Holy Existential Jesus! This movie sure caused something of a stir in the comics world. As a fan of the graphic novel I feel like I have to give you two parts to my review of the screen adaptation.
The first is looking at the movie, based purely on its own merits and not with comparison to the source material (girl).
Any movie longer than an hour and a half has to keep you entertained constantly and Watchmen certainly delivers the fun babies. A good mixture of action and philosophical drama, this movie raises some intriguing and fundamental questions.
What’s the meaning of life? Is human nature really violent and evil? Is tragedy the only way we’re able to see past ourselves in relation to other beings? What would real costumed heroes be like? How long can you show big, blue dong in a film before getting an un-rateable feature?
But seriously, there’s a blue penis in it. Now that that’s out of everyone’s system, let’s keep the review train chugging along. So the curtain rises on a world not dissimilar to our own. The big city is home to violence, corruption & deep, dark lies. We see how masked vigilantes have changed the world of the Watchmen indelibly and been altered themselves, for better & worse. We get a sense for what it’s like for real, honest people to go through a comic book world. How would a person truly react to murder? Does everyone have a Superman hidden inside them or an Apokoplips? Or both?
The wonderful thing about Watchmen (is that I’m the only one!) is that it raises questions constantly, like good art always does. To give away too much of the plot would spoil it but suffice it to say that if you haven’t seen it yet you are doing yourself a major disservice.
So now, let me put on my Watchmen Fanboy hat to say what I’m REALLY feeling. I loved this movie, honestly. I feel that this is the truest screenplay that Hollywood would ever come up with when it comes to Watchmen.
That being said, I agree with Alan Moore that the Watchmen graphic novel never needed to be made into a movie. It definitely got the public interested in the graphic novel which is only a good thing. But many of the elements that made the book so mind-blowing and fantastic, couldn’t translate to the screen. It was clear that the production team was aiming to please all people. With constant nods to the novel yet some glaring omissions and alterations, it’s certainly a roller coaster ride for fans of the book. You’ll be screaming internally at a few unnecessary changes and scratching your head at times.
And the ending…well, it’s different. It worked for me, though. It was a mish-mash of streamlined plot and simplification but I came away from the experience with a feeling that I had seen Watchmen, not just a generic super-hero movie with the Watchmen franchise sprinkled on top.
Ultimately, whether the movie is your first introduction to Watchmen or if you were a fan of the book since its first publication, I feel that everyone can enjoy this film.