After watching the movie, I wanted to fling dishes off a very high building, or go to the batting cages, or pummel a punching bag. In short, it made me very, very mad. The movie is so profoundly anti-woman. I know, I'll get people telling me I'm oversensitive or I'm misinterpreting things. But this is my response to them: I'm telling you what I see, what I feel, and it's a potential interpretation and set of observations that COULD be derived from this film. I haven't read the graphic novel yet, and not sure that I will. But my hope is that my interpretation was not the intent of the novelist or creators of the film.
Paul MacInnes much more eloquently put down what I'm about to point out.
"The real disappointment of Watchmen the movie is not its stodgy pacing or its unconvincing climax, it's the way it treats its female characters."His post poses the same question that I do - for an author that generally creates strong women characters, why in the movie do they all lose their powers?
Other reasons why I think the film is infuriating:
- Silhouette - who is seriously hot and creates an alternative post-WWII picture, kissing a nurse during a parade - is one of my more favorite scenes in the film. She is brutally killed, and the shot of police taking photos of her and her murdered lover look more like a weird photo-shoot, rather than people taking care of what could be seen as a hate-crime. As MacInnes points out - this attention is paid to a character that isn't even illustrated in the original book. The other gay couple of superheros in the movie (and book) are killed - barely mentioned in the movie.
- There are no people of color in this film - one of the psychologists that tries to help Rorschach is Black. Everyone else is White. I don't know why that bugs me but it does. It's the least irritating thing about this flick.
- The ladies costumes are trifling. Any costume made out of PVC or latex that close to the va-jay-jay does not say to me "empowered woman". It says "extremely bad YEAST INFECTION."
- At one point Miss Jupiter finds out who's her daddy (The Comedian). You have to understand that her daddy tried to rape her mom once. Then the mom (Silk Spectre) ostensibly seduces The Comedian and Silk Spectre gets pregnant. Without digressing into a 3rd wave feminist discussion about whether or not a woman is conquering her victimization by boffing her former assailant, one thing is beyond argument: rape is VIOLENCE. Anyway, in the scene, Silk Spectre, Miss Jupiter's mother, says to her with tears in her eyes - I know it doesn't make sense and he was an evil man but he gave me you and that makes it ok.
Yeah, ok. Maybe that's a very warped version, a twisted attempt to somehow speak to female empowerment and the power of life. But the way I see it, it sounds apologetic, pro-life and condoning of rape.
Also - I have seen enough naked tushies of dudes (digitized and real) for a long time. Not really complaining because they were well-formed behinds, but seriously? Lots of cheek going on.
I get that the comic was written during the height of the Reagan Era. That politics - both in governance and personal mores - were different. That the author was trying to deconstruct the concept of the superhero. There are elements of this movie that are wonderfully shot - particularly some of the scenes on Mars, and the one scene where Nite Owl finds Rorschach in his house. But I can't shake a bubbling rage that the movie evoked in me.