Watchmen 2: a couple of suggestions

After finding Total Film’s humourous suggestions for a Watchmen sequel a little lacking in the funniness department, I thought I’d jot down a few myself. It doesn’t mean they’re actually any better, obviously, but it kept me amused for a few minutes.

Betcha can’t spot all the references…

The Watchmen Strike Back
In which the Watchmen form a rebel alliance to fight crime and try to repeal the Keene Act! Sounds depressingly plausible…

The Watchmen: Part II
Split between shocking events of the present day (which, for the viewer, is still the past) and flashbacks to the beginnings in an even-more-past New York. Oh, wait, that’s the first film…

Watchmen: The Superhero Who Shagged Me
The first one deconstructed the genre, the second spoofs it! Hey, it can’t be any worse than Superhero Movie… probably…

Watchmen Supremacy
Modern-day version that induces motion sickness.

2 Watch 2 Men
In which the least memorable lead from the first film goes on some redeeming mission for no reason other than more ‘cool’ action sequences. Stars Silk Spectre, but no one else.

Watchmen 2: Judgement Day
In which the bad guy turns out to be a good guy and an implausible nuclear explosion destroys a major US city. Oh, wait…

“Get away from her you bitch!”, screams Nite Owl as Ozymandias tries to steal his woman.

Watchmen to the Future Part II
Dr Manhattan takes everyone to the future, and then back into the events of the first film, and into the past, and things get mucked up, and the present starts getting erased, and then the future’s different too, and it barely makes sense but it’s still pretty good. And then it ends with them in the Wild West.

Watchmen Reloaded
In which things get even more convoluted and pretentious. Most likely option, then. No need to do the rubbish sex scene set to inappropriate music in the sequel this time though.

Watchmen: The Two Towers
I think leaving it at that is insensitive enough.

W2 (or, in the US ad campaign only, W2: Watchmen United)
Bigger, better, and even more focussed on The One Everyone Liked (i.e. Rorschach). Refuses to resolve his plot line, but then doesn’t do it in a third film (directed by Uwe Boll as Snyder goes on to relaunch V For Vendetta) because Watchmen Origins: Rorschach is scheduled for a couple of years later.

The Dark Nite Owl
Just had to get that one in there.

Superhero Movie (2008)

2008 #52
Craig Mazin | 85 mins | in-flight | 12A / PG-13

Superhero MovieYears ago, I saw Scary Movie. I don’t really know what I thought of it anymore, but I never expected I’d find myself watching another entry in the critically-derided …Movie series. But then I found myself on a plane, half asleep and with a choice of films I’d mostly rather watch on a decent-sized screen, and decided that maybe Superhero Movie wouldn’t be so bad after all…

As anyone who saw a trailer will have guessed, Superhero Movie is mainly a spoof of Spider-Man… a film that is now six years old. Unfortunately, this means that most of the best jokes have already been done in numerous other sketch-length spoofs, amongst them one at the MTV Movie Awards and one during Comic Relief 2005. The latter even did the green costume thing, though the hero was ‘Spider-Plant Man’ rather than the (less funny) Dragonfly employed here. Superhero Movie takes all this sketchery to the next level, however, crafting its story simply by reworking the first Spider-Man film almost scene by scene, inserting jokes (and, more often, ‘jokes’) where it can — which is about once per scene.

There are also asides that spoof X-Men, Fantastic Four and Batman, but they barely warrant a mention. They’re certainly not any funnier. In fact, the climax is the only wholly original plot point — or, at least, plot point not directly lifted from Spider-Man, as it may well come from some other comic source. This incessant copying makes the film feel like an over-extended sketch, and so it becomes clear that something like Mystery Men, with its genuinely original plot, makes for a much better superhero comedy movie.

As for the gags themselves, they’re childish, lewd, offensive (“isn’t Stephen Hawking funny!”), too specific to American culture, too topical (they’ll be dated within six months), already dated (“isn’t the Windows paperclip annoying!”), too obvious… It’s very much a movie made for now, not for posterity. Actually, to be fair, it’s very much a movie made for six years ago. In this respect I suppose it’s just like the rest of the …Movie series, which I’ve always felt looked like cheap TV specials owing to their specificity and, well, rubbishness. Still, believe it or not, some bits are actually amusing. Or amusing enough while they’re on. Perhaps I was just laughing out of desperation. I certainly can’t remember any of the jokes now.

Intriguingly (a word I use loosely here), there are a bunch of deleted scenes and gags during the end credits — not bloopers, but genuine deleted bits. It’s a mystery as to why these aren’t either in the film itself or relegated to DVD extras — it’s not like running time is an issue, and clearly pacing isn’t. In fact, some of the deletions are much funnier than gags that were left in. They’re probably the only reason to keep watching Superhero Movie to the end, though they’re not reason enough to start it in the first place.

2 out of 5

Superhero Movie featured on my list of The Five Worst Films I Saw in 2008, which can be read in full here.