My long review of the long-awaited, highly polished turd called “Watchmen” is now online. Here’s an excerpt:
One of the most telling characters is Rorschach. In the comic he’s repulsive and ludicrous—a tiny man with lifts in his shoes, he suffers from major sexual problems, and his disguise is a street person whose placard reads “The end is nigh.” The backstory makes him both more likable and less admirable; the moment in the comic when he threatens his landlady is uncomfortable, but the next panel, where he spares her because of her child, who reminds him of himself as a boy, is extremely poignant. Snyder alludes to some of this—we glimpse Rorschach in civvies, wandering around with his sign—but it never coheres. Viewers new to the story might not even realize this nutty doomsayer is the vigilante’s alter ego. All we’re left with is another cool-as-shit dark hero, kicking ass in glossy martial-arts sequences, doing the dirty work of justice.
I must say, for all its shittiness, Watchmen has generated some pretty entertaining reviews. I think my favorite is Tom’s — it’s not often you see a three paragraph review reference both parade floats and cartoon dogs. Still, Nina Stone’s review would be a close second. I’ve already explained that I feel poor Malin Ackerman has been criticized unduly…but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate good snark:
That woman has the depth of a teaspoon. I swear to God, it wasn’t only painful to watch her, it actually made me angry. Sure she looks good. So do a lot of other actresses who deserve to have that role. Actresses who can actually act. I mean, it started with her scenes with Dr Manhattan. Her heartbreak and confusion and distress all read like a bratty, petulant 13 year old. All her lines felt like monotone script readings. There was no sense of history to her, no sense that the actor owned the feelings of her character. I couldn’t take it. “Vapid” is almost too nice a word to describe her. (And vapid is a pretty mean word!)
I agree with all of that except for the part about “other actresses who deserve to have that role.” I think Ackerman was perfectly suited for that crappy role. Inflicting it on an actress who could act would just be cruel.
Anyway, as I said in comments, the great thing about the movie is how it brings us all together. Whether you know the comic well, like Tom and me, or whether you’ve never read it, like Nina, we can all still join hands and despise it together.
Update: Bill hasn’t seen it, but thinks it literally looks terrible.