Watchmen is the 161st episode of Screen Junkies comedy series Honest Trailers. It was written by Spencer Gilbert, Dan Murrell, Joe Starr, Andy Signore, Jason Mathews and Jonathan Miceli. It was narrated by Jon Bailey as Epic Voice Guy. It parodies the 2009 film adaption of Watchmen. The video was published on August 2, 2016, shortly after the theatrical release of Suicide Squad. It is 5 minutes and 15 seconds long. It has been viewed over 4.6 million times.
"One of the most self-serious films ever made." ~ Honest Trailers - Watchmen
Before Zack Snyder turned one of the most universally beloved comics of all time (Batman: The Dark Knight Returns) into a completely polarizing movie (Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice), he turned *the* most universally beloved comic of all time into...a completely polarizing movie: Watchmen.
You've read the dark, satirical comic. Now, get ready for the movie adaptation that transforms the complex characters and grounded, realistic action into a gory version of The Matrix, in a film that Watchmen creator Alan Moore described as "regurgitated worms". Then again, the guy worships a snake, so take it with a grain of salt.
Stare in awe as Snyder's gorgeous shots carry you through an overstuffed plot where a dense 13-chapter series is crammed into a single movie full of so many story threads, it feels like marathoning an entire season of Lost...at the same time (shows several simultaneous clips from Lost).
Meet darkened versions of heroes you know and love who do their best to fight crime and maintain an erection (shows Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre II making out), like The Comedian, who's Captain America if he were a dick; Rorschach, who's Batman if he were a dick; and Dr. Manhattan, who's Superman if he were a dick who always had his dick hanging out. Seriously, always. (shows full frontal clips of Dr. Manhattan from the film) So many dicks. There were only three dick shots in the entire comic. An animator had to spend hours getting the dick swing just right. I'd move on, but it's really hard to focus on anything when there's a big blue dick on the screen.
Experience Jackie Earl Haley's spot-on performance as a smelly hobo who hates hands (shows clips of Rorschach breaking people's fingers), as he shines alongside a cast that does their comic book counterparts justice despite some on-the-nose dialogue (Sylvia Kovacs: I shoulda had that abortion!), bad old person makeup, and the presence of Malin Åkerman. We don't normally like to call out actors, and she seems like a really nice person and all, but this is just...echhh. She makes Matthew Goode look...okay.
Prepare for a two-hour-and-forty-minute movie that's closer to two without all the slo-mo, full of everything Zack Snyder carried over into his next two DC movies, like rain, sex, Jesus allegories, graphic violence, apocalyptic dream sequences, and justifying the destruction of a major metropolis (shows clips comparing Watchmen with Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice). But if that's not Snyder-y enough, check out a director's cut that adds more graphic violence, more sex, and more Jesus allegories. But if even that's not Snyder-y enough, spring for the Ultimate Edition, where two characters who don't like each other come to the shocking realization that they have the same name.
Newspaper Vendor: You know, all this time you've been coming here, and...I never caught your name.
Young Man: Bernard.
Newspaper Vendor: That's my name, too. (laughs)
Ughhh, so that's where he got it from.
Batman: Why did you say that name?!
So get ready for one of the most self-serious films ever made that keeps shoehorning in a happy face (shows clips of a blood-spattered smiley face from the film) and features some of the most depressing, humorless characters in film arguing over what is and isn't a joke.
The Comedian: That's the real joke.
Ozymandias: I can never tell when you're joking.
The Comedian: It's a joke.
Rorschach: I heard a joke once.
Silk Spectre II: My life is just...one big joke.
Ozymandias: ...with the greatest practical joke in human history.
Nite Owl II: That's the real practical joke.
Rorschach: Good joke. Everybody laugh.
Starring Harvey Birdman (Patrick Wilson as Daniel Dreiberg/Nite Owl II), Homeless Man Man (Jackie Earl Haley as Walter Kovacs/Rorschach), Silk Spectra (Malin Åkerman as Laurie Juspeczyk/Silk Spectre II), The Killing Joke (Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Edward Blake/The Comedian), Max Headwound (Matt Frewer as Edgar Jacobi/Moloch), Zack Snyder Making Zack Snyder References, Foreshadowing, Elon Musk (Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias), and Don't You Know? I'm Electro (Billy Crudup as Jon Osterman/Dr. Manhattan).
