WATCHMEN: Preliminary Discussions (Warning: This blog contains strong language)

I just got home from the theatre where I watched the most offensive movie I have ever seen in my life. 

I consider myself prepared to deal with most movies I go to see but; I had no idea “Watchmen” would blindside me like it did.

I wasn’t prepared for what I saw. I will write out my initial thoughts for now, and then after constructing a coherent response; will write a review later this week.

Before I even discuss the movie…I have to note one of the previews.  For those of you who don’t know there was a recent surprise in Hollywood called “Paul Blart:  Mall Cop.”  This surprise has evidently pissed off SOMEONE.  For a really great review of Paul Blart, see this article: http://www.lewrockwell.com/grigg/grigg-w73.html

You see, in the article, author William Grigg points out how certain anti-statist ideas were promoted in the flick.  Paul Blart stands up to the “militarized government monstrosities” in defense of private security personnel.

If there was ever any doubt in my mind that people in Hollywood see themselves as modern prophets and shapers of culture, it’s gone now.  A mere 2 months after Blart, another movie about a portly security guard is going to be released.  Only this time…it will star Seth Rogen (a guy that seems to always end up on screen with beautiful blonde girls…IE “Knocked-up” “Pineapple Express” and now in this film: “Anna Farris.”)

This movie is more in-your-face.  The gutter humor is amped up.  The licentiousness is disgusting (judging from the preview) and it will completely bury the public memory of any positive lessons taught in the “Blart” movie.

Coincidence?  I don’t think so…not in the least.

Moving on:

From the very first opening sequence in “Watchmen” I was disgusted and sick to my stomach.

This movie strives to push whatever limits are left in Hollywood.  We see (what we think to be) a kindly old man brutally beat to death in a very violent fight in the first sequence.  He is then tossed to the pavement from 20 or so stories high and we see his mangled and broken body on the ground afterwards.

There are very explicit sex scenes where little gusts of shadow and shady lighting are all that distinguish this “art” from pornography.  On top of that, full frontal male nudity is gradually phased in, until by the end of the movie it isn’t shocking anymore… (At least not to the desensitized sheep who think such films are “entertainment.”)

The violence is off the charts.  A young pregnant woman is shot point blank.  A man has his arms sawed off.  People are disintegrated regularly, leaving their body parts dripping from the ceiling.  A little girl is sadistically murdered, (though we don’t see the murder) and her body fed to dogs.  We actually see the dogs fighting over the remains of her leg.)  The “murderer” of the little girl is then caught by one of the “good guys.”  In a fit of righteous rage, the good guy hacks the murderers head with a butcher knife repeatedly.  (It was around this time that I heard a baby start crying in the theatre, and noticed some children a few rows down in front of me.  I suppose they thought they were going to be viewing a super hero movie similar to the X-men, or Spiderman franchises.)

The Lord’s name is constantly taken in vain.   A character named “Dr. Manhattan” meets a woman and they soon are having pre-marital sex.  On the nightstand is a Bible.  The producers made sure you see the moral contrast by zooming in on a close up of the Bible with the two having sex in the background.

Also, two of the main heroes have sex in an air machine while a triumphant and emotional song plays in the background.  I can’t remember all the lyrics, but the song was about King David singing praises to God. (UPDATE:  the song is “hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen which uses biblical lyrics to “pay homage to the orgasm.”) 

A character named “Dr. Manhattan” at the end says to one of the villains, “You are the smartest man alive, but what is that to me?” Obviously insinuating that the “strongest of man’s strength is weakness before God” an allusion to the Bible.(1 Corinthians 1:25)

The plot concludes with the idea that a small group of elite scientists or “thinkers” has the right, for better or worse, to sacrifice millions in order to promote the betterment of society.  The “God-like” figure Dr. Manhattan ends up agreeing that such is for the best.

The only sane character in the whole film was Rorschach, who…seems to be the only shining light in an otherwise worthless and blasphemous movie.  While his theology is a bit off, he provides the closest thing to a Christian worldview.

Rorschach gets arrested, and in his conversation with the prison psychologist, says: “God isn’t the cause of all this evil…WE are!”  Rorschach is constantly lecturing us on the depravity of society.  In the end, it seems that the actions of Rorschach may be what serves to hold this elite group of planners accountable to a higher authority…though Rorschach only refers to it as “justice.”

