Watchmen movie ending blows...

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by T'Baio, Feb 28, 2009.

  1. T'Baio

    T'Baio Admiral Admiral

    Oct 18, 2001
    Ontario, Canada
    Thank you, so am I.

    While I still would have loved to see the Squid attack in motion on the big screen, I wasn't bothered at all by the new ending and thought it worked out quite well. Not as interesting, but thematically potent.

    I thought the film was fucking fantastic.
  2. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 11, 2004
    Homestate of Matt Jefferies
    You know, I've now ordered Mendelov Conspiracy from Amazon. I hope it's as good as you say. ;)
  3. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    Yeah, neither the movie nor the book scenarios are actually going to work, for the same reason WW2 didn't create a lasting alliance between the West and the USSR. At best, it'll just create a cooling off period. Then, they build even more powerful weapons to combat the menace, and tension begins to build again over who gets to control those.

    The worst case scenario in the comics, Veidt's plan leads to a genocidal war with a totally innocent race of psychic extradimensional squids that wipes out two whole species. The worst case scenario in the movie, World War 3 is fought with bombs powerful enough to kill a god.

    Both attempts are so stupid that they transcend the very concept of stupidity and exist in some higher plane of stupid where the Gods of Stupid live and look down upon us lowly mortals. They are the pure quintessence of stupid.

    The problem is that every character is partially right in their philosophies, but they take things to such an extreme that none of them could be more wrong. It just so happens that Ozymandias was the only one with real ambition, and thus he could be wrong in a much more spectacular manner.

    The Comedian was right in his nihilism but forgot the most important part, that a meaningless life gives one freedom to build meaning. His inability to do so left him to die with nothing, a mere lackey for a dangerous and corrupt government.

    Rorschach's black and white view of the world is completely right, but he took it so far that could no longer see the beauty that he set out to protect and was left with nothing but the guilty to slaughter. His mindless pursuit of justice caused him to forget the big picture. He could have inspired millions to shrug off the chains of apathy. Instead he's an ugly mess in the snow.

    Ozymandias' obsession with saving the world led him to forget the transitory nature of things, ironic given Lord Byron's poem about his namesake. He sought to change humanity with a single bold act, forgetting that everything is dust in the wind, and all human endeavor is doomed to failure. If he had a bit of Rorschach's razor-edged morality, Manhattans cold distance, Comedian's nihilism, Dan's optimism, or Laurie's humanity he may have chosen a much more sane and more effective route to peace.

    Dr. Manhattan, though, is the worst of the bunch in one regard. Though god-like, he's also childish. His apparent inhuman mode of perception often leads him to act without thinking about the consequences of his actions, in spite of being able to view the future. His decision to take sides in the Cold War was the single most irresponsible thing any super being could do.

    And Dan and Laurie, though sane, had difficulty looking beyond their own lives. This led to an inability to take action and an inability to prevent the events of the series.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2009
  4. USS Mariner

    USS Mariner Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Jul 11, 2004
    Homestate of Matt Jefferies
    Absolutely Right™
  5. JuanBolio

    JuanBolio Admiral Admiral

    Apr 29, 2003
    Florida Keys, USA
    I dunno - sounds a little too bleak and pessimistic to me.
  6. hyzmarca

    hyzmarca Fleet Captain Fleet Captain

    Feb 9, 2009
    Pessimism wasn't my intent. My intent was that one man can make a difference, but not by blowing stuff up or by beating the crap put of people. One man makes a difference by leading an inspirational life.

    Jesus didn't blow stuff up, neither did Buddha. Of course, a lot of stuff has been blown up in their names, which leads to a second point. Great men do not make utopias. Alexander's empire fell apart when he died. Ramses' statues have crumbled to dust. No one can create a lasting empire, or a perfect eternal civilization. All one can do is try to change the tide for a lifetime of so, maybe make the world a little bit happier for as long as you're around, and maybe inspire some youngsters to take up the cause as you get older. And there's nothing wrong with that. Someone will eventually twist your words, probably, but if you do it right most will stay on the right track until that track is broken.

    Veidt could have changed the tide in any number of ways. He could done so many things that it isn't even funny. He could have gotten everyone to sit down at a table and hammer out a mutually acceptable agreement. No need for theatrics, just set up a meeting between POTUS and the Soviet Premier in a neutral location and not let either of them leave until they've worked out a deal to avoid nuclear war. But Ozymandias wanted a spectacle, he wanted to be the great leader who ushered in the Age of Aquarius or whatever, not just some guy who brokered a peace deal. He wanted to build something that would last. But he forgot that the sands of time swallow up the works of kings and beggars alike. The people who truly know him, who truly cared about him, will remember him as a crazy guy who murdered fifteen million people and several of their friends. And his true message gets lost, because the world doesn't know what it is. He can't tell anyone without breaking his little charade.

