Watchmen: The Wrong Kind of Superheroes

In Alternate 1985, Superheroes Focus on Self Preservation

Jalen Gomez, Reporter

With Netflix releasing an insane amount of shows and movies to its current catalog, TV lovers are getting a very nice catalog of options to watch at any given time. A majority of the releases have been critically acclaimed films, from “Indiana Jones” to the newer “Star Wars” movies and “Pulp Fiction.” As I had some extra free time over winter break, I was scrolling through the recently added section, which led me to watch a movie called “Watchmen.”

“Watchmen” is based in an alternate 1985 America, so everything comes off as retro, yet futuristic. There are futuristic buildings and the occasional spaceship, however Richard Nixon has been elected for his third term as president and the U.S. won the Vietnam War, all with the help of superheroes. In this alternate America, costumed superheroes are viewed as a normal thing to see on a day-to-day basis. With the visionary director Zack Snyder taking the lead in the movie, it is not hard to see how creative, yet so gruesome and boundary breaching this movie became. Bottom line, it’s easy to see how the film was rated R.

The Watchmen consist of a small super team like the Avengers, however, these are the wrong kind of superheroes. They have a vigilante and reckless reputation. Which is why somebody is trying to pick off all of the Watchmen to get them out of the way for an inevitable nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia. An investigation is kicked off throughout in order to find out who is after the Watchmen.

There were a lot of things which I liked about this movie, mainly the alternate 1985 setting that the movie takes place in. It helps set the norm of all the unusual things that are brought on screen, which is super cool. It is easy to see what the massive budget for the movie was used for (an estimated $130 million), with tons and tons of props, and some crazy effects. When directing, Snyder opted to use real-life sets and props, rather than primarily using CGI, which I thought helped and hurt the film. There were just a couple of scenes that looked a little odd, and I feel that could have been better if it were computer generated. All in all, the movie had good looks and objects that could stick in your head for a little while.

One thing I thought that could have been better was the backstory of each character and their scene placement. Although there were comic books that this movie was based upon that is sure to help this issue, it is not very convenient for the casual watcher. However, the characters were cool and their personal development was good.

The most important thing about this movie was the ending, which was really neat to me it is not something you typically see in a movie, outside of the more recent “Avengers: Infinity War.” I thought the battle was really cool and a nice way to switch up the norm.

Overall, the movie had more ups than downs for me, and it was something I’d definitely re-watch. There also happen to be three versions of it, the regular cut (162 min), the director’s cut (186 min), and the ultimate cut (215 min). With these different versions, it should surely bring more to the film. I would give it a 8/10, with a potential to improve.