Deeper Into Movies: “Watchmen” (2009)

Above: Watchmen as a Saturday morning cartoon. Amazing. [Via YANP]

I did see Watchmen, and I can tell you this, spoiler-free: It’s a very good movie. Not a great one. While it’s certainly a step or three above 300 as far as the unintentional comedy factor goes, there are some major tonal issues — the cartoonish sheen of the whole film is visually impressive but doesn’t jive well with the story’s themes of gritty realism and impotent, flawed heroes, and a number of the action scenes could’ve used both less gratuitous gore and less gratuitous slo-mo. That said, superhero movie-loving me was pretty impressed throughout, and Zack Synder did about a good as job as possible in squeezing the graphic novel’s 12-part storyline into a relatively smooth, linear film. Flashbacks abound, but they arrive organically and shouldn’t be too hard for non-geeks to follow. Watchmen fans should thoroughly enjoy seeing the book come to life, warts and all, and as for everybody else, well — it may be too complicated for some, though Roger Ebert (who seems to be a newcomer) gave it a shining endorsement. Hold onto yr hats and blue penises, folks. (A final caveat: The ’60s-era protest music would be a powerful, affecting soundtrack if the movie was set, y’know, in the ’60s. Some decade-appropriate Joy Division or Bowie here and there would’ve worked better, but you can’t win ’em all.)


Deeper Into Movies is a Yo La Tengo song and, in this case, a film review column. Click below for more.