Directed by Zack Snyder and based on the 1986–87 DC Comics of the same name, Watchmen is set in an alternate America where costumed superheroes are part of everyday life. When one of his former comrades is murdered (Jeffrey Dean Morgan‘s The Comedian), masked vigilante Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) uncovers a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his retired associates – Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), Silk Spectre II (Malin Åkerman), Doctor Manhattan (Billy Crudup), and Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) – Rorschach glimpses a far-reaching conspiracy involving their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the world’s future.
Surprisingly, the first time that I watched this in the cinema I hated it. I kept standing up every 10 minutes thinking that it had finally ended, but it never did.
Now, older – wiser – I love it. I still think the runtime drags on, but there are so many epic scenes and acts that I wouldn’t want anything cut out from it, apart from maybe that dodgy sex scene… You know the one I mean.
Zack Snyder‘s directorial style is absolutely stunning, just like it’s cut straight out of a comic book. The cinematography is remarkable and so is the soundtrack, both of which come together to make this film the bold, character-driven, highly-stylised, dark, often disturbing, gruesome, but all the more impacting, superhero film that it is.
The casting is probably my favourite thing about this film. Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Jackie Earle Haley, especially, are exceptional, but whilst I usually find Patrick Wilson, Matthew Goode, and Malin Akerman quite average actors, I love their performances in this. They each embody their characters perfectly.