    If we've learned one thing from the wacky misadventures of everyone's favorite madcap Führer, the irrepressible Adolph Hitler, it's that murdering millions of people is not the most constructive way to better the world. We can avoid nuclear war without any of that silliness. We just need to put aside our insane megalomania for a moment brainstorm other options.

    I think that's a pretty positive philosophy. You don't have to kill more people than Hitler did to make the world a better place. I'm sure a generation of aspiring heroes who might have been turned off by the prospect of committing Crimes Against Humanity will be relieved to hear that. How could anything more positive? I think that corollary, killing more people than Hitler did might not be a good thing to do, is just common sense.

    Being a hero isn't about putting on a mask or a cape. It isn't about gadgets. It isn't about cool powers. It isn't about beating people up. It isn't about saving the world. And it isn't about blowing up cities.

    Being a hero is about stepping and helping people, even when it's hard to do so, when it's easier to look the other way and keep walking. It's about breaking through the SEP field that separates us from the rest of unwashed masses and actually connect to people, and actually do something positive for them. It's about the little things, not the big things. It means a willingness to get involved and stick your neck out for other people.

    Every character in Watchmen forgot what heroism means. Dan and Laurie left it altogether, because continuing was too hard or too frightening. Every other character twisted it to fit their own warped philosophies. But even so, the ideal still means something. And since these people don't exist in the real world, we don't have to follow down any of their paths, particularly not the bloody ones.
  7. MIB

    MIB Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Dec 19, 2001
    Someplace where I can watch you
    True, but Manhattan was well on his way toward total detachment with humanity at that point. It would have been unlikely that he would have gone out of his way to stop even a single nuke when they started flying.
  8. Admiral Buzzkill

    Admiral Buzzkill Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Mar 8, 2001
    Adrian clearly suffers from hubris. In the novel, Manhattan as much as tells him that the scheme won't continue to work - "nothing ever ends."

    We don't want the scheme to work, do we? When I read the novel I was left rooting for Rorshach's "inconvenient truth" to emerge and motivate a resistance movement of terrorists and crazies against Veidt's new order, and I always assumed that Moore was too. It seems to me that ultimately the "viewpoint characters" in the book are Manhattan and Rorshach, whose perceptions of reality and beliefs about justice could not be more unlike one another's.
  9. Klaus

    Klaus Vice Admiral Admiral

    Sep 14, 2003
    Beach condo, Bay of Eldamar
    I think the shot of the rebuilding of New York and all the Veidt Industries logos all over show that he was at least profiting immensely from his actions, so I think the movie was rooting for that too...
  10. Demiurge

    Demiurge Vice Admiral Admiral

    Mar 6, 2001
    with Kitty and Roo!
    Lot's of missing the point.

    It isn't just that Dr. Manhattan wiped out a few cities and we all hate him and that will unite the planet - though there is that too, at least in the short term.

    It's that in the new version, God is watching. The fear of that will last a lot longer than the initial hate.

    The entire concept of the movie is that we as humans don't have enough wisdom to use our toys responsibly.

    It's a pretty cynical outlook on humanity, and one that has a kernel of truth in it, though overall I don't share the outlook.

    But yes, I think certainly for the next few decades the concept that a near omnipotent being would punish us for drifting too near nuclear war would have real repercussions on the world stage.

    And that might be enough to bring us back from the brink and exam what it is we were actually doing.

    Of course, the funny thing is that the Nixon caricature and Veidt ultimately had the same answer, they just pursued it different ways. And Veidt, being smarter, answer was more successful - if no less inhumane.

    A sociological examination of what happened after that would have been interesting. Mahattan gets portrayed as an old testament God.

    But the ideas of how you create a weapon to kill said God - there's no indication that such a thing can be done. Veidt certainly couldn't do it, and he's Einstein and Hawking and Descartes all rolled into one.

    Though it does raise an interesting point - would humanity risk destroying itself in order to restore its perception of freedom against a God that granted it peace?

    Moore's take seems to be only those like Rohrschach would actually do it - politicians as a rule don't have that maniacial commitment to an ideology that leads to that end.

    Hell of a movie, and while I don't agree with Moore's take on Veidt (you think the smartest man in the world would have come up with something better) it does pose some really interesting questions about human nature.
  11. Dark Gilligan

    Dark Gilligan Writer Fleet Captain

    Feb 6, 2005
    an uncharted desert isle
    IMO this is one of Moore's best uses of irony in the whole novel: that the smartest man in the world's ultimate plan was nicked from a television show.