super heroes.
Although they can't fully take the blame, since the characters and writing are equally ridiculous. Dan/Night Owl II is so painfully nerdy that he can't even make his "little owl" give a "hoot", unless he is in full Night Owl dress and saving people. The sexy-times scene between Night Owl II and Silk Spectre II is so clumsy it inspires full-on laughter.
Then we have Dr. Manhattan/Jon Osterman (Billy Crudup), who glides around as a naked, electric-blue, other-worldly being. Billy Crudup does a respectable job with the voice work, but the character and storyline is bizarre. Dr. Manhattie is a selfish-lover who is painfully rational, even in light of outrageous tragedies.
It's this rationality that pissed me off the most. The whole movie leads up to the climax, which is usually the ferocious battle to the death-good vs evil. This movie decides to forgo the vicious battle and instead replace it with, "You're right. Well done. Let's go."
Are you kidding me with this story? Either it strayed wildly far from the graphic novel or the story just doesn't translate to the large screen.
Bottom line: This movie is an unforgivable waste of time. The only bright spot was my Jeffrey Dean Morgan-even though he plays a moody meanie-pants.