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Friday, 28 August 2009

Watchmen - Cinema review

First of all, I haven't read the graphic novel, despite being within feet of it, and I was wondering whether to postpone my viewing until I'd read it. Nonetheless, as the uninitiated, I will say that Watchmen is in any respect, a very good film, sporadically excellent, and memorable. It is the most visually arresting film this year, reminiscent of Blade Runner but of its own universe, and the darkness of its setting reflecting a film with deep, beguiling questions about the nature of humanity, and the social aberration that is its heroes: the Watchmen. The performances range from passable (Malin Akkerman) to excellent, namely Jackie Earle Haley as Rorshach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as the Comedian. It's a credit to Snyder that he manages to hold your attention more in the pivotal scenes that aren't just action; even so, these scenes are executed with a brutality that surpasses The Dark Knight even. It has been compared elsewhere that Rorshach's monologues are very much like Travis Bickle's, and it isn't an inaccurate comparison, the slow motion tracking shot as he walks through a disgusting urban undergrowth of prostitution and baseness, and his dialogue reviling it are highly reminiscent of Bickle's monologue avowal to "wipe the scum off the streets". I have more to say about this, and it'll be interesting to hear everyone else's reaction to Watchmen, but I don't doubt so much that this film is both Snyder's swansong, and the best film of the year so far.

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