We'll soon find out who'll be watching, though right now guesses are pretty easy to make. This is a two-quadrant flick, if that, but that appeal for young males 18-35 is huge and should be more than sufficient to make this another cultural phenomenon like Zack Snyder's previous film, "300." (Quadrants are broken up into four groups: the young and old males, and the young and old females, with 35 as the line of demarcation.) The graphic novel, though it's been around for a few decades and was even on the TIME 100 Greatest English-Language Novels of the Past Century as the sole representative of comicdom, has never been fully visible to women who might be turned off by the intensely explored themes innate to superheroes in comics and by all of the explicit sex and violence brimming out of the corners of this very long read, almost all of which has been translated for the screen, including the length. I can imagine a few women who'll enjoy this movie, though, and a lot of them were likely found in midnight showing lines to "The Dark Knight." Still, I don't see this becoming a homerun like TDK, which sported many reasons for women to hop onto the bandwagon. Anne Thompson was confounded by the flick, but she also confesses to having had only a fleeting acquaintance with the source material, which probably isn't true for any male in the target age group.
Her words: "The gorgeous R-rated movie is ultra-violent. I can take neck-crunching body-bashing blood-spattering action, but this was even tough for me to sit through. For the most part, women will not go for Watchmen."
Ultimately, I see this film becoming practically impervious to any bad review that might come its way, as "300" already showed a movie could be capable of (though it was hardly mixed, most critics seemed to enjoy the look and choreography). Might go on to score some technical nominations next year at the Oscars, even, with those really spiffy costumes and sets and very appropriate cinematography. Acting, maybe not, and I don't think many would fret if this gets passed over in the Directing category like I know a few did over Chris Nolan's snub. I think the big victory in the end will have to be whether or not guys can get their dates or their girlfriends to make the jump and see this. Or would you guys prefer to only see this with your buds two seats over, no women?
Early birds get the word: Kirk Honeycutt at The Hollywood Reporter; Justin Chang at Variety; Ian Nathan at Empire Magazine.
IMAGE from: Screenrant