Thursday, February 26, 2009


With all the attention paid to "Frost/Nixon," another Nixon-themed movie has sneaked up on us -- "Watchmen," based on the DC graphic novel, a phrase I wrote as though I'd heard of it before seeing the movie previews. Although I'm still mourning my mother giving away my Marvel and DC comics when I went off to school, that was back in the early Nixon administration. I missed the graphic novel phenomenon. Evidently the story picks up on the what if? of what might've happened if the U.S., while in the throes of Watergate, hadn't abandoned South Vietnam:
Brooding, dark and far too sincere for its own good (note extended voiceovers about heroism and loneliness, not to mention a whole counterfactual element in which the U.S. wins Vietnam and Richard Nixon is elected to five terms), what could have been a moral fable in superhero clothes (ie, the Dark Knight) is instead a sloppy stew of vigilante justice, techno-musings and pop social philosophy.

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