This was supposed to be a small, short and cute movie review. This move is neither small or short or cute. It’s a force to be reckoned with! How do I even begin about this movie? It made such a huge impression on me, I’m in the loss of words. Well, I take that back. I’m NEVER in loss of words.

So first I’ve got to admit I didn’t know anything about this comic book before I saw the movie, and honestly, I’m a bit ashamed. How can I not hear about something so honest, morbid, apocalyptic, true? I’m a loser. Let me take you back for a second – I always loved comic books made into a movie. It’s just so unreal and beautiful to escape in some mysterious world, better than any reality possible, but than again, that’s just me, I just always had trouble with reality. When I was a kid, I always dreamt Bruce Wayne really exists somewhere, and that I would find him, live in his Batcage, drive in his Batmobile and fight bad guys alongside. He was my dream guy, all the mysteriousness, black gear, the voice, we would always save the world in the last second, in my Batdreams…

What happened then? I grew up and I found out the world is nothing like in my Batdreams, people are bad, mean, terrible, and on the verge of destroying itself with its greed, with its character; WORLD DOES NOT WANT SAVING. So my escapism left, and frustration about world and “humanity” entered. I’m still struggling with my realization of the “truth”, and I wish that I’m like most people I know; careless, clueless, superficial and satisfied. I’m not satisfied. Not with people, not with world, not with most of the things. And that is why “WATCHMAN” is a medicine for my soul. Why? Because I’m sick of pretending.

WATCHMEN does not pretend. It destroys. But lets go back a step.

Sometimes I can be stubborn. But luckily I met someone that is even more stubborn. Whatever I am, he’s more. If I want to be evil, he will be more evil than me, if I want to be slick, he’s going to over-slick me, if I want to be good, he will be better than me, and if I want to be stubborn when he wants to take me to a movie theater to watch(men), luckily he will over-stubborn me and take me anyways.

And then I saw “Watchman”.

They call it post-modern, and I call it deconstructive. I call it destructive and then deconstructive.

If you do not know what the movie is about, let me just run you true really quick –

It’s the year 1985, but not the one we all remember, this is the alternate reality. Richard Nixon’s been president for almost 20 years now, serving his third/fourth/fifth term (thank god Bush didn’t read Watchmen), while the US nation faces nuclear shenanigans with Russia (or then, USSR). Meanwhile, superheroes that helped Nixon won the Vietnam War have been driven into early retirement by Government. When one the superheroes (with no real superpowers, no less) called Comedian, is killed by getting thrown out a window (well, no superpowers, remember), the remaining Watchmen gather together to figure out if there’s anybody that wants them all dead.

What’s so fascinating about that, you ask? Everything. It’s freakin’ intelligent. The superheroes are real and ordinary, they are fucked up, they are dirty, they fight and kill for no reason, they rape, their superhero car breakes down, they have erection problems, I mean it’s morbid and real and disgusting and shows the world just how it is – morbid, flawed and at times disgusting.

It is about violence, sex, dark and blunt humor, it sections and analyzes world and people, government, fate, God, metaphysical forces. It has murder mystery, aspects of political thriller, science fiction and the ‘funniest’ thing – a touch of soap opera! But the most interesting thing of all is the character development, the way superheroes are written – in the way of mirroring the society so perfectly, the way they are so flawed and screwed up, but put their superhero suits on anyways and feel compelled to enter unwise mayhem that will only scar them deeper. They are so morally ambiguous, well some of them, not all, that they make Bruce Wayne’s Shakespearian inner demons in ‘Dark Knight’ seem almost comedic.

Visual motifs also touched my senses – they so playfully paint this contradictory picture, brilliantly written by Alan Moore, the writer of the comic – the yellow smiley face badge worn by the character called Comedian, the most vile and brutal of all the superheroes – the smiley face badge that gets splattered with his blood when he gets murdered, its just chilling. And ironic.

But most of all, it’s the writer, the one that is adorned my millions of comic book fans around the world – that is the real superhero. The wisdom of the writer, Alan Moore is just mind-blowing. The text in this movie was so wise, every single word mattered, it’s playful but paranoid, philosophical – it tears you apart, every word. The way the writer teared apart the iconic aspect of superheroes, it tears you apart just like that. It made me want to run down from the theater to the nearest Barnes’n Noble, buy a pad and start writing down the lines from the movie, or at least pull my Blackberry out and take notes, but the fear of comic book fans and Alan Moore/Watchmen aficionados in the theater killing me if I moved while the movie was running, or lighting my phone on and ruining a scene – I caved. It moved me like that.

A movie that has lines like –

Perhaps the world is not made. Perhaps nothing is made. Perhaps it simply is, has been, will always be there… A clock without a craftsman…

or –

Listen.. Once you figure out what a joke everything is, being the Comedian’s the only thing that makes sense…

or even –

But the country’s disintegrating. What’s happened to America? What’s happened to the American dream? It came true. You’re lookin’ at it.

…simply has to be seen. How can you not see it?

As I said, wisdom of Alan Moore is just mind-blowing. His arguments are just so philosophical, and to call this guy a visionary would not give him enough justice. I read somewhere that he is a “cultural treasure chest”, and that is the least. And why do I like these apocalyptic stories, you might ask? What is wrong with me that I enjoy this? I don’t like apocalyptic stories, buy unfortunately world is apocalyptic and I like the truth. I don’t like to pretend. I like a brutal, honest, unforgiving truth. There is just so much pretending, I NEED the truth to remain SANE.

The spirit of this movie and this writer is so unique, that its anti-triumphalistic message is going to make you feel fine, not depressed, because it’s morally satisfying – for anyone that is challenged with a definition of humanity.

Go see this movie. It’s a must. But as I sad, don’t expect Superman. Superman has left the building.


If you like my work and want to support it, buy me a cup of coffee! For more of my content, check out my publication on Medium and personal stories on Substack.

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If you like my work and want to support it, buy me a cup of coffee! For more of my content, check out my publication on Medium and personal stories on Substack.

connect with me:

Miranda Vidak

Storyteller. Creative. Founder / Designer of Moodytwin Inc. Disrupting the conversation about culture, society, tv, dating, self, one op-ed at a time.

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