But the movie wasn't designed to be a feel-good experience, and the superheroes are as likely to wreak havoc as they are to save lives.
Based on the graphic novel by writer Alan Moore and artist Dave Gibbons, "Watchmen" is set in the 1980s amid nuclear tensions between the U.S. and the Soviet Union. Richard Nixon is still president, there are regular riots in the streets and morals decay by the minute. It's the kind of place that needs superheroes, but they've been outlawed by the government.
When the Comedian (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is killed, an anti-social hero called Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley) decides to investigate. He also warns other heroes that their lives might be in danger.
Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup) was turned blue during a lab accident that gave him the ability to change the physical world with his thoughts. He disregards the threat to focus on his scientific research.
Ozymandias (Matthew Goode) has become a multibillionaire and he's working on his own schemes.
Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson) and Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman) eventually take Rorschach's warning. The heroes suit up to uncover a conspiracy that could destroy or save humanity.
It's a complicated story, and the movie is often violent and sometimes sexually explicit. I haven't read the original "Watchmen" graphic novel, but Scene's Sheena Barnett said the movie captures the spirit of the original and reproduces some of its artwork.
On the plus side, the movie's images and its moral ambiguities have stuck around long after the closing credits.
However, during the movie, there were a few times when I fell out of its spell. I'm sure "Watchmen" is meant to be jarring, but I'd rather be caught up in the action than sitting in my seat in a theater, puzzling over what I'd just seen.
M. Scott Morris Journal Review:
It's an audacious attempt, and I'm glad I saw it. I give "Watchmen" a B plus.
Kelli Karlson with Wizard 106.7 gives "Watchmen" an F. "There was not a moment in this movie I enjoyed."
It's showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus, as well as Hollywood Premier Cinemas in Starkville and Movie Reel in New Albany.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.
What did you think of "Watchmen"? Have you seen it? Will you? Give us your review. Comment here below. Click here for the Daily Journal entertainment blog - Scene Now.