Film and Plot Synopsis
In an alternate reality, it’s 1985, costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of everyday society, and the “Doomsday Clock” – which charts the USA’s tension with the Soviet Union – is permanently set at five minutes to midnight. When one of his former colleagues is murdered, the washed-up but no less determined masked vigilante Rorschach sets out to uncover a plot to kill and discredit all past and present superheroes. As he reconnects with his former crime- fighting legion – a ragtag group of retired superheroes, only one of whom has true powers – Rorschach glimpses a wide-ranging and disturbing conspiracy with links to their shared past and catastrophic consequences for the future. Their mission is to watch over humanity…but who is watching The Watchmen?
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‘Watchmen’ Movie Summary
Concerned that the murderer is attempting to eliminate all former costumed crusaders, Rorschach begins reaching out to the remaining members of the Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan, Night Owl, Silk Spectre, and Ozymandias. Rorschach’s concerns are dismissed by all of the former Watchmen. However, a short time later, Ozymandias, who is actually the world renowned billionaire Adrian Veidt, is attacked by a would be assassin. Veidt fights off the attacker, who dies from an apparent suicide via cyanide.
During his ongoing investigation, Rorschach is framed for the murder of the supervillain, Moloch. Prior to his death, Moloch received a visit from The Comedian, who confessed that he was as savage and evil as all of the criminals he was charged with fighting. Rorschach is convicted of Moloch’s murder and put into prison with many of the criminals he and the Watchmen had locked up over the years. Even though, Rorschach’s life is constantly put in jeopardy by his fellow inmates, the former Watchman successfully staves off every single murder attempt with his street smarts and fearless, sociopathic, mentality.
Dr. Manhattan, the product of a 1959 nuclear accident, is told during a live television interview that he has given a number of his former colleagues and loved ones cancer. This false information forces Dr. Manhattan to exile himself on Mars, so he can never hurt anyone he cares for again. In reality, Dr. Manhattan is setup by a phantom menace, who wants USA – USSR hostilities to further escalate during the Cold War. The unknown puppet master is aware that Manhattan, a former US Government operative, is the ultimate weapon in ending the Cold War in favor of the American government.
Dr. Manhattan’s former Watchmen colleague and lover, Laurie Jupiter, leaves the blue man’s laboratory and finds comfort in another form Watchmen, Daniel Dreiberg. Together, Jupiter, the former Silk Spectre, and Dreiberg, the former Night Owl, rekindle their love for the superhero business, while learning to fall in love with each other. They realize that Rorschach was indeed framed by an unknown entity and work together to free the vigilante from prison. During a prison riot, Night Owl frees Rorschach, who had just killed off a number of inmates that had sought revenge on the former Watchmen. Night Owl and Rorschach rekindle their partnership and go on a mission to find out who is trying to eliminate the Watchmen.
Night Owl and Rorschach further investigate Moloch’s death, only to find out that Veidt is behind the Watchmen conspiracy and personally murdered The Comedian. Veidt admits to the duo that he has set a plan in motion to frame Dr. Manhattan for nuclear explosions that are occurring all over the world. The radioactivity from each blast will have the same elements as Dr. Manhattan’s makeup, which will cause the USA and USSR to blame the nuclear Smurf, seeing him as a common foe, and ending the Cold War.
Dr. Manhattan, Night Owl, and Silk Spectre agree to conceal Veidt’s actions, in an attempt to finally bring world peace. However, Rorschach refuses to go along with the plan and asks Dr. Manhattan to kill him. Rorschach knows that he will not be able to do what is “right,” and not expose all of their actions. Manhattan agrees, and then assassinates the former Watchmen. Dr. Manhattan leaves the Earth for galaxy far, far away, with the appearance that he is the entity that nearly caused a nuclear war.
In the end, Dreiberg and Jupiter become a crime fighting couple, living in New York. Meanwhile, the editors at the New Frontiersman, a New York based newspaper, receive Rorschach’s Journal at their office. Rorschach kept details of everything ever known of the Minutemen and Watchmen, ultimately exposing all of their dark secrets to entire world.
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