The Watchmen

I have to admit that it had been a while since I anticipated a movie as much as I had anticipated the Watchmen.  As with many other nerds of my vintage, Watchmen was a coming of age novel for comic books in general, and for me.  It took the comic book worlds that had preceded it and, frankly, turned them on their respective pompous, spandex-clad asses.

watchmen

Imagine a world where superheroes exist.  Where a man can have ultimate power over the life and death of another, and there is very little that can be done to police or stop him if his desires turn out to be more, ahem, human than superhuman.  Such a person could kill with impunity, rape without consequence, steal without repercussion.  In short, the only thing keeping such a being from doing these things is the fine line of a well-developed system of ethics and mores, which most of us simply do not have.

It is precisely because of the part of a superhero that is human that a true superhero would likely turn out to be more of a curse than a blessing.  We cannot expect more of anyone than we could offer of ourselves, and there are not many of us able to deal with omnipotence.  For impotence we have Viagra.  For omnipotence, well. . . .

As with the book, the movie is a very complex work.  And while a comic book lends itself to the ability to flip back to a previous point to review something missed or overlooked the first time around, a movie has to convey all of the information in a linear fashion, with obligatory flash-backs as a way to provide backstory for the main characters.  Because of these interruptions in flow, the movie at times seems to progress in fits and starts.

At times, I found myself wishing that Snyder had kept the movie at its original running time (rumor has it the original edited film ran north of 200 minutes), or that the film had been split into two separate films to allow for better exposition to occur.  In a way, I hope that Snyder will release a “director’s cut” of the film on DVD (as with the Lord of the Rings saga) to provide his vision with more depth.

This movie is not without problems.  While some of the casting is literally awe-inspiring (I particularly liked Billy Crudup as Dr. Manhattan and Jackie Earl Haley as Rorschach), I was not as impressed with Ozymandias and Silk Spectre II (Mathew Goode and Malin Ackerman).

I would grade the book at **** Jessicas out of four and the movie at ***.  I am not certain how any director could have made the book adaptation any better and still been faithful to the original book.
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1 Comment so far »

  1.  

    wayne said

    October 27 2014 @ 7:05 am

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