Watchmen Will Be Awesome, But Leave The Kids At Home

Published 5 years ago by , Updated March 5th, 2009 at 8:25 am,

comedian silk spectre Watchmen Will Be Awesome, But Leave The Kids At Home

[UPDATE: I've now seen the film and can confirm that this movie is absolutely NOT for kids.]

We’ve been talking (some would say ad nauseum) about the Watchmen movie which will be opening on March 6th for months now. I’ve had the sense that while the online community of folks who follow movie news sites is very much aware of this film, that that the average “man on the street” has never heard of it. That’s part of the reason we’ve been working to get the word out about it.

Every indication is that Watchmen is going to be probably one of the most amazing comic book-based movies ever to light up the big screen. Trailers, footage and reports on director Zack Snyder’s version of the Alan Moore story have been positive almost without exception.

Basically, the movie looks like it’s going to be awesome – but I want to make this very clear:

LEAVE THE KIDS AT HOME FOR THIS ONE.

Yes, it’s based on a “comic book,” but let’s be VERY clear: This film is NOT for children.

As actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan (who plays “The Comedian” in the film) has stated: “It’s rated R for a reason.”

No, it’s not just because they show the blue, glowing naughty bits of Dr. Manhattan. The source material was very adult and not at all the sort of story meant to be read (or understood) by kids. It tackled big socio-political issues, betrayal, murder and yes, even rape.

In an interview with MTV, Morgan talked about the rape scene in the film:

“It was a three-day process shooting that particular scene, and it was hard… It was three of the hardest days of filming I have ever had to do. It was really very violent.”

In the original comic, there was a two page scene where The Comedian rapes the original Silk Spectre. People who pick up the comic book now may think “hey, that’s not very graphic,” but keep in mind this comic book was originally published 20 years ago and at the time that was a very intense couple of pages. Rape was not exactly commonly included in comic book stories back then.

Morgan went on to say:

“When you’re looking at the comic book you only get a couple panels so there is a lot of stuff there that needs to be filled in, so we fill in the blanks there between three and four panels, and it turns out to be one hell of a violent scene. And it’s all intact, [Hooded Justice] comes in and interrupts the attempted rape – it’s all there. We stayed very loyal to it, and I haven’t actually seen the scene yet, but I did see a piece of playback when we were filming it and it’s a lot.”

Will the scene be gratuitous? No, it’s not, but it is definitely rough to watch. Part of the point of the story is that these people who functioned as real world superheroes were not perfect – far from it. In many cases they were far more flawed than you and I, but they did a job that needed doing. This applies in particular to The Comedian, who was the most morally questionable member of the team.

There are other scenes in from the book that only showed hints of sex and violence, but here in the film they are expanded upon a lot and contribute to the R-rating – just know that there is a lot of very graphic, brutal violence in the story as well as an explicit sex scene.

watchmen final poster Watchmen Will Be Awesome, But Leave The Kids At Home
Final Watchmen movie poster

So while Watchmen may turn out to be an amazing film, I implore you to leave the little ones at home when you head out to see it. At the very least go see it on your own first and then make an educated decision regarding whether or not to let your children watch it.

Watchmen opens on March 6th.

Source: MTV

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TAGS: watchmen

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  1. Wait, so was The Comedian supposed to be a “good guy?” If so, and they maintain that despite him raping someone, then ha, here’s the last laugh, fat chance getting me to pay for this movie…

    • It is a very good movie it got four and a half stars I would highly recommend it and the comedian is a little rough on the edges but deep in side a good man. He helped the people of new jersey but he lived long enough to see himself become a villan I own the directors cut edition and I would highly recommend you buy it.

  2. did anybody see the film?
    was the star trek trailer in front of it^^?

  3. It’s tough to tell if ANYONE saw the movie from this story. The front page says “I’ve seen it,” then the body of the story goes on to say “I haven’t seen this scene yet,” or something to that effect. I guess the problem is someone just attached an “I’ve now seen this movie” to an old story, and didn’t bother to update the story itself. Big surprise there. As far as warning your precious kids, they can see much worse than that on a typical day on the internet, and hear much worse than that at their schools.

  4. @Vic…
    A very good post, and I’ve been wondering just how many idiots would end up taking their kids to this film. To this day, I still marvel at when I saw “Blade II” in the theater. A lady actually came in there with a baby. Within the past year, I remember watching another woman take her baby with her into a slasher film (and it was around 10pm!). I know that as a baby, the kids is probably not going to be aware of anything, but seriously!

