movie film review | chris tookey


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  Watchmen Review
Tookey's Rating
1 /10
Average Rating
5.37 /10
Laurie Jupiter/Silk Spectre II - Malin Akerman , Dr. Manhattan/Jon Osterman - Billy Crudup
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Directed by: Zack Snyder
Written by: David Hayter, Alex Tse , based on the graphic novel co-created and illustrated by Dave Gibbons [and written by the uncredited Alan Moore]

Released: 2009
Origin: US
Colour: C
Length: 161

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Director Zack Snyder's cerebral, scintillating follow-up to 300 seems, to even a weary filmgoer's eye, as fresh and magnificent in sound and vision as 2001 must have seemed in 1968, yet in its eagerness to argue with itself, it resembles A Clockwork Orange.
(Kyle Smith, New York Post)
The whole thing works, especially for the non-comic audience. Plus, the music is perfect, especially the opening montage set to Bob Dylan's, The Times They Are a-Changin.
(Patrick Parker, Premiere)
It's a compelling visceral film - sound, images and characters combined into a decidedly odd visual experience that evokes the feel of a graphic novel. It seems charged from within by its power as a fable; we sense it’s not interested in a plot so much as with the dilemma of functioning in a world losing hope.
(Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times)
A terrific comic-book movie, the most completely satisfying and unsettling one I've ever seen.
(Andrew O'Hehir,
The casting clicks; the visuals have leaped right out of Dave Gibbons' original panels; the action is brutal, stylish and well-staged, and -- with most of the major characters, themes and symbolism are retained in an abbreviated form -- the 2 1/2-hour film makes an enjoyably esoteric Cliff's Notes version of the book.
(William Arnold, Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
Watchmen has moments of greatness. It proves again that the action movie is where the best young Hollywood brains have gone to bring flesh to their fantasies.
(Richard Corliss, Time)
It may not include every nuance of the graphic novel, but it captures as much as any adaptation could -- which may not satisfy the fanboys, but it's probably more than enough for everyone else.
(Cammila Albertson, TV Guide)
Watchmen is a fitting tribute to Alan Moore's fascinating graphic novel, even if he refused to let his name be used in the credits.
(Lawrence Toppman, Charlotte Observer)
The 155 minutes of Watchmen are studded with inspired spectacles: fights and flights and imaginary creatures and reworked bits of history.
(Shawn Levy, Portland Oregonian)
Breathtaking and mind-blowing.
(Mark S. Allen, KMAX-TV)
Epic! A cinematic masterpiece.
(Jake Hamilton, CBN TV)
This is a completely different experience. For the first time in my 22-23 year relationship with the characters and universe of WATCHMEN, there is something entirely new to dissect, talk about, argue about, get enraged over, get drunk over, fight over and to fucking love!... I WATCHED THE FUCKING WATCHMEN AND FUCKING LOVED IT! It isn’t the perfect 5 hour wet dream that I always dreamt of, but I love it. I can’t wait to see the dialogue you all have with this film, with each other and with us here at AICN. This was fucking awesome!
(Harry Knowles, Ain’t It Cool News)
As a movie Watchmen is every bit as risky, edgy, and aspiring as it ought to be. As a bonus it's also really, really good.
(Joshua Tyler,
A profound work of art, a beautiful, deliriously weird, meditative spin on a genre that is as American as jazz. It is adult, sober-minded entertainment, visually ravishing and loaded with more ideas that a typical Oscar-season... But more than anything, what I found most bracing about the experience of finally seeing this onscreen is that it pushes the genre further than it's ever been pushed before. It demands more of viewers than any superherho movie previously released. It sets up a moral question at the end of the film that can't be easily answered, and it doesn't even try. It expects you to have your own reaction, and it treats viewers like adults, a rarity from any Hollywood film, much less one featuring characters with names like Nite Owl and Hooded Justice. And, amazingly, it works as a movie. It has its own rhythm, taking its time to lay out this complicated story, but it constantly delights with details both small and grand, and the cumulative impact is far more emotional than I would have expected. This isn't a case of a film being "good enough," and I'm not "just glad there's some version of it finally." It is a triumph, a movie that amazes on its own terms, and a major jump forward for Snyder as a filmmaker. He's on a very short list now of guys I would trust with world-building on an epic scale, and from this point forward, whatever Snyder's got in store for us, I'm onboard.
(Drew McWeeney,
It is dark and grim, but visually mesmerizing, and it gives something to think about, and also a reason watch it again.
Personally, I’ll be fascinated to see how the film sells, beyond the inevitable massive opening weekend — its is a curate’s egg of a seemingly non-mainstream subject matter that has somehow chanced upon a massive budget and relentless marketing campaign. Some wits have already described it as “the Blade Runner of the Noughties” and not without good reason. If you’re willing to buy into superhero movies in general then I’d urge you to get down to the picture house (preferably an Imax, if you are able — it is most choice) and immerse yourself in an awe-inspiring new world ... and make sure you go to the loo before you go to your seat: with a near 3 hour runtime, you bladder will be nagging you, but you won’t want to leave your seat for fear of missing a single scene.