Dr. Manhattan or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Dong
I'll bet Dr. Manhattan would've won Vietnam even sooner if he'd taken that thong off. Talk about intimidation. Baaaalls.
Viewer's Comments Edit
Say "I have no father, I was brought to life by Zeus". - Spencer Bowler
Say, "Your scratchy squirrel voice has nothing on my sexy buttery cow voice." - Reagan Oliveira
Please say, "WACKY WAVING INFLATABLE ARM FLAILING TUBE MAN." - pirouette cat
Say "Monster monster trucks. Featuring Bigfoot and Smogzilla. Sunday sunday sunday. Be there!" - A ctionMS
Say "None of you seem to understand. I'm not locked in here with you. You're locked with me!" - DatsaToilet
Please say, Rorschac's journal: October 12th, 1895. Tonight, a comedian died in New York. - Dakoda Gordon
- Screen Junkies have produced Honest Trailers for many other Zack Snyder films including 300, Man of Steel, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and Justice League. See list of Honest Trailers for more Honest Trailers of comic book adaptations.
- An Honest Trailer Commentary for this episode was recorded and was available on the Screen Junkies Plus until the website/app was discontinued. Screen Junkies don't currently have any way of releasing the video.
Honest Trailers - Watchmen has an 95.7% approval rating from YouTube viewers. Cnet wrote that the Honest Trailer was "brutal" and offered "cutting commentary" regarding Snyder's repeated use of the same cinematic tropes like "rain, Jesus allegories, sex, graphic violence, destruction of a major city and apocalyptic dream sequences." SlashFilm also appreciated the comparison to BvS, and also said "Screen Junkies' best observation is that the notorious “Martha” twist in Batman v Superman was preceded by a surprisingly similar plot point in the Watchmen Director’s Cut."
Uproxx said most of the Honest Trailer's criticisms "are totally fair" but disliked the video's specific complaints against Malin Ackerman. In addition, Uproxx wrote that they "didn’t have as much of a problem with the blue doctor dong as this honest trailer clearly has." CinemaBlend also disliked the critique of Ackerman's performance, writing "if we're being entirely fair, we're not disagreeing - we just feel bad." On a different point, CinemaBlend agreed with Screen Junkies that Watchmen is overstuffed with plot, but also suggested its faithfulness to the source material is impressive in its own way.
Screen Rant found the Honest Trailer especially relevant in the wake of the contentious reaction to Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The site noted that the Honest Trailer was "a reminder that the perceived problems with both Dawn of Justice and Man of Steel were present in his earlier works as well." In the same article, Screen Rant remarked that the Honest Trailer "does draw some interesting parallels which, perhaps, provide some background on the choices made for the DCEU thus far."
Screen Rant also discussed the broader significance of the Honest Trailers series in the "grimdark" era of superhero movies, stating, "If nothing else, it’s a good reminder that sometimes comic book movies need to remember to be fun first and foremost. If we can’t get that from the movies themselves, at least Screen Junkies is there to find it for us. They are, truly, the heroes we both deserve and need right now."
Production credits Edit
Voiceover Narration by Jon Bailey
Title design by Robert Holtby
Edited by TJ Nordaker
- Watchmen Gets an Honest Trailer - Screen Rant article
- Zack Snyder’s ‘Watchmen’ is just like ‘Batman v Superman’ - The Daily Dot article
- Screen Junkies’ Honest Trailer For Zack Snyder’s ‘Watchmen’ - Geeks of Doom article
- 'Watchmen' hilariously lambasted in Honest Trailers parody video - Cnet article
- 'Watchmen' Honest Trailer Mocks Zack Snyder's "Self-Serious" Adaptation - The Hollywood Reporter article
- ‘Watchmen’ Honest Trailer: Zack Snyder’s Other Polarizing Superhero Movie - SlashFilm article
- Who Watches The ‘Watchmen’ Honest Trailer? - Uproxx article
- See Watchmen Get Ripped Apart In New Honest Trailer Video - CInemaBlend article
- WATCHMEN HONEST TRAILER TAKES ON ZACH SNYDER’S FIRST SUPERHERO MOVIE - Nerdist article