Sunday, March 8, 2009

I Watched The Watchmen

A Mini Review of Watchmen

They finally did it. They filmed the unfilmable comic book Watchmen. After years of attempting, and far superior directors attached (Terry Gilliam comes to mind), Zack Snyder was able to do what no one else could. And he did a pretty damn good job with it, I must admit.

Before making the decision to watch the movie, I had a lot of trepidation about it. Alan Moore never wanted the film to be made in the first place, and who am I to be insubordinate to the great Alan Moore? But, I finally made the decision that I had to see it. I just had to. So, summoned up the posse and done rushed the movies. It was a little off putting in those first few minutes while the credits rolled and there was no mention of Alan Moore (obviously his choice), but I got over it.

The film itself contains most of the story that the comic covers. I'd say around 95% if we discount Tales of the Black Freighter and Under the Hood. I guess this is why the run time is pushing 163 minutes. Obviously, this ain't your average super hero movie. It's very dense with a lot going on. I'm sure it is going to be difficult for those unfamiliar with the source material to keep up their first time through.

As far as the acting, Jeffrey Dean Morgan pulls off The Comedian very well, Billy Crudup is actually a good Dr. Manhattan, and Jackie Earle Haley does a serviceable job as Rorshach. The rest of the cast works pretty well, could have been some upgrades, but mostly they do a good job. Matthew Goode does stand out as Ozzymandias.

Going back to Moore, Watchmen does feel a little wrong as a film. It feels like even in covering the exact same ground as the comic there is less meat. It's less satisfying. That's not to blame Snyder, but that Moore may have been right all along. He wrote a comic book because he wanted to write a comic book, if he'd wanted it to be a movie, he'd have written a script.

There are some scenes that leave something to be desired. A handful of the action sequences (ripped straight from Oldboy) felt a little bit extreme, and unhuman. I would've liked to have seen something a little bit more eighties in flavor, to go along with the setting.

Overall, it is a really good adaptation, and there's nothing more I could ask for. I would recommend it. But, if you can only choose one, stick with the book. It's still better as a comic.


- Jordan M.
Sulphur Springs, TX

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