Faithful readers of TAM know that I am a big fan of going to midnight openings of big movies; better than going alone is going with a group of friends. So I found myself enjoying dinner with David and Lisa at the Friendly Confines located across from the Regal at Waterford Lakes. Not my favorite place to see a premier, but worth the sacrifice to go with friends. Rich and Sarge soon joined us as we made our way over to join the screaming masses in the theater. Sarge was soon dismayed to find out that we were bypassing The Jonas Brothers in 3D to watch a comic book. He quickly found a new displeasure when the trivia slides started repeating after 6 slides.
After some interesting trailers (Terminator, Wolverine, Star Trek, everything turned yellow and black. The obligatory cheering happened in our theater. What followed was a three-hour (rounded) tale of heroes, villains, and humanity’s need to destroy itself. The story begins with the death of a hero that causes others to wonder if they are being targeted. As we are introduced to each hero, we learn the backstory and how they relate to one another. To say that there are parallels to mainstream comic-book heroes is an understatement. Here is a breakdown of some of them:
- Dr. Manhattan –> Superman, a solitary being surrounded by people who care.
- Nite Owl II –> Batman, 30’s-70’s era, willing to get in the mix, but without a lot of the angst
- Rorschach –> Batman, Frank Miller version, distrustful of everyone and willing to say so
- Silk Spectre II –> Batgirl
The pacing of the story was good and the director did a good job of letting it visually unfold. Probably the one thing that most audience members, including myself, were not quite prepared for were the strong sexual overtones. Between multiple shots of Dr. Manhattan’s “Empire State Building” and the love scenes of two other heroes, I am surprised that the movie was allowed to keep an R-rating. This is not because I disapprove, but because the MPAA tends to be rather prudish in these matters.
Of course I had to torture Rich at the end slightly by making him wonder if there was anything after the credits (there isn’t). He left to get some sleep before work, which left David, Sarge, Lisa, and me to leisurely leave the theater. This gave us some original thoughts by Sarge (”What the hell was with the butt crack of dawn? it was like Dr. Manhattan was pooping out rays of sunlight…”) and David telling us the difference between the comic book and the movie.
My advice: see it on the big screen and see it with a group of friends — for if you do not watch it, then who will watch the Watchmen…?