    @KEL
    A good point about the political messages within Watchmen… The book’s big warning seemed to convey that any extremism, liberal or conservative, is a dangerous thing. All of the Watchmen were extremists in one respect or another.

  5. @charles darwin

    You are one picky son of a gun, aren’t you? Typically, when I add an UPDATE to a post, I just indicate what’s new at the top and leave the post intact. I just wanted to bring attention to this again with the film about to open.

    As to your comment about “precious kids” you are reminding me why you used to piss me off so royally when you first showed up here on the site.

    So parents should go in “blind” not knowing anything about the content of this film? It’s somehow offensive to you that I’m giving them a warning about the content?

    I really, REALLY hate when people who obviously DON’T have kids try to tell parents how to parent.

    Vic

  6. To greenknight, I think Berserk came out in 1999 I think. It is a bit older, still keep hoping they make a second season!

    To G.K. & greenknight, imagine if they had kept everything in the Manga onto the series? Talk about inappropriate for kids!
    By the way, how is Gantz? Is it good? I still hold Berserk as the benchmark for an anime series.

  7. @Vic
    I have kids and I appreciate your warning. When should we expect your review?

  8. @John

    Midnight, Thursday.

    Vic

  9. @Ken J
    I want to reiterate greenknight333 comments, the Comedian is amoral.

    Each character defines the world in some particular way and The Comedian has a certain perspective. He’s not the “good guy” in the sense that The Joker wasn’t the “good guy,” but they both may be right in terms of how they understand the world.

    The Comedian argues that “mankind has been trying to kill themselves for years” and humans are “violent, by nature.” Watchmen has always been morally ambiguous, The Comedian simply poses another question.

  10. So it’s the he’s not doing anything wrong as long as he don’t consider it wrong argument… Yah, no… That works for some people, I have my set of morals, I can care less about his version. If he’s not a villain, then this isn’t for me. I’ll probably eventually watch it, when someone else rents it.

  11. @Ken J
    “He’s not doing anything wrong as long as he doesn’t consider it wrong,” isn’t actually the argument. The scene is being taken out of context, and it takes a bit of tip-toeing around spoilers, but the scene is the first part of another moral question.

    It’s just that his view of the world may be correct; he, by no means, is a hero but IMHO none of them actually are. In the traditional sense, there are no perfect “good” guys nor are there any truly “evil” characters. All are human beings and thus flawed–except Dr. Manhattan, who used to be. Audiences are asked to decide for themselves, who is right, wrong or “just caught in the right place at the right time” (or is it “wrong place at the wrong time”)

  12. Ken is just trying to rile the fanboys…By all means skip it…you will in all likelihood pass on a great film!!

  13. Does it seem to you guys and gals that there was very little buzz for this movie a week ago and then all of a sudden BAM in the last two days Watchmen is everywhere!! I’m reading a lot of good articles about it like this one

    http://entertainment.sympatico.msn.ca/movies/features/article.aspx?cp-documentid=18266086

    but it seems in the last few days the buzz has grown to a very loud “OMMM” and with 70% of the 1600 midnight screenings sold out I am thinking of changing my prediction of 55-65 million..It could possibly beat 300′s debut of 70 million

    Vic any thoughts here?

  14. Great post Vic. When I saw the movie a few people walked out in some of the more brutal scenes. Kinda felt like too much in some places. But I think this is going to raise some questions akin to when THE DARK KNIGHTS toys came out — would you buy your kids toys of a movie they shouldn’t be watching?

  15. @ Carl

    Well, I haven’t read it and haven’t watched it, so I don’t know the context. So in what context is rape not a bad thing? Just curious. I mean, except if he was in Japan of course…

  16. @Ken J
    Whether rape is a good or bad thing is not the question being posed, that answer is obvious. I would give the full extent of the question, but it consist a bit of a spoiler.

    You make it out like I was trying to say rape is being justified, it’s not at all. I was merely remarking on The Comedian’s view of the world.

  17. OK, but my point is that HIS view of the world is irrelevent. It’s whether or not the book (comic books or when they were compiled into a novel) and the movie PORTRAYS him as anything but a villain that matters. My point is I don’t care how HE justifies his actions, it is the act itself and how that translates to MY accepted morality that matters to ME.

