Ryan Philipe must have thought he’d be the best choice to play Rorschach in the Watchmen. So much so that he went out and made Franklyn and to be honest, he’s got me half believing it myself. He might not have been better, but he wouldn’t have been too bad. Franklyn isn’t much like Watchmen in any way other than the iconic character onthe cover that wears a white mask with black eyes, a trenchcoat and a constant internal monologue. The plot seemingly attempts to be intellectual and deep but comes across clunky and somewhat cliched. Switching back and forth between a fantasy world and the real world is a jarring experiance and while the comic book world of “Meanwhile” is highly stylized and interesting, the contrasting real world is so dull and plodding that you lose interest fairly quickly. And when the movie blows it’s Fight Club-twist a half hour from the end ofthe film, the movie loses most of whatever appeal remained.
The cast is thick with talent supporting a roster with the likes of Bernard Hill, Casino Royale‘s Eva Green and creepy, screaming character actor Jeremy Davies. The cast doesn’t save the movie, but it does give you an extra incentive to rent it.
In it’s best moments the production design of “Meanwhile” is intoxicating and mysterious, evoking shades of Alice in Wonderland, Neil Gaiman‘s Neverwhere and A Clockwork Orange but when the movie switches back to reality all of the magic is gone and the movie lies down. I guess this is a pass, but barely.