Day 26 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

A Movie You Love But Everyone Else Seems To Hate – 30 Day Movie Challenge

I’m not sure why most critics didn’t enjoy this film. I wonder if it had anything to do with the dark tone or the fact that there is a giant blue penis on display for half the film. But I love the alternate reality and the bleak landscape. Imagine an America where ordinary people have donned masks and alter-egos to take the law into their own hands. That sounds like the opening exposition of every superhero story. Now imagine that in this world, because of the threat of Communism, Richard Nixon has not been impeached. Rather, he is serving his fifth consecutive term in the White House. That could be the most implausible thing about the whole film. Caped superheroes, sure. A flame throwing owl aircraft, no problem. A glowing blue demi-god, why not. But the idea that Nixon won that many elections, that takes a suspension of reality. But in a world where America won the Vietnam war (albeit with the help of a superhuman) a lot of things could be different.

Nixon has outlawed vigilante justice telling the heroes to put away their masks and rejoin society. What use is a caped crusader when you wield the power of a god. At one point, a newscaster says, “the superman does exist, and he is American.” So all the watchmen are either in hiding, trying to live a normal life, or have resorted to criminal actions to continue their masked marauding. Dr. Manhattan is the only one with superpowers in the literal sense, and he lives outside ordinary time and space and has control over the forces of the universe. It is dark and philosophical and I just really enjoyed it.

In most superhero movies, you’d just be waiting for everyone to snap out of it, climb into the spandex, and save the day almost guaranteeing a sequel. But there’s so much dread and baggage surrounding this group of justice seekers that it isn’t clear who the hero is, if there even is one. So what do you think? Did you like Watchmen? Am I way off? Please leave me a comment in the section below or on Twitter or Facebook.

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