WATCHMEN (2009) is directed by Zack Snyder and stars Jackie Earle Hailey (Rorschach), Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Comedian), Carla Gugino (Silk Spectre), Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl II), Malin Ackerman (Silk Spectre II), Billy Crudup (Dr. Manhattan), Matthew Goode (Ozymandias), and a host of other fine actors/actresses. It is an adaptation of the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons.
I freely admit it - I was unaware that Watchmen even existed until the trailer for the movie came out. I'm almost certain that the trailer for Watchmen was on before The Dark Knight, which I saw with my brother. He got all excited about the movie - turns out he's a huge fan of the GN. Most of the audience began murmuring "Oh hell yeah, can't wait for that!" so my interest was peaked. I borrowed Scotty's copy of the GN and read it in 3 days - couldn't put it down. I really loved the story and I was so stoked to see how it would play out on the big screen.
I wasn't disappointed, though I know a lot of people were. I thought they did a great job staying in line with the source material.
The basic premise is that superheroes emerged in the 1940s-1960s and made a profound impact on various historical events. There are a lot of cool little snippets of scenes in there. For example, we find out who shot Kennedy, according to the Watchmen universe. It's been a while since I watched the movie, but I think I remember a nod to what happened at Kent State in the movie. The infamous V-J Day kiss in Times Square was in there too, only with a twist.
The Watchmen are a really intriguing group of people. None of them, save for Dr. Manhattan, have any actual superpowers. They're just people who decided that they were tired of criminals getting away with breaking the law and they decided to do something about it. Under the cover of masks, they set out to clean up the streets, doing the jobs that the police can't do because of red tape and bureaucracy.
But the question becomes "Who watches the Watchmen?" Who keeps the Watchmen from crossing the line, becoming the sum total of everything they're trying to stop?
You'll get varying opinions about this movie, no doubt. Love it, hate it, shades of grey inbetween. I loved it, bought it immediately when it came out on DVD, bought the companion Black Freighter DVD, and rewatch the movie often. I say give it a try.