Because it’s difficult to take anyone’s opinion on this movie seriously if they have a vested interest in it’s success.
Which means, anyone who grew up reading comic books, wants to see more comic book movies made, who is apart of geek culture, or worships at the alter of Alan Moore, will have their opinion skewered.
But Ebert? He professes he’s never even read the book. After seeing it twice, it’s still a 4/4 movie for him.
Inside many superhero stories is a Greek tragedy in hiding. There is the godlike hero, and he is flawed. In early days his weaknesses were simplistic, like Superman’s vulnerability to Kryptonite. Then Spider-Man was created as an insecure teenager, and comic books began to peer deeper. Now comes the “Watchmen,” with their origins as 1940s goofballs, their development into modern costumed vigilantes, and the laws against them as public nuisances. They are human. Although they have extraordinary physical powers, they aren’t superheroes in the usual sense. Then everything changes for Jon Osterman, remade after a nuclear accident as Dr. Manhattan. He isn’t as human as Batman, but that can be excused because he isn’t human at all.
He is the most metaphysically intriguing character in modern superhero movies. He not only lives in a quantum universe, but is aware that he does, and reflects about it. He says, “This world’s smartest man means no more to me than does its smartest termite.” He lives outside time and space. He explains that he doesn’t see the past and the future, but he does see his own past and his own future. He can apparently go anywhere in the universe, and take any shape. He can be many places at the same time, his attention fully focused in each of those places. He sees the big picture, and it is so vast that it’s hard for him to be concerned about the fate of the earth.I wonder how many audience members will know much about quantum mechanics. Some will interpret it simply in terms of Dr. Manhattan’s powers. It’s one of those story devices like the warp drive in “Star Trek.” Dr. Manhattan, however, views it in a much more complex way, from the inside, and apparently in terms consistent with current science. So let’s ask what we understand about quantum mechanics. We’ll start with me. I understand nothing.
I’m still skeptical, but the light is slightly brighter.