Sunday, May 30, 2010

Watchmen "The Incredibles Meet The Untouchables On Mars"

"Steampunk!" I thought when I saw "Nixon's Third Term" flash across the screen as I was watching "Watchmen" last night. I was expecting The Incredibles Meet The Untouchables.

"Whoa!!!"  was my reaction when I saw an actor who gave a whole new slant to the popular term for a computer, Big Blue. My husband commented that only because the guy was blue was so much full frontal male nudity allowed on television. If the character had been any other color, we would not have seen anything like it. Whoa, of course, is not a sub-genre of science fiction. Maybe it should be?

"Cool! Fantasy," was my reaction to Adrian's superhero costume. The guy who dressed up like a man-owl was certainly no Batman, and the superheroine costume was ludicrous. I find it hard to suspend disbelief when the heroine has long hair whipping around her head as she fights. (Which she did, often, in a series of superb Action sequences.) At least let her tie it up in a Lisa Shearin style, goblin battle braid. Even then, I am distracted by worry that a villain could grab the hair and use it against her. Moreover, unless she uses flame retardant hair care products, long tresses should be a liability when rescuing people from towering infernos. As for kicking butt in really high heels, okay. Be aware, though, that stiletto heels ought to get stuck in some villain's chest from time to time.

So much for wardrobe. No malfunctions.

Science Fiction! There was teleportation, not only of truly massive bits of equipment, but also of people. It was a nice gesture to sci-fi conventions that the heroine got queasy and threw up whenever Big Blue teleported her somewhere. There should always be some downside to magic or implausible technology.

With hindsight, it is a pity one of the Star Trek...  Oh well. If James T Kirk had blown chunks every time Scotty beamed him up, it probably wouldn't have been called "beaming", and it would be a cliché by now.

There was the superhero flying vehicle, reminiscent of Thunderbird Two, really, but on a smaller scale and garaged in a basement that gave onto an abandoned subway station which ran into a sewer outlet under some large body of water. Convenient, that. It could have been Fantasy or Science Fiction. A couple of odd things about it were that the general public never seemed particularly surprised to see it, and the members of the city's Finest never did get used to the idea that ordinary bullets were ineffective against it.

Science Fiction was the genre when the Blue Guy teleported himself to Mars and floated off the ground in a rather rude lotus position with his back to us, and even more so when he teleported the girl there and she had no trouble breathing or flying around on a very cool looking, red-gold glass, spiky, clock-like contraption.

It wasn't clear to me what she could eat, or drink, or do anything else that we all have to do from time to time but she was there to plead for life on Earth, but the effects were enjoyable and reminded me of Star Gate, and also of the clock theme in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

I should mention that there is a lot of really nasty, graphic, gratuitous, stomach-turning, Horrific violence in this movie, and no one really looks good (apart from Adrian in his costume, and his horned cat). On a scale of 1 - 10 for enjoyment, I gave it a 1. 1 being bad. However, I am still thinking about it today, and perhaps "enjoyment" isn't everything. Fascinating and deeply disturbing moral questions were raised.

Machiavellians should love it!

Did I give a nod to the Erotica? Apart from Big Blue's limp equipment, there was at least one lengthy sex scenes at a supremely inappropriate juncture in the action. There was also Murder, Mystery, Horror, Action, Tragedy...

So to my point. Here is a movie that appears to straddle a great many genres with a fair degree of comfort. I'm sure there are others that cannot be neatly boxed as this genre or that. That might be a good thing for those of us who write speculative fiction or alien romances.

As for my rating, I still give it a 1. I like happy endings, and I like my superheroes to be heroic.

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