Viewed: 16 August 2009 Blu-ray
Well this was a movie that back when I watched it in March, really puzzled me. The hype surrounding the ‘unfilmable’ graphic novel and the over-played teaser trailer made me believe this was going to be the best super hero movie ever made – and definitely one of the big hitters of the year. Boy did I come away completely bewildered. See my original thoughts HERE.
Watchmen as I said is unconventional, preachy and depressing whilst at the same time managing to be dazzling, beautiful to look at and full of complex characters, with a cold-war back-drop that fascinates. Zack Snyder should be commended for attempting such a bold and daring adaptation of a graphic novel that was very much a product of it’s time. On a second viewing I admit to apreciating more the down beat pace and the doom-layden atmosphere. The character of Rorschack is outstanding and fierce, and actor Jackie Earl Hayley deserves all the credit that’s been bestowed upon him. Yet I stand firm on my original view point that the movie hammer’s its point home too heavily, and any good it does in its first two hours are almost undone in the hopeless and shocking final act. I enjoyed the strange and ethereal presence of Doctor Manhattan even if he probably defines the film’s hopeless underlying message. It’s also hard to come away not feeling a little depressed by the outcome. But don’t let such things put you off, because if unlike me you approach this film on first viewing with the expectations of something completely different and unusual, then maybe you might grow to love it.
The Blu-ray I’ve watched is the American director’s cut and here we get 24 minutes of additional footage, even if I was hard pressed to see anything strikingly new apart from the death of a supporting character and a touch more violence. The violence still seems gratuitious and the sex scene unnecessary despite it’s titillation factor. Yet if you’re a fan of the movie – this is the version to own. Extras wise the big thing here is the maximum movie mode, an exhaustive on-screen commentary that is both revolutionary and bursting with information – a definite must view. Otherwise we get featurettes on the graphic novel and some stuff about real-life costumed heroes and a wealth of other tid bits to fill out the experience.
Verdict: 4 /5
(definitly a better experience second time round)