Monday, March 16, 2009

Why I Probably Won't Watch "The Watchmen"

I've been fascinated by superheroes. When I was a young boy, I had all kinds of action figures of popular DC comics characters. I even had the Batmobile (the old fashion one from the corny TV show) and Superman's jet, the one that had that electro-magnet that stuck out.

When the first Spiderman movie came out, I watched it and loved it. It was superbly done and really captured the conflict of the character with himself and the rest of the world. It also had a very positive message about fighting evil and doing what is right, even when the rest of the world doesn't want your help.

Now, in 2009, Zack Snyder, of 300 fame, finally created the movie for the popular graphic novel The Watchmen. And while the story is interesting, to say the least, it presents Alan Moore's worldview in its entirety. The story features a world that is caught up in secular humanism. Even the superheroes have questionable morals.

As Snyder himself put it, it's a movie where Superman (Dr. Manhattan) hates humanity, Batman (Nite Owl II) is impotent, and the villain (that's the twist ending) only wants world peace. Of course the villain has to kill millions of people to do it, but hey, it's better than MAD.

My problem with the whole story is that the one character who truly does see the world as right and wrong and who fights solely for justice and truth is alienated. In the end, even his own fellow superheroes abandon him without much of a second thought. He was unwilling to be a party to the massive crime against humanity they all just witnessed and they reject him for it.

It's a pretty sick ending if you ask me. Alan Moore himself is not a big fan of libertarianism, which I expect from an entertainer, but he clearly has no real fundamental understanding of political philosophy. Moore has said that Objectionism is racist (a paraphrase) nevermind that Ayn Rand herself argued that racism is the ultimate affront to her philosophy because it collectivizes people into groups rather than judging based on an individual basis. In any case, he demonstrates his own ignorance of philosophy but still manages to tell a good story based on his own limited knowledge.

Yes, The Watchmen is a great story. But that's all it is. You have to understand that most fiction authors are really good and pushing their own ideologies and beliefs through their works of fictions. In Moore's case, it is the secular humanists view that people are suicidal sheep, that morality is not absolute, and that the only way to save the day is to kill millions of people.

So I really don't feel like watching a movie like that. I enjoyed 300 immensely and I do enjoy movies that don't demonstrate my own worldview, which is pretty much all of them, but I cannot watch a trashy worldview put on the silver screen anymore. I have better things to do with my time and money.