Tuesday, March 10, 2009

I Watched the Watchmen

I know I have a bit of a reputation for being longwinded.  So, I will start this thing out with the short version of my review: 

I watched the Watchmen on Friday night, and it was good.

If that is all you needed to hear, then you can stop reading now.  Otherwise, here is the long version:

Even though I am a fan of the original, I had some concerns about the movie going in.  Watchmen, with its text pieces and comic within a comic, would not be an easy comic to adapt.  The previews looked slick, but maybe a bit too slick.  Not to mention, I kept hearing that Zack Snyder had changed the ending.

I need not have worried.  The movie is one of the most faithful adaptations of a comic book to the big screen, perhaps surpassed in faithfulness only by Zack Snyder’s previous film 300.  The changes made were minimal, and even the much touted change to the end of the film did not bug me that much. 

Faithfulness isn’t the only measure by which a movie adaption should be judged though.  It also has to succeed on its own terms as a movie.  I believe it did.  In general, I think an excellent job was done in casting the film.  Specifically, I felt Billy Crudup did an excellent job portraying the benign detachment of Dr. Manhattan, Patrick Wilson was wonderfully nerdy as Dan Drieberