directed by Zach Snyder
Alex Ross set the absolute standard for all comics that followed with his epochal work, Watchmen. For decades, film companies have been clamoring to bring his comic to fruition, much to Mr. R’s chagrin. Ross never wanted anything to do with a film adaptation, so much so that he declared Snyder’s effort garbage before it even finished filming, and while he may have used strong language, his powers of clairvoyance weren’t completely off. Demonstrating, once again, the necessity for good directing, Snyder rode his 300 wave right into a deal to direct the seminal comic, and after a financial battle between Warner Bros and Fox, Watchmen the film came into the world. I’m not going to get into some nerdy rant about details in the comic not matching the film, but I will say that Snyder’s effort was a noble one indeed, and the revelatory performance by Billy Crudup stole the show. How he manages that kind of deep melancholy in his voice and face is beyond me, and Jackie Earle Haley is back like scoliosis as Rorschach, the most realistic vigilante in the comic, and comics in general. And once again, Matthew Goode is mesmerizing as Ozymandias, super hero slash super villain determined to exact a cure upon the world. In the context of the time in which the comic was written, the story is alarming and potent, but in 2000 whenever, the plot loses it edge, and Snyder makes a muddled mess of the Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II romantic relationship to the point of absurdity (maybe Patrick Wilson was a bad choice). The film has its moments, but unfortunately they only feature Crudup, Goode and Haley. Mr. Ross, you say you refuse to watch the film. I say, aside from the excellent trailers, you didn’t miss much.