So I actually got to see this movie last Sunday, but have until this point not had a chance to go back over it and to write up a review. Easily it’s the best movie I’ve seen this year, but I’ve only seen four movies. And to put it bluntly, this desk lamp sitting next to me is more entertaining than one of them (Taken). But it does go up against Benjamin Button, which shares the category of really good (and really drawn out) movie—but they need to be to get the story told.
As you should probably be aware, even if you didn’t see the movie, that Watchmen is based on comic book—nay graphic novel—written by Alan Moore in 1986. It’s one of the most well respected graphic novels around and even features on the Time’s 100 top novels of all time. I managed to finish the book a week or so before the movie came out, this after starting it in mid January. For me I wasn’t terribly pleased with the novel. It was good, yes, it wasn’t amazing though. There was a great story, and great characters and a set of good overreaching archetype that blended together fairly seamlessly, but it failed in certain key aspects. The Biggest was the ending, gripping as it was I didn’t like it. It may have worked back in the 1980’s but it just didn’t feel right or suitable an ending for a book I was really into at that point. Clarification: it wasn’t the why of the end, rather the how of it (without giving away any spoilers).
So I’d read and liked the comic book, and the trailers looked amazing for this film (although I can’t help but think they marketed it wrong—a superhero movie verses a movie of the morality of people). I personally loved the movie, and got a lot of satisfaction from seeing scenes from the pages of the book recreated on the big screen with startling precision. I also loved most of what they did with the story line. Contrary to what some might think or say it wasn’t exactly page for page, there were parts that were abbreviated and done exceedingly well. The flow was done well, especially when its source is jumpy and staccato. And the new ended tops that of the comic book in my mind, much more plausible (although less gory). So for that I commend Zach Snyder. Of course there were things that I really didn’t like. One was what I just commended Zach Snyder for, and that was story modification. Who is that cat with Ozymandias at the end? Well that’s part of the story that never made it to the screen, so what point does that cat have there except to satisfy some watchmen fanatics personal contentment. Choice a storyline and stick with it, don’t include the unnecessary. Also what was up with some of the songs? ‘99 luftballoons’, really Mr. Snyder? This is given that some of the music was very fitting (critically praised opening credits). Over all I was more than content with the movie.
“The Times They are a Changin’”
There have been so many blog posts, stories and articles over the past week about just of good/bad (circle one) watchmen really is. One of my favorites explained that every showing really had a different feeling to it depending on the audience. ‘Who Watches who walks out of the watchmen’, describes how many people he saw leaving the theatre during the movie.
Whether you thought it was good or bad, I think watchmen (as screen writer David Hayter says), should be admired as a one of a kind, and one of the best, (almost) literal translations from story to film. Also I think I probably liked it more than most people just because I had the prior knowledge (reading the comic) to add the necessary connectors to this monstrously long movie.
…and all of that without mentioning big blue penis…