Imagine a world where superheroes existed. Would it be like in the comic books or worse? That's the question that Watchmen asks. In the movie (as well as the graphic novel it is based on) we are introduced to an alternate 1985. A 1985 where superheroes exist. It isn't pretty. Remember Vietnam? We won. Remember Nixon? He's still President. Everything else is familiar though. The U.S. and Soviet Union hate each other. The same everyday problems are still around. And, superheroes, although they exist, can't do anything about it. Nixon banned them from service. So, it's almost as if they don't exist. However, that is just backstory. The real story is a murder mystery. A superhero named The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) has been murdered. He's an old man, a superhero from the days before Nixon. And, despite being known as the comedian he isn't very funny unless you get the joke. Most people don't. He has made enemies. That's why the police don't bother to do a proper investigation. He just upset the wrong person. Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), another superhero, doesn't think so. He is the only one ignoring the ban and still operating. Rorschach believes there is someone out there who wants to get rid of them. You see, even though Nixon banned superheroes there is one exception. His name is Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a God-like hero that Nixon uses whenever it is convenient. In this case...the war against the Soviets. And, Rorschach is of course operating illegally. So, his theory makes sense. However, he can't do it alone. He needs the help of his former partners, Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman) and Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson) who are second generation superheroes. As they begin their investigation they realize that perhaps this is just more than a simple case of anti-superhero violence. The people (or person) behind the murder have a bigger agenda and getting rid of superheroes is just part of it. Overall, I liked the movie but didn't love it. It's a great intellectual movie with wonderful visuals and performances. However, it isn't very fun to watch. Well...with the exception of a few scenes. So, the recommendation depends on the audience. If you want to have a good time then this isn't the movie for you. If you want a movie that allows you to use your brain then it is the perfect one. If you want both then you'll react to it the same way as me. You'll like it but not love it. So, if you want to watch it or rent it is up to your financial situation.
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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada