Well, I cannot believe that I am saying this, but it is only about a week until we see Watchmen on the silver screen. This has been a long road for comic book fans, and an even longer road for the studios that have been involved with it. Consider this: there have been plans to do a Watchmen movie since the lat eighties. Now, however, not even frivolous lawsuits can stop the juggernaut that this movie has become. You see the trailers everywhere you look and there's always a story online about it. Hell, even the soundtrack is awesome! However, there is always one thing that can make or break a movie... Actors.
This is Dorkgasm's way of trying to predict how the movie will turn out. Now, I have read no reviews, spoilers, or anything else about the movie proper other than who the actors are. Knowing this, and having gone through a rather large amount of film backlog, I can bring you an honest opinion about the way things are going to work out. First, we'll start with the best team in the movie: Rorschach and Nite Owl (or Nite Owl II, as some will properly point out).
Honestly, there is not a whole lot on which to judge this one. Haley's big role was Kelly Leak, the foul-mouthed obnoxious Little League player in The Bad News Bears and its sequels. So, we know that he has got the mouth and attitude down pat, right? Sure. Come on, he was a kid! Still, though, he has done a lot of other work to back this up, including stints on The Love Boat and Murder She Wrote. Seriously, he has done some bit parts in MacGyver and one of my favorite Chris Elliot shows ever, Get A Life. I mean, this guy was Braxton Red in Dollman, fer Chrissakes! Then, there was thirteen years where he dropped off the radar, which is where I feel he really got the chops for Rorschach. He did regular Joe jobs, like chauffeur, deliveries, salt of the earth type stuff. Not because he was researching a role or whatever stars do nowadays, but because he was biding his time and searching for that vehicle to launch him back into the big game. Right about 2006, he got it. Big time.
In 2006, Haley starred in the exceptional film Little Children. Playing the part of registered sex offender Ronnie McGorvey, Haley dominates every scene he is in, filling the screen with contempt, depression, and a slight sense of the sinister. In other words, he is perfect for good old Walter Kovacs. The Rorschach of the comic is bitter, hateful, and more than a little insane. He is not above breaking fingers to make a point, and is quick to improvise weaponry. You know, like MacGyver. Hey! Another connection! This is one of the characters that I have absolutely no beef with whatsoever. Perfect casting except for one thing. Haley's ears are a bit big and he's balding. So, break out that double-sided tape and a red curly wig, because this is going to be perfect casting. Well, maybe not the red wig, but still awesome.
Wrong. All wrong. That is what I am feeling right now. In the book, Dan Dreiberg a.k.a. Nite Owl is a bit paunchy, wore glasses, and looks like a total schlub. Patrick Wilson, however, is in good shape and reasonably attractive. If he does not look the part, though, he certainly could play the part exceptionally well, judging by past efforts. Not so much with The Alamo, but more along the lines of “Too Fab” Schumacher's version of The Phantom Of The Opera. Wilson played supposedly foxy Raoul with longish hair and a penchant for women. Nothing to do with Nite Owl, but it proves that he can handle his action sequences with some aplomb. Probably my favorite role of his was that of Jeff Kohlver, the errant photographer in 2005's Hard Candy. That was a solid movie. He played a sociopath quite well, and I think that a quality like that would be good to have in a guy who dresses up in tights and flies a big owl ship around the city after dark. However, there's one role that convinces me that he will actually be good in mannerisms as Nite Owl. We turn, one again, to Little Children.
How is it that the best team in Watchmen have already been in a movie with each other? I would say that this version of Dreiberg has a potential to be the show stealer if handled correctly. In Little Children, Wilson played Brad, who lived a life where he was the prototypical henpecked husband. I would happily be henpecked by Jennifer Connelly, but whatever. He meets Sarah (Kate Winslet), and immediately knows that he loves her. They have their thing, but he does not run away with her because he busts his shit on a skateboard. There's a lot more to it, but I feel it’s right to summarize. Throughout the movie, he is a wishy-washy type whose powerful wife has run all over him. He finally meets someone who invigorates him and he is all set to leave his evil and heartless wife behind... or not. The character schlubs it out and plays the chickenshit, all of which Wilson portrays perfectly. This could be a great Nite Owl, just not in appearance. You know, as I wrote this, I think I just convinced myself that Patrick Wilson will make a good Nite Owl. Hell, I'll even forgive Lakeview Terrace this once… and only once.
Join me next installment as we take a look at the female characters of Sally Jupiter, her daughter Laurie Jupiter, and cancerous Janey Slater. See you soon! Don't forget to check back later this week for the next one!