Review: Watchmen (2009)

Crimson Quill’s Appraisal #627


Number of Views: One
Release Date: March 6, 2009
Sub-Genre: Neo-Noir/Superhero
Country of Origin: United States
Budget: $130,000,000
Box-Office: $185,300,000
Running Time: 163 minutes
Director: Zack Snyder
Producers: Lawrence Gordon, Lloyd Levin, Deborah Snyder
Screenplay: David Hayter, Alex Tse
Based on Watchmen by Dave Gibbons, Alan Moore (uncredited)
Special Effects: Chris Gallaher, Scott R. Treliving
Visual Effects: Steven Ilous, Shawn Walsh, Peter G. Travers, Jessica Norman, Lon Molnar, Dennis Jones, Ian Hunter, Bryan Hirota, John ‘D.J.’ Des Jardin
Cinematography: Larry Fong
Score: Tyler Bates
Editing: William Hoy
Studios: Legendary Pictures, DC Comics, Lawrence Gordon Productions
Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures, Paramount Pictures
Stars: Malin Åkerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Carla Gugino, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson, Dan Payne, Niall Matter, Apollonia Vanova, Glenn Ennis, Darryl Scheelar, Stephen McHattie, Clint Carleton, Matt Frewer, Mike Carpenter, Danny Woodburn, Robert Wisden


Suggested Audio Jukebox ☻

[1] Simon And Garfunkel The Sound Of Silence

[2] K.C. & The Sunshine Band “I’m Your Boogie Man”

[3] Tears For Fears “Everybody Wants To Rule The World”

[4] Billy Holiday “You’re My Thrill”

[5] Nat King Cole “Unforgettable”

[6] Budapest Symphony Orchestra “Ride of the Valkyries”


Have a nice day they say. Well that’s easier said than done when the world around you is rapidly turning to shit. I’ll tell you this for free, it’s a lousy fucking time to be a comedian. Actually scrap that, I can just sit here with one finger up my asshole and five others wrapped around a tumbler of cheap gin, focusing on the stuff that really matters like topping up my glass while the rest of the world are left waiting for that punchline. Looking for the American Dream?


Well here I am bozos, no longer suffocating in the stink that society creates for itself as, to put it in plain English, I don’t give a fuck on a freight train what happens to this infernal nation any longer. I’ve said it before and I’ll come again for anyone late to the party – Once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense – and if you can’t get your gears around that, then go tell someone who cares as that someone sure as shit ain’t me. Now if you could find your way to closing the door on your way out, I’ll get back to the real pressing matters at hand. Alas we live in a world where booze can’t yet pour itself. It’s so tragic it’s funny.


October 12th, 1985. Tonight, a comedian died in New York they say. Well pardon me for wasting your precious oxygen but, if you don’t mind, I think I’ll hang about for a bit as I’m genuinely intrigued with finding out what those gas-heads write in my eulogy. I suppose they thought it was funny to kill me off five minutes into the fucking party but I never was one to go quietly. The truth is, you’re the closest thing to a friend I’ve got right now and what the fuck does that say? If the joke’s on me as it would appear, then I deserve the chance to work my audience right?


The others won’t mind as they’re too busy forgetting why we got into this gig in the first place. Society’s only protection, that was the gist of it unless I misread the fine print. Well how do you protect and serve a society that grows more screwed with every corrupt politician elected into office? Our days are numbered, mine a little more boldly than I would have preferred, and it seems the world no longer needs that hero. And you wonder why I no longer do public functions.


The burial was nice by the way, just a few “close friends” whose names I guess I should mention as the impending nuclear war is their problem now. We called ourselves the “Watchmen” and, for a while there, the world knew exactly who we were. They still do but the difference now is that they no longer care. You see, it’s no longer considered PC to don a rapist mask and good, honest crime fighters like us are being forced back into shadows like vermin. Undesirable I believe is the term used to describe us and, in my case, loose cannon is often thrown into the mix. What can I say? If I get an urge, then I follow it to its end, whether natural or otherwise, and I never once claimed to be either saint or someone else’s lackey so if that makes me surplus to requirements then fuck the man and don’t come crying to me when American soil becomes drenched in blood. You can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs right? Well at least it deals with the population explosion.


Anyways, I guess I should fill you in on the others and let’s start with Ozymandias as he’d like to think himself the brains of the operation. Adrian Veidt seemed like your average spoiled brat until he grew a little hair on his balls and stuck the silver spoon somewhere else. Having come from money, his future was all mapped out in advance, but something about the fact that his parents were Nazis didn’t sit right with him and he chased that American dream in an attempt to become self-made and shed his legacy.


Going public about his identity may have seemed a dick move at the time, but he’s since become one of the most influential businessman in the US of A so it worked out pretty well all things considered. Personally I’ve had enough of his “help the world” bullshit to disgust me for three lifetimes and, for all his IQ points and fast reflexes, he’s as open to suggestion as anyone else and an arrogant fucker to boot.