    But I don’t know, like I said, I don’t know the story, but I really can’t think of a situation where rape is ok. I guess I’m not creative enough… For me, once he rapes someone, he’s a villain. I don’t care if he just saved a bus full of nuns and children. villains can do their good deeds here and there as well.

  18. @Ken J

    Trust me, he’s portrayed fully as a villain in the film and there is nothing remotely ambivalent about the rape scene in the film.

    He does despicable things but the government gives him a pass because he’s doing their dirty work for them.

    Vic

  19. @Ken J
    Your point is understood. That’s also the reason why I think you should watch the movie, because it asks those questions of all the “heroes”–who is “good” and who is “evil?” It’s not clean cut, like other comic books (Spider-Man = Good, Venom = Bad), the audience is forced to decide for themselves who is in the “right” and who isn’t.

  20. @Carl and Vic

    Ok, that’s good then, that was my only issue, not that he did it or whatever, is how the film portrays him given the fact. I THOUGHT the film portrayed him as a “good guy” so I would have had a problem with it, but if they don’t, then I can understand if that scene fit into the plot somehow. So it’s all good.

  21. Taking Kids to see Watchmen Movie – Suggestions for Parents

    Having taken my 10 yr old twin boys to see the Watchmen movie on opening weekend, I previewed it and ran a stopwatch, marking five brief sections where I asked my kids to cover their eyes. Worked out pretty well.

    Here are my suggested edits, which you can use if you want to duplicate what I did. Start your clock right after the Warner Bros logo appears on screen. Elapsed time in minutes and hours is shown below:

    0:37 – Attempted rape and assault. The victim gets beaten up pretty badly.

    1:26 – Kid bites another kids ear off. Pretty graphic, but quick.

    1:30 – Murder by meat cleaver to the head. The victim kidnaps children.

    1:44 – Prisoner gets his arms cut off with a power tool by another prisoner. Perhaps the most graphic scene of all.

    1:47 – Extended sex scene, upper body only. Yes, you see breasts, but it’s not a biggie. This is the only scene that lasts more than about 10 seconds. It goes on for maybe a minute or two.

    There are several other scenes that some might mark, which I didn’t. A prisoner gets attacked with a deep fryer, resulting in some serious burns. And a Vietnamese pregnant woman gets gunned down by the man who most likely fathered her baby. Also, at several points folks get their limbs broken, and broken bones are sticking through the skin. But somehow none of those struck me as worth censoring.

    See you at the movies.

  22. ONE MORE NOTE ON THE WATCHMEN FOR KIDS

    One other think, def worth mentioning. A show stopper for some parents will probably be the Dr. Manhattan character and his frontal nudity. If you have a young girl, you may very well find that to be a problem. He’s nude on and off throughout the movie, so there’s no way to avoid seeing him in all his glory. It’s done very matter of factly, and is completely ignored by everyone. But it is there.

  23. Gary you took 10 year olds to see Watchmen?!?!?!?! I don’t care how much eye covering you had them do, everything about this movie is way too intense for anyone under the age of 13, at least. I work with children and teens every day and I am horrified by your choice. Just the themes invoked in the movie during Rorschach’s voiceovers are very detrimental to a young child. The violence is probably not healthy for most adults though no one really wants to admit that.

    What happened to getting a babysitter?

  24. Horrified, eh?

    No less horrified than I am, I expect, at parents who let their kids pour thousands of hours of Disney, Nickelodeon, and Nintendo garbage into their eyes and ears each year. What’s the long-term effect of that, compared to seeing a few minutes of violence and sec? Or parents who let their kids skateboard without a helmet. Or kids who don’t take their kids to museums, concerts, etc… on a regular basis.

    Truly, my kids see a lot more of the world than most, and I spend a ton of time and attention making sure that happens, because it’s that’s exactly how I like it. Maybe in this case I strayed a little further over the line than usual. But I can live with that.

    Your kids, your choice.

  25. @gary baker

    While I wouldn’t bring my 12 year old daughter to this (and she’s seen “Aliens” with a number of “cover your eyes” scenes) I’m glad to hear that you actually pre-screened this and put some thought into your decision.

    I think most parents don’t think about it at all.

    Vic

  26. @Vic

    You are right. I’ve been to countless R rated flicks, most recently Friday the 13th to see kids as young as 6 in the theater with parents. But guess who gets blamed when that child kills or mames some one. The film makers and not the parent.

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