Watchmen: The Movie (reviews and spoilers)

Traditionally, there is a distinction between:

A. Powers portrayed as though any biologically normal human being could attain them with enough practice

B. Powers portrayed as though biologically normal human beings could not attain them even with practice.

I just read Watchmen, and it seemed pretty clear that everyone but Dr. Manhattan was portrayed as having powers only of type A, not of type B. This includes Ozymandias.

-FrL-

Yes. If Watchmen were portrayed as taking place in our world, then Ozzy’s abilities would count as superhuman. But it’s not, and within the Watchmen universe, they merely represent the pinnacle of human achievement.

Welll… not to quibble, but I’m not convinced that the Watchmen universe is supposed to be distinctive by virtue of the capabilities of its biologically normal human beings. In other words, I think human capabilities are being portrayed in the comic as being no different from actual human capabilities.

No, it’s not a distinction point that is made, but still, the conclusion that since Ozymandias does something that’s not possible for a human, therefore he must have superpowers doesn’t work even if it is actually something impossible for human beings in the real world – within the narrative, he is clearly a non-superpowered character.

“does something that’s not possible for a human” is pretty much a definition of a superpower.

I think them not having powers hurts the book for me (sorry but this is a personal issue and I don’t mean to start a flame war). A 16 year old girl, no matter how well trained would be useless in most situations. I think giving them all a modicum of ultra human powers would have made more sense particularly given the ending.

“…in the real world.” Jeez, is it ‘bring your inner pedant to work’ day today? If he’s meant to have no superpowers in the narrative, he can leap over tall buildings for all I’m concerned, he still doesn’t have superpowers.

Both a more sweeping and trivial generalization than you probably meant. :stuck_out_tongue:

(That next should probably be spoilered, presumably some people will see the movie that haven’t read the graphic novel.)

What I mean to say is that as Ozymandias’ character is developed, there’s a sharp contrast there. Don’t think about what you know about the character, remember how he appeared when you first read it. He “sold out,” became preoccupied with commercial pursuits, seems a bit of an intellectual dilettante, and a half-measure of Siegried & Roy presenting the image of a hero in the most cartoony way possible, and then, when the narrative narrows in on him… “Wait, what?”

I had my doubts about the quality of the movie the second I saw the release date. Studios just don’t release movies that they believe in in early March, and at this point the studios should all believe in a comic book movie. Shame, I was really really hoping that they just didn’t understand it and that it would be brilliant.

That may be a consequences of the rights dispute with Fox.

Which, by the way, I actually admire. What Fox did was gruesome but brilliant. They could have made a stink when they first heard about it. This would hav delayed the movie indefinitely, and the makers would have probably lost interst in the project. Instead, they waited until it had been fully made, was ready to go, and then made a fuss. Ths way, they actually get a cut of something substantial. It’s almost cruel, but effective.

I don’t think that a March release date is necessarily a warning sign. And one big reason for the March release date is that 300 made a domestic gross of $210 million two years ago. The studio probably thought March would work well for another Zach Synder comic book movie.

Does anyone have a quick and dirty synopsis of the legal dispute?

So, even as we prepare to bitch and complain, let’s at least be glad we didn’t get that. I’m amazed a major studio was willing to release an R-rated superhero movie.

In fact, I want everybody, just for a moment, to imagine the movie being set in modern times, PG-13, and directed by Michael Bay. That about that; let it soak in. Maybe Zack Snyder ain’t so bad, eh?

The all knowing Wikipedia does, of course :wink: Sounds messy.

Think I’ll wait to see a few more reviews, since Kevin Smith and Wil Wheaton, probably others (haven’t been following it too closely) think it’s awesome. Perhaps one of those polarising films.

And Ozymandias totally has superpowers.

Things are looking up! Good reviews on RottenTomatoes.com (80% Fresh as of 2/24):

A lot of good reactions linked to on AICN. The fanboy sites all seem to like it. There’s a reader review on AICN which assures us that Snyder has kept things dark and faithful. Apparently, the movie even retains Dr. Manhattan’s “swinging blue cock.” I’m kind of amazed that the studio let him make a 3 hour, R-rated superhero movie with dick shots and kids getting their faces eaten off by dogs, but I’m going to be there opening night.

Malin Ackerman looks unbelievably, excruciatingly hot in that Silk Spectre suit, by the way.

I still say Ozymandias does NOT have superpowers. Rorschach’s comment about him being the most dangerous, or whatever, has to do with Ozy’s mental acuity. Remember the story, “The Most Dangerous Game?” Humans the “most dangerous” animals to hunt not because of strength, or speed, but because they are smart. I took Rorschach’s assessment of Ozy to mean that he is smarter than anyone else, that’s why he’s so dangerous. And surely, that’s the way his character is written. His intelligence, also, allows him to control his own mind in such a way that he can physically train his body and senses to do amazing things. He’s basically a ninja.

In the scene re: the bullet, he even says–

“That’s another thing I wasn’t sure would ever work.” Plus, he was bleeding.

Now, Mythbusters has made clear to us that such things aren’t possible, though for a long time they’ve been considered maybe just plausible enough that given the right circumstances, the right reflexes, and specific technique maybe it could be done.

I think it was clear that the Watchmen universe didn’t contain people with superpowers. Dr. Manhattan changed things significantly. Ozy is different from the others, but he’s a supergenius, which allows him superior powers of concentration, meditation, bodily control, etc. that he uses to maintain superior physical condition to everyone else. But do I think there’s anything metaphysical to his abilities: no.

Retains? While it was certainly blue in the book, it was by no means ‘swinging.’ Like a sad little snail peeking out of its shell. Let’s just hope he was waiting to manipulate his matter once things got hot and heavy…

By the way, it’s been a while since I read it, was there any explanation of why nobody ever tried to recreate the experiment leading to giving Doc Manhattan his powers, or else why it didn’t work?