Rorschach, unlike his compatriots, held to “justice” and did not believe that this elite group had the right to make decisions for the rest of humanity.  He was brutally murdered because he refused to keep their secret.

What secret you may ask?  Well, you see, in this movie, the good guys end up killing untold millions of people, and Rorschach vows to get the word out in the name of justice.

In the end, Rorschach, though dead, dropped off his journal to a reporter who gets it after Rorschach is murdered.  The movie is unclear whether it wishes to portray Rorschach’s action as a tremendous tragedy, or as a righteous good.  If we view it as a righteous good, then the movie has some redeemable value after all.  However, if it’s viewed as a tragedy; if Rorschach’s final act of justice is meant to be a negative thing; then it becomes the single most offensive movie (to Christian society) that has ever been made (that I know of.)

The flow and energy of the entire movie lead me to believe that the producers meant it to be a terrible tragedy that Rorschach finally gets his justice.  It’s a terrible irony, or …as the popular theme in the movie would say, “a joke.”

The “good-guys” go through Hell, and destroy millions of people just to end the cold war… (by blaming the mass murder on Dr. Manhattan, and thus uniting humanity against the Doc) only to have that darn Rorschach spill the beans…in which case, Russia and America are no longer united against Dr. Manhattan, and the cold war resumes…everyone died for nothing.   Some joke right?

Dr. Manhattan admits that he can change almost anything in the world, “But I can’t change human nature.”  This means ultimately, that an elite group of planners is needed and if necessary can sacrifice innocent lives for the greater good.

WHO IS PRIMING US FOR THIS GARBAGE, and WHY ARE THEY DOING IT?

I think I know…

Do you, dear reader, care to guess?  I suppose in this respect I sound like Rorschach…but perhaps my paranoia will turn out better for me than it did for him?

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12 Responses to WATCHMEN: Preliminary Discussions (Warning: This blog contains strong language)

  1. Some Guy says:

    No, you’re actually exactly right. Rorschach is the true hero of the movie (and the graphic novel upon which it is based) but it is bittersweet.

  2. shotgunwildatheart says:

    I apologize for how terribly written this blog is. I was ranting and still in a bit of shock.

  3. dancechapel says:

    I agree that there was way too much sex, nudity, and graphic violence in this movie among other things.

    I disagree with your impression that the heroes as a group agreed to kill millions for the betterment of society though.

    Adrian Veidt aka “Ozymandias” was the surprise villian of the film. He was seemingly one of the heroes, but then it was revealed that he was actually the mastermind behind the hero killings that were happening, and ultimately the death of millions for HIS goal of the betterment of society.

    He acted alone, and was a betrayer, a judas.

    When the heroes discovered this, they were shocked and attacked him.

    When the fight was over, he showed them the peace between Russia and the USA that was the result of his actions.

    The dilemma for the heroes was whether to tell the world he was the villian and ruin the peace, or to stay silent and preserve it.

    Manhattan decided it was better to keep silent, and therefore could be considered guilty by seeming to condone it. He didn’t condone Veidt’s actions though, he just didn’t want to upset the peace.

    Rorschach refuses to stay silent, and Manhattan killed him. Manhattan is now guilty of his murder, and arguably is as guilty as Veidt since he is willing to “kill for peace.”

    Night Owl and Silk Spectre vehemently disagree with his decision, but are powerless to stop him, and if they don’t stay silent they will be killed.

  4. shotgunwildatheart says:

    I’ll be writing a review probably this evening where I hope to clarify my position.

    thanks for posting though, I appreciate it.

  5. Shotgun says:

    P.S…

    By “Clarify” I mean: Point out why I am right and you are wrong about this paritcular theme.

  6. joy says:

    I saw the movie last night. Walked out of the theater rather dazed by it. That was a hard movie to watch.

    I’m not sure what message was supposed to be at the heart of it – and that’s the trouble.

    There’s the message of people getting past an evil event (the rape), to embrace something good (the daughter). I can follow that.

    That the limits of what a hero sees as acceptable means of protecting people could be blurred or erased through years of violence – okay.

