Watchmen is a graphic novel written by Alan Moore, and Dave Gibbons is an artist. In 2009, the book was adapted into a film directed by Zack Snyder. But the Watchmen were not as successful as Batman Begins (2005), or The Dark Knight (2008) before. Watchmen received a lot of negative reactions from fans as well as the comment community. Christopher Nolan once told Zack Snyder that Watchmen is a masterpiece, but unfortunately it didn’t make it in time. Perhaps that’s true, at the time Watchmen launched, superhero movies were not really developed as in recent years, moreover Watchmen did not follow the motif of a regular superhero movie like Iron Man, or Batman. , and audiences aren’t ready for such 18+ superhero movies yet.
Let’s go back to the time Watchmen launched in March 2009. At this point, the universe of DC Comics superhero as well as Marvel has not really developed. The Marvel Cinematic Universe at that time only had the first bricks Iron Man (2008) and The Incredible Hulk (2008). DC Comics only has Batman Begins and The Dark Knights of Nolan, and these two movies are not part of the DC movie universe. But these films have one thing in common is that they follow the traditional superhero movie’s motif, which is to have heroes and villians clearly. When Watchmen launches, if you are not a reader, and heard it is a superhero movie, you will expect fighting scenes, explosions, etc. like Iron Man or Hulk. However, Watchmen have very few scenes of fire or rumble, and in the movie, the viewer cannot distinguish which hero is a villian. In the film are mostly scenes that build the character mentality, or recall more than the physical strength of the character. Moreover Watchmen hides a lot of meanings, political, social, religious and human ideas that not anyone can see.
One more thing is that at the time of launch, the viewer community is not ready to receive an 18+ superhero movie like Watchmen. It was not until 2016 for the first 18+ superhero movie to debut, Deadpool, then Logan (2017). However, if comparing Deadpool with Logan compared to Watchmen is very lame because Deadpool and Logan basically follow the traditional motif, only adding a few factors to make the R movie rate, such as language, gore, or gender issues. Watchmen, in addition to those factors, also has politics, society, or ideology. For example, the US won the Vietnam War has also made many people watch, especially in Vietnam “jumping around.” Few understand the deep intent of Alan Moore. Or the fact that Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias) created a fake “peace” at the end of the film with Rorschach wanting to tell the truth about that peace. Things like these are not what are in a traditional superhero movie. Talking here is not to bring Watchmen to compare with Deadpool or Logan, but at the present time, the fan community is also somewhat ready for the 18+ superhero movie style. This is probably also part of the reason that HBO is remaking Watchmen into a new series.
In short, Watchmen is not an ordinary superhero movie to compare with traditional superhero movies in a barem score. Watchmen really have too many social issues, or political ideology, religion, or people that have not had a superhero movie to date that contains so many layers of meaning. That’s why Watchmen are very picky about viewers. Perhaps Zack Snyder was a bit rushed in getting Watchmen to launch at such an early date. If Zack is patient a few more years when viewers are ready to receive the watchmen will probably be a success like 300. What do you think about this?