Why did you bring your kid to the WATCHMEN film?
To the woman sitting behind me with her kid when I saw WATCHMEN two days ago:
Normally, I don't give a crap about the Malaysian rating system. Films that are rated 18 and above in Malaysia are mostly heavily-butchered, and tamer than most films that are rated PG in other countries. So I'm unsurprised that you overlooked the fact that this film is rated 18-PL (for overseas audience, this rating is reserved for films contain more than one element, either violence, sex or political/ religious content) and brought your kid along to see the film with you.
I have nothing against that, considering that ever since I was a child, I had always gone to the cinema with my dad. It was almost a weekly thing. Hell, I was actually with my dad when I was seeing WATCHMEN too.
However, I started feeling a little worried when your kid started making some loud noises during the Transformers 2 teaser, screaming "THAT'S DECEPTICON!! YAAAAAARRRR!". Fine, I'm kinda excited too, despite the lack of Megan Fox shots, and of course, being a mere child, I can understand that he cannot contain his excitement like I did.
But then, having read the original WATCHMEN graphic novel by Alan Moore two years ago, I knew silently, even before the film started, that you may have brought your child to the wrong film. Blame it on the film's local campaign, and the posters, and also the proud declaration that WATCHMEN is directed by the 'visionary director of 300, Zack Snyder', so you probably fell for it and thought that WATCHMEN is probably some non-stop, intellectually bankrupt non-stop action film like its Spartan predecessor.
Even though some scenes were censored in the cinemas, like Dr Manhattan's blue penis getting blurred off, or most of the nudity and sex scenes getting cut off, our dear censorship board remains much more liberal with gruesome violence, so most of the violent scenes were retained, and the burst of violence that punctuated the film MIGHT have satiated your kid's bloodlust, inappropriate it may seem for a kid to see this film. But then, it's just my opinion, you are his parent, not I.
I'm fine if you allow your kid to be exposed to all these hardcore violence in the film that wasn't really in the graphic novel, it's cool to have an open mind. I'm sure the trademark slow-mo/fast-mo action scenes that Zack Snyder tossed into the film to entertain the masses were the only parts that your child enjoyed.
But how could the kid had understood the bloody (somewhat) complex plot? The fragmented storytelling method employed in the film to flesh out the back story of each main character? Your kid had remained loud as usual throughout the film, asking questions like "Eh? Is that the Comedian? Why is he appearing again? I thought he's dead! Oh, that's the Comedian too! Is that another Comedian? Wow, that's the Comedian!"
Now, because he's a kid, I can stomach the fact that he didn't know that he was seeing multiple flashbacks of the Comedian (played wonderfully by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, who does look like Robert Downey Jr.), that he couldn't understand that these were methods to show the complexity of this character, a seemingly heartless monster who had grown disillusioned with the dystopic alternative world depicted in the film (Snyder chose to remain faithful to the graphic novel and set the film in an alternative 1985 where Nixon is serving his fourth term as president and the Cold War is still looming, older versions of the screenplay were set in the present, where they had the War On Terror instead of the Cold War, but I won't even dwell into these details because, screw it, wherever it's set in is lost to your kid), capable of so much evil, yet unexpectedly human... an apt representation of humanity's ugliness and unexpected vulnerability)
I'm fine with him asking so many questions, I used to do that too when I was a child and my mind was less developed. But I cannot stand it when your child was asking so loudly and you choosing to answer him incoherently without even lowering your voice. I was befuddled, annoyed, frustrated, and trying very hard to remain courteous and not ask you and your kid to lower your voices. If I want commentary, I'll wait for a DVD so I can have a bloody director's commentary. But in truth, I'm not a huge fan of director's commentary, when I don't even like that, do you think I really enjoyed hearing you and the kid's commentary?
The 2 hour 45 minute is NOT a non-stop action film, you probably discovered that too late, along with your child. You may have been taken in by the drama, but your kid wasn't, and he was sighing and groaning and moaning really loudly. The kid showed no restraint. He was kicking my seat, he was putting his stupid legs on the seat beside me, and despite turning around repeatedly to stare at him, he seemed too thick to understand my baleful look. But can't you just keep an eye on your kid if you knew that he's such a hyperactive little monster? Can't you at least make an effort to minimize the damage the kid was causing?
The film had its flaws, the pacing was a little off, and perhaps the Snyder-style glossiness didn't really work most of the time. But I had enjoyed most of the damned film, when there were some really transcendental moments. Like the stylish opening title montage set to Bob Dylan's "The Times They Are A-Changing" (a pleasant surprise for my dad), where the alternative history of United States and the costumed superheroes are shown in a series of nicely composed static shots.