Watchmen

This is very late. I saw the film of Watchmen weeks ago. I had intended to write something about it at the time, but I never got round to it. But it was so good that I still feel I ought to say something, even if it has taken far too long to write.

It’s a film that could well defy expectations. It is not an action movie, though it does have some action sequences. This is not a typical superhero movie, though it is about costumed crimefighters. Perhaps it is more about philosophical or sociological worldviews than anything else.

One hero fights against evil because he hates it, but not through any real love of goodness. Another wants to save the world, but again, not through any real love of people; perhaps more for the intellectual challenge of it. Another is ambivalent, dissociated from the world because of his power – he is described throughout as god-like, but only when he learns to love can he be described as like the kind of god we would want to know. That still leaves two characters, about which I don’t have a lot to say, other than maybe they could be described as normal, the sort of people we can identify with, or would want to be most like.

The move is visually arresting, filmed with what I guess is an artist’s eye. The soundtrack is wonderful – instead of background music to reinforce the action, at times the action stops to allow the music to become the foreground, and to set a specific tone for the scenes to follow. The plot is complex, with key scenes told through flashbacks, and follows the original comic book until near the end.

I hope I haven’t given away any spoilers. I really liked this film, and I would hate to spoil it for anyone else. But I would recommend it to anyone who was comfortable with 18-rated films, and was able to cope with some unpleasantly violent scenes. I found the journey to be worthwhile.

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