The “Watchmen” are here (but not so queer)

If you get to the theater a few minutes after Watchmen has started, you might miss the only actual lesbian content the film promises. In the title sequence, there’s a brief rundown of the infamous Minutemen, a group of superheroes from the 1960s that included Silhouette, a lesbian heroine played by Apollonia Vanova.

Unfortunately, Silhouette is limited to very brief moments in the first part of the film. In the first, she’s posing for a photograph with the rest of the Minutemen. Then she’s showed locking lips with her girlfriend, a nurse.

The last time you see her featured prominently and not as a background character in a flashback focused on another character is when she’s dead, in lingerie, on a bed next to her lover, the words “lesbian whores” scrawled on the wall.

It’s a great image, really. And the only other time she’s mentioned is when the character of Rorschach is describing her as having died of “living an indecent life.”

In a recent interview with The Examiner, Vanova described her character as “quite harsh” and said she was “eventually ousted from the group because that was not acceptable at that time.”

In another interview, she told a reporter that she’d enjoyed the brief kissing scene the most of her time shooting the film, and that she had to audition for the role by performing the kiss with a woman.

“I have read on an Internet site that some lesbian women are offended about the V-J Day kiss in the movie, writing that it is a cheap shot and an attention-getter for the men,” Vanova told Blast Magazine. “I don’t agree. In my opinion that sequence should be included in the movie. … For Silhouette, this was not only about the war ending, this victory represented her own personal victory as well — she was Jewish and a homosexual.

The rest of the three hour film is devoid of Sapphic content, though if you’re just looking for some comic book action, you should be satisfied. Malin Akerman plays Laurie Jupiter, a retired Watchmen member who returns to her vigilante routine to help save the world from World War III and the possibility of Armageddon. Of course, she makes time to have relationships with two male characters, including a very long and awkward sex scene with Patrick Wilson.

Something else that’s a little disturbing: Dr. Manhattan’s full-frontal nudity. Nevermind that he’s graphically enhanced; seeing four nude versions of him on screen at the same time made me a little uncomfortable. (The problem could be that I also saw it on an enlarged IMAX screen. That certainly couldn’t help.) I’m sure fans of Watchmen comics will pay this no mind, as they’re used to seeing the blue man completely naked.

I just wanted to give anyone who is interested in seeing the film without much knowledge of the comics a fair warning: naked man parts.

Overall, the film was a little too long and dragged out, with too many things going on at one time to really grasp the characters and what they wanted from their lives, as superheroes or otherwise. The women’s roles were much weaker than the men’s, which is always disheartening, but not surprising. It’s worth seeing if you like action films and aren’t expecting to come out of it with a feeling that good will always trump evil in the end.

Are you going to see Watchmen today or sometime this opening weekend? Did you expect there to be a little more lesbian action than two minutes of kissing and being killed?

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