So the wait is over and the hype can subside because the most eagerly anticipated movie of 2009 has arrived. Based on the graphic novel considered the Citizen Kane of its field (the ‘best of the best’ for those who don’t speak movie geek) its big-screen counterpart might be closer to Ben Hur, in that it’s a kingsized spectacle that fits in jaw-dropping moments wherever it can.
More a tangled web of character studies than your trusty good-versus-evil square off, it’s as interested in getting you inside the minds of its unique creations as pitching them into battle. Flashbacks are as important as fight scenes, and while the latter still produce the odd highlight, so do political satire and cyber fetishism.
Watchmen is better when it’s playing up its weirdness and dense layers of meaning, while the visual effects are most impressive as moments of stillness, with the sensationalised violence acting like punctuation. This approach doesn’t make for the most cohesive story, but the best bits happen on such an epic scale that it’s easy to forgive the film its flaws. It’s so ambitiously epic in scope that glitches are almost inevitable.
See this eye-popping experience on the biggest screen you can. All that CGI must have cost a lot of money.