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Watchmen (DVD)

Starring: A woolly mask with splodges on it and a man with a very unhealthy blue glow.

Rated: 18.

Story: In an alternate version of the 1980s, a retired superhero is murdered and his old comrades endeavour to track down the killer whilst simultaneously whining about how much they miss the old days.

Comments: I should hate this film. It contains the two things most likely to irritate me in an action movie - angst-ridden superheroes and a narrative that's told in a strange order to make it seem more interesting. Oh, and some excessive gore for the sake of it. Not to mention a plot that promises more than the ending delivers. So it has four things that... No wait, there are some gadgets that might as well be powered by magic in there as well. That makes five things that... Er, did I mention it's half an hour too long? So that's, erm...

Hang on a minute while I go get some red robes and a comfy chair...


Right. That's better. As I was saying, Watchmen has any number of elements that are liable to grate. Happily, however, they're all thrown together which such style and spectacle that it doesn't matter. The characters are somehow sympathetic (despite being mostly crazy) and there's nearly always something interesting happening.

The soundtrack is fantastic, the editing is superb and the mix of time-frames and locations keeps the film visually fresh throughout. It may not be the rip-roaring superhero adventure full of smashing and explosions I've been waiting for but it all makes Spider-Man's recent cinematic moping seem doubly tiresome.

Conclusion: Would you believe it? Telling the story in a jumbled order makes superhero angst bearable.

Explosions: Relatively few.
Vicious brawling: Plenty.
Silly sex scenes: Two or three.
Spectacle: Lots.
Stretched Lycra: Slightly less than is entirely seemly.

Rating: 4/5.


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