Monday, March 9, 2009

Watchmen and Reagan

*SPOILER ALERT*

If you haven't watched the Watchmen film yet, read no further. If you haven’t read the graphic novel yet, ditto.

Still with me? Good. Thousands of Watchmen reviews have already sprung up so I won't bother you with another one. You have (or will have) your own opinion which is as valid as the most erudite critic. This piece is about one of the changes made to the graphic novel in the film. The film’s final scene is set in the office of a less than mainstream, anti-Russian publisher called the Pioneer Publishing Inc. The editor belittles an employee for suggesting an article about an actor planning to run for President in '88. The editor replies, “Seymour, we do not dignify absurdities with coverage. This is still America, God damnit. Who wants to a cowboy actor in the White House?" Robert Redford is the aforementioned actor in the graphic novel. In the movie version, the actor is Ronald Reagan. Some supporters of Reagan may feel this is a slight as our charged political landscape is filled with thin-skinned partisans on both sides of the fence. For those I offer this theory: It may have been a nod to the former President and all the comic fans who knew the ending was changed. Dr. Manhattan, for those who haven't read the graphic novel, was never framed by Veidt. Veidt's plan involved fake ALIENS. Yup, an alien invasion gone bad and the murder of millions. THAT was the plot the Comedian uncovered. I don't want to spoil the specifics for those who haven't read it, but Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons presented it wonderfully. Back to Reagan. The movie's plot device was a number huge explosions killing millions. What's more believable to viewers, even a superhero movie audience, a plot to trick Earth into thinking we narrowly missed an alien invasion or a terrorist act? I think the answer is obvious. And yet...



Yes, that's Reagan speaking about the unifying force such an alien invasion might generate. So, my take on the Reagan reference is not a necessarily a jab, but perhaps the producers' acknowledgement of a HUGE change in the story. Maybe I'm wrong. I have been accused of reading too much into things before.



Yes, that's Reagan speaking about the unifying force such an alien invasion might generate. So, my take on the Reagan reference is not a necessarily a jab, but perhaps the producers' acknowledgement of a HUGE change in the story. Maybe I'm wrong. I have been accused of reading too much into things before.