Next up is Doctor Manhattan or Dr. Jonathan Osterman to his associates until he locked himself into an Intrinsic Field Subtractor and got his ass atomized. It wasn’t all bad as getting irradiated turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Jon, although if you ask him, he’ll give you the same blank look he gives everyone else. Superhuman speed ain’t to be stiffed at, but while I’d use that shit to cause mild mischief because why the hell not, he spends most of his time advancing science and technology and drifting further out of touch.

Film Title: Watchmen

The government think him indispensable but I’m pretty sure the feeling ain’t mutual there. Should things go tits up here on Earth, then he can simply head off to Mars and watch our planet explode from a safe distance. If he has a weakness, other than resembling an oversized blueberry, then it would be the ladies and one dame in particular gets his blue balls throbbing.


Silk Spectre II comes from good stock as she follows in the footsteps of her crime-fighting mother and I hear her biological father, an “old friend” of mine, wasn’t too shabby in that department either. What she sees in Doc is anyone’s guess although it might have something to do with the fact that the government pay her expenses and consider her a necessary expenditure for shacking up with their blue-eyed boy.


You’d think she’d be little miss happy tits for the charmed lifestyle this long-term relationship affords her but she’s not truly content and, unless Manhattan gets a personality transfusion and fast, I reckon she’s all set to stray the love nest and I know a fella more than willing to step in and steal her away.


That somebody would be Nite Owl II and a more pitiful excuse for a superhero would be tough to come by. Nowadays he is known simply as Daniel Dreiberg and there’s more than a whiff of Clark Kent about this overweight geek boy. He’s well into his comic books and spends most of his time perfecting all manner of owl-themed gadgets that he’s got no intention of ever using. Dreiberg was the kind of kid who kept all his action figures in their shrink-wrap to increase their value and it’s all a little pathetic if you ask me.


He’s clearly got the hots for Spectre but doesn’t appear to possess the functioning hardware to satisfy the needs of his own Lois Lane so I’d imagine he’ll continue to follow her around like a doey-eyed lap dog until which time as she gets bored with him. Or he could grow a pair and reveal his identity, although I won’t be holding my breath on that count.


Finally we have pretty boy Rorschach, who is the kind of from another time motherfucker who would stick out in an identity parade like a monkey’s thumb. He thinks himself some kind of noir private dick and dresses accordingly, with a constantly shifting bandaged face even his own mother couldn’t decipher. Actually that’s a bit of a sore subject for Walter Joseph Kovacs as mommy dearest was a whore and he spent most of his childhood in a home for troubled children.


If you’re looking to learn what unresolved detachment issues can do to a man in later life then Rorschach’s your poster boy. This dude is haunted and his right-wing ideology comes from having his faith in humanity beat out of him back in life academy. I’ve got to give him credit where it’s due, the whole roving inkblot facial expression trick makes him tough to suss out and is kind of mesmerizing in small enough doses. But I don’t even think he knows who he is.


If you want to know any more about the “Watchmen” then stick around as something has their knickers all in a twist and I reckon it’s all about to go off big time. Ain’t nothing gonna matter once those nukes start flying; we’ll all be dust. Too cynical? Perhaps even nihilist? What do you want me to say? It ceased being my problem when some wise guy got a lucky punch in and ejected me through a high-rise window. Prepare for zeitgeist as whoever put this shit together clearly has some sense of humor and I for one ain’t gonna miss the fireworks. This is a joke. This is all a joke. Like I said at the start, once you realize what a joke everything is, being the Comedian is the only thing that makes sense. God damn I love working on American soil.


Crimson Quill’s Judgement: 9/10

Grue Factor: 3/5

For the Grue-Guzzlers & Pelt-Nuzzlers: You wanna see some bones crack? Well you’ve come to the right place. Heads pop? Step on up to the carnival. Ever wondered what a cobalt schlong looks like? Ponder no more as our resident radiation mutant Doc’s packing one such trumpet and doesn’t possess the appropriate length of loin cloth to cover it. Still think superheroes are kid friendly? Well then I guess the joke is on you morons.

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Read Sin City/Sin City: A Dame To Kill For Appraisal
Read Sucker Punch Appraisal
Read The Matrix Appraisal
Read The Matrix Reloaded Appraisal

Richard Charles Stevens

Keeper of The Crimson Quill

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    1. I’m thrilled that you enjoyed. I love writing this way and it fills me with joy to know that it goes down well. The Comedian is such an awesome character that it just felt right to see things through his eyes.

  1. How original to do a movie review in a character’s voice? You succeeded my friend. I could clearly hear JDM as the Comedian saying your dialogue. Very innovative way of telling the story of the Watchmen.

    1. I love writing reviews in first person and The Comedian seemed like too good an opportunity to pass up. I have an appraisal coming for Hardcore Henry and I did the same thing there. Thank you, truly.

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