(Duncan Bain,
If nothing else, Zack Snyder's Watchmen demands praise as an awe-inspiring achievement. Snyder has done what many considered impossible - he took Alan Moore and Dave Gibbon's seminal comic book, Watchmen, and turned it into a movie. And not just a movie; Snyder hasn't created some processional of images or a living audio book. He's made a film that feels like a living, breathing thing all its own while also being - almost completely - the book. Snyder's Watchmen captures the themes and the meanings and the characters that Moore and Gibbons created but makes them his own, turning the movie from being simply an adaptation into something that feels closer to collaboration. Had he only done that, Snyder would have earned a positive review from me. But he does more; Snyder had crafted a movie that flirts with honest to God greatness, that doesn't just capture the events of the comic but also the humanity and the emotion. It's a remarkable film, and an uncompromising one. It's the sort of movie that major studios are simply not supposed to be making now that the 1970s are over. Watchmen doesn't hold your hand and walk you through the story; in fact Snyder's movie dares the audience to keep up, demanding something much, much more than the passive viewing experience so many expect when watching even the best superhero movies.
(Devin Faraci,
Perhaps no other film in recent memory has been as hotly debated and anticipated amongst such a small group of people. For a certain subset of the world, Watchmen is to many the Holy Grail of comics, the drawn art elevated to its absolute peak. Watchmen is so respected that it has even been listed as one of the greatest novels of all time, sharing the list with titles like Lolita and A Death in the Family. Journey outside the hallowed halls of geekdom (The comic shop) and you might be more likely to hear Who is The Watchman and what is this movie about? rather than Rorschach is a study in absolutes while Nite Owl II represents the emasculation of males in our culture. It is unnecessary for me to say, but I shall anyways - Watchmen is a tough film to sell... Overall, the movie is a joy to look at, features many great vignettes, embraces and brings to life all of the characters and the tone of the book, but feels bogged down at times. Despite its flaws, it is most successful and I wouldn’t want this film to be made any other way. I stand by the statement that this is the best a Watchmen film could ever hope to be. Be sure to check out my 10 and 5, coming soon!
(Robert Fure, Film School Rejects)
I think this movie does a really terrific job of sort of establishing and adhering to the tone of the book.
(Ben Mankiewicz, At The Movies)
Watchmen is a visually stunning film.
(Michael A. Smith, Nolan's Pop Culture Review)
It's actually really great... Manhattan's atomic cock is pretty symbolic of Watchmen the movie as a whole – this is for adults only. There's tasteful nudity, gratuitous gore and weighty themes that at first seem alien in a mere 'superhero movie' – even The Dark Knight seems frivolous.
(Ali Gray,
It's searing, spectacular and simply unmissable.
(Steve Anglesey, Daily Mirror)
Not just another superhero movie. Gripping onto sex, violence and angst, it’s hard to imagine anyone watching the Watchmen as faithfully as Zack Snyder’s heartfelt, stylised adap. Uncompromising, uncommercial and unique.
(Jonathan Crocker, Total Film)
Snyder's reverential adaptation is entertaining, edifying and challenging. With the end of the world as nigh as it ever has been, these Watchmen are well worth watching.
(Anton Bitel, Eye for Film)
Travelling towards us with the agonising speed of an incoming meteor we’ve stared at for fully 23 years, Watchmen finally hits the screen as something fanboys could only have dreamed of: a labour-of-love epic, stylish, violent and very, very faithful.
(Chris Hicks, Total Film)
Impressively directed, brilliantly designed, superbly written and impeccably acted, this is a thoroughly enjoyable thriller that is essentially the best possible adaptation of Watchmen that anyone could have hoped for... Highly recommended and easily one of the best films of the year.
(Matthew Turner, View London)
As with most comic book films, once you look past the absurdity of costumed superheroes (and Dr Manhattan's incessant need to traverse the Universe with his dong swinging about) Watchmen reveals itself to be a truly unique and giftedly layered ode to film noir and the classic Hollywood murder mysteries. A stunning retro soundtrack teamed with Zack Snyder's trademark use of slow-mo (there are times where you could swear you are just watching a collection of Music Video clips edited together) gives the film a truly authentic, other-dimensional appeal. The visuals are a daring delight, on par with The Matrix. They create a visual language the elevates what could be deemed as "self indulgent" into a grounded, well-developed and meticulously sculpted tale. But it isn't all style over substance, with the script opting to delve deeply into the characters rather than exploiting CGI effects - a risky, yet ultimately rewarding, cinematic choice. There are some stellar turns from the ensemble cast as well - the highlight delivered in the form of a chilling performance from Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach... Original, violent and unparalleled in it's [sic] efforts for credible character driven storytelling - Watchmen is a triumph.
(Sean Lynch, Web Wombat, Australia)

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