It is 1985, America won that war in Vietnam, and Nixon has been elected to his fifth term. The city of New York is repugnant, with crime, prostitution, and drugs everywhere. In a high-rise in the city of lights, an old man is tossed out of his penthouse. He plummets to the ground, accepts his fate, and dies. Somebody, somewhere, is killing off superheroes.
Watchmen weaves an intricate tale of woe, love, war, passion, and humanity. The movie opens with the death of Edward Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), who in a previous life was the masked man known as The Comedian. After his former colleague and one of the few still-active heroes, Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), hears of the death, he heads over to investigate. Looking around Blake’s room, Rorschach is forced to conclude that somebody came after Blake because he was a hero, not for some other reason.
This is where Watchmen really takes off. The movie quickly heads deep into the society of protectors who have been outlawed. Rorschach talks to other heroes, attempts to get help, and keeps getting turned away. One by one, his former allies turn their backs on him, and he is forced to confront his theories on his own.
Of course, friends don't leave friends hanging; finally, two of the other heroes, Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson) and Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), notice that there are some abnormalities with how Blake died and that there are some warning signs of impending danger. The two decide to go back to their crime-fighting ways and join up with Rorschach. The three then head out to solve the mystery and save mankind.
Our three Watchmen team up to fight the hero-killer.
While Blake might be killed in the opening scene, we see him in flashbacks throughout the film. His character is an interesting mix of good and evil. Sure, he burns people for no reason, shoots a pregnant lady simply because he doesn’t want a kid, and he attempts to rape one of his friends, but he is also a good person. He is out there fighting crime, helping his country, and always lending a hand to his fellow heroes. He does this to save people “from themselves.” By portraying The Comedian in this way, Morgan actually causes the audience to be conflicted. This is a sign of good acting, as it keeps everybody guessing.