Who’s Watching The Watchmen? I Did, And Please Stop Using That Joke
March 8, 2009 Leave a comment
The Watchmen movie is a strange beast on. On the one hand, it is pretty damn amazing that he did it. Zack Snyder, definitely not one of my favorite directors, actually managed to make the supposedly unfilmable Watchmen into a film. It’s overwrought, full of superfluous violence and slo-mo action scenes, and their are some weak links in the cast. Despite all that, this is probably near the top of what can be achieved when turning a graphic novel like Watchmen into a movie.
The film is packed with story and images ripped straight out of the pages of the graphic novel. If you’ve seen the trailers, you know that the imagery is uncannily close to Dave Gibbons art, but what surprised me is that it seems like literally 3/4 of the dialogue in the movie is literally whats on the comic’s pages. I’m guessing this is because of Snyder’s own fandom and genuine attempt to please the fans, but it almost seems a little odd in a movie. How many movie’s based on books have done something like that? I know this is really broad complaint, but the point of a movie is that characters and scenery can convey emotions that have to been written out in other mediums.
I understand that fans wanted this to be close to the source material, but then whats the point of having it directed? Or acted? I suspect I’m in the minority here, but I sort of wish their was something here that made me feel differently than the graphic novel did by using the film medium. In the end something about this absolute need to stay so close the the source hurt the film part of the Watchmen, the part that lets it stand on its own. I can’t imagine how Watchmen is going to succeed among the general audience. Theirs so much in the film that presumes you’ve read the graphic novel; my friend (who hasn’t read it) actually laughed when Bubastis (the big purple tiger at the end) came creeping out, which really doesn’t make a lot of sense if you haven’t read the graphic novel.
Ultimately, I think Watchmen succeeds more than it fails. Fans of the graphic novel should (and more likely than not, will) see it. But personally, I find it hard to recommend to anyone else. That’s good new for purists, but probably bad news for studio execs.