Directed by Zach Snyder, the movie Watchmen came out on March 6, 2009. The movie starts out with flashbacks to 1940, when a group of superheroes called the Minutemen were helping fight justice and save lives. It shows the progression of them being praised for their work, to them being killed and ultimately failing.
The rest of the movie is set in an alternate 1985 America where President Richard Nixon has just been elected for his second term and the “Doomsday Clock,” a clock that portrays the tension of nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. The glory days of masked superhero group called the Watchmen, have been put to an end by the government because they were doing more harm than good. However, when a former Watchmen member, The Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), is brutally murdered, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), the only member of the group that never took off his mask, is determined to reunite the group and find out who would want to kill him off. As Rorschach, Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), Mr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), and Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson) bring out their old superhero outfits and start unraveling the plot, they find a startling culprit behind the murder, and also the impending murder of millions of American lives.
One of their old teammates, Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) took it upon himself save billions of lives, by killing millions of people. He came to the conclusion that with the impending nuclear war, would bring a nuclear holocaust and the human race would be obsolete. Ozymandias used Dr. Manhattan’s power to destroy New York City and blame it on him. The Watchmen were furious, until they see that when the United States and the Soviet Union found that Dr. Manhattan was their common enemy, they put the impending nuclear war behind them, made peace, and vowed to preserve the human race. The Watchmen saw what good came out of killing millions of innocent lives and justified it. However, when Rorschach, the only one that couldn’t justify killing innocent people, threatened to expose Ozymandias to the world, he was killed by Dr. Manhattan, which ends the movie.
This movie has a very postmodern message in it. The old superheroes, the Minutemen, who everyone thought would be able to save the world by bringing justice to it, failed. The second generation of superheroes, the Watchmen, failed because the government thought they were not doing any good. The postmodern mindset is that the old way of thinking is outdated and not useful, and this is the way that Ozymandias views the Watchmen’s old way of doing things. His solution was to blur the line between good and evil, to save billions by killing millions. The only true seeker of justice, Rorschach, was killed because his exposure of Ozymandias’ plot would have undone all that the mass killing accomplished.
This movie leaves the audience with a lot of questions about what is good and what is evil. It makes it seem that what is good and evil is relative to the situation.
[written by] Ali