    Making us see the hero in the crazy guy who goes after only the humans doing evil deeds, and the villain in the soft spoken do-gooder who wants to plan our lives, and will kill millions to create the crisis he needs to become the planner? Again, makes sense.

    But the messages kept coming. Several big questions about each hero, and the leaders in charge. It’s as if every comic book superhero gray area was thrown at me at once. Too much, and too graphic. The glowing blue nudity wasn’t even the problem for me. It was the brutality. Some of it was to be expected, and yes, blood and gore would be a part of it. But did there have to be such emphasis on making sure we saw every splash of blood in horrible, beautiful detail?

  7. dancechapel says:

    “By “Clarify” I mean: Point out why I am right and you are wrong ”

    LOL!!!

    I look forward to your response :-)

  8. shotgunwildatheart says:

    Thanks.

    To give you a quick outline of the arguments I’m going to make in my review:

    1. I’m going to allude to Augustine’s “City of God” as well as citations from various humanist intellectuals to demonstrate the two opposing worldviews in history: (Between Christianity and Humanism.)

    2. I’m going to demonstrate by using citations from humanists the two different eschatological views inherent in humanism.

    3. I’m going to highlight how Alan Moore (and subsequently the movie version of Watchmen) intended to portray a specific moral quandary from the perspective of different heroes.

    4. I’m going to show how these heroes each held to a version of the differing humanist eschatologies within the backdrop of a constant and implicit attack against the Christian worldview. (As even you’ve highlighted…there were two sets of “heroes” here, all agreeing on the outcome, just differing over method.)

    5. I’ll conclude with the inescapable conclusion that the entire concept was one big propaganda piece that is explicitly aimed against Christian society.

  9. dancechapel says:

    My point is simply that Ozymandias acted alone.

    Once Rorschach, Night Owl, Silk Spectre, and Manhattan confronted him, he had already killed millions and achieved his goal.

    Your review says things like “the good guys end up killing untold millions of people” and “The “good-guys” go through Hell, and destroy millions of people just to end the cold war…”

    That’s incorrect as it wasn’t the Heroes as a group, but just Ozymandias by himself.

    Your upcoming review sounds like it will be an interesting read, but it doesn’t make me wrong about the facts of what actually happened in the movie.

  10. shotgunwildatheart says:

    The “facts” of the story are not in question.

    I think, however, the “facts” can be trivialized without realizing it.

    Let’s honor the memory of Rorschach by remembering his last words:

    “Of course, must protect Veidt’s new utopia. One more body amongst foundations makes little difference. What are you waiting for? Do it! DO IT!”

    Thus ends the only honest character’s role in this God-forsaken drama.

    He realized the nature of the new confederation between the remaining Watchmen. As I alluded to before, the common utopian, platonic ideal of an elite group controlling the masses is explicitly displayed here. As I’ve also said, all the “heroes” …(regardless if you feel one was a villain) had the same end goal and attitude. The method is what they disagreed over.

    The only “villain” in this movie is man’s un-godlike nature; a nature which he has been trying to suppress or transcend since the beginning of our existence.

    This movie is essentially saying: “Man must strive to be God, even if it is to the detriment of other men.”

    I just got a hard copy of the novel, so, I’m going to hold off my review until I can read it.

  11. dancechapel says:

    I think it’s important to get the facts right, so people take your thoughts seriously.

    You can certainly argue that they had the same endgame in mind, but it’s not accurate to implicate them in the deaths that only Veidt is responsible for.

    Night Owl clearly opposed Veidt’s original plan, passionately opposed the death of Rorschach, and seemed to oppose the confederation.

    Veidt was definitely a villian, although he didn’t see himself that way. Like Hitler, he believed the ends justified the means, and it didn’t bother him in the slightest that millions had to die for him to achieve his Utopia.

    Villians often don’t see themselves as villians, but that doesn’t make them any less so.

    I’ll watch for your review after you’ve read the graphic novel.

    Alan Moore definitely has humanistic views, and much of his writing is infused with his political and personal beliefs.

    He wrote V for Vendetta as well.

  12. Slamdunk says:

    Thanks for your review and follow-up posts.

    It is a good thing I rarely (once in the past 5 years) go to the movies as your posts and the subsequent debate are good enough for me.

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