Monday, March 9, 2009

Watchmen: The Movie

So, I went to see Watchmen last Friday. I have held off on the review to give me a few days to think on the movie before giving my thoughts. I wanted to have some time between me and the movie to make sure i was being objective, since i have a habit of snap judgments.

Just to warn you, there are spoilers ahead. If you have not read the comic or seen the movie, do not read on.

First of all, I am quite pleased with this. Zach Snyder managed to make a decent, and mostly faithful, adaptation of the comic. I say mostly because many have pointed out his lack of understanding the deeper meaning and purpose of the story. Which, really, I don't see. I must have missed the deeper meaning myself. So, you know, I have no issue with that.

The opeing was pretty good. You get a condensed history of the Minutemen and events leading up to the current story. A bunch of new stuff added in here, but all things that work for expanding the story. Silk Spectre as a pinup on the side of a bomber plane was a nice touch. As was the Comedian assassinating Kennedy. Which may have been in the original story. I don't remember it there, but the idea seems so natural that I am sure there is some reference to it somewhere in the book. Need to read again.

Anyhow, the beginning fight was suitably interesting without spoiling anything. Loved seeing Rorschach "without his face" all over the place. Just like the comic. It was nice to see that, as a fan. Hints at the future story revelations, without being totally overt.

There was also a nice touch that I noticed a couple times where they did the pull away shot. The Comedian's button and the statue at the funeral in specific. In the comics, the cover was the start of that shot, with the first few panels in the comic being the same shot from further away before the action actually begins. Nice to see that here.

Few tings I didn't like. The violence was amped up. Dan and Laurie fighting the thugs in the alley was a bit much to me. Braking bones puncturing the skin broke my focus. Rorschach and the child molester was another scene that was a bit too much. I was hoping for the scene as it was in the comic, not flat out murder. Makes the scene better with him not blatantly killing the man.

The sex being a bit more overt was also not a big plus. It was ok for the movie I guess, but seemed a little too much. Like softcore porn. Not a major flaw, but a flaw anyhow.

Ooo, the dream sequence being in the movie, kind of unexpected but fun anyhow.

Some of the plots being eliminated were also a frustration. Specifically, Hollis was such a side character in the movie that I don't get his inclusion at all. Without his being killed after the prison riots, I see no reason to have included him to begin with.

I noticed they took out all of the smoking (other than the Comedian lighting a cigar off of his flamethrower). So, make the sex and violence more graphic, but lose the smoking? No sense at all. Especially since the comic even go so far as to tell you it isn't unhealthy like it used to be. So, they had to make Laurie seem like an idiot for playing with the flamethrower on Archie, instead of just naive. Bah.

So, biggest complaint. The ending. Didn't like it. I knew the giant space squids were not going to be in. I was ok with that. The squid would look stupid on the screen anyhow. So, no major complaint there. I just didn't like them choosing the changes they did. Make Dr. Manhattan look like the villain? Um...not really my idea of a decent plot. Even worse, soon after, the world seems to have forgotten they blame him for the destruction. It was like a scene after the new announcements that there is a reference to him being awesome again. I don't get it.

Overall, I am happy and satisfied with this. I think the Black Freighter and Under the Mask DVD stuff will be fun, and I await the director's cut to see how much was lost to edits.

In the end, I think I will see it again and definitely be buying. But, the source was better. As usual.

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