Bleak. Hilarious. Kinky. Violent. Atheistic. Flawed. Unsettling. All of these adjectives describe Watchmen, the latest comic book opus to be transferred to the cinema. But this film does not possess a multiplex sensibility; it is deformed, hideous, and brilliant. It is art-house/grind-house superhero-noir holding a mirror to the black heart of humanity. I saw it on Sunday with my teenage children, and I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.
I have read a series of negative reviews that have been accurate enough in their criticisms (this character was superficial or that performance was wooden or some artistic choice was derivative), but I also feel like they have missed the forest for the trees. This film is relentless and uncompromising and doesn't really care what you think.
Rorschach, the film's chief protagonist, is like Frank Booth and Travis Bickle rolled together into superhero form. Jackie Earle Haley's performance as Rorschach is so pure it could shatter glass, and make the audience laugh out loud and shiver in fear simultaneously. It is a testament to the effectiveness of the film that the two most loathsome characters, Rorschach and the Comedian, are unnervingly sympathetic.
Having seen 300, the director's previous work, I went into this film prepared for something flat and hackneyed and overlong. I came out speechless - I thought Watchmen was great. Have a look at it and let me know your thoughts. Unlike the film, I do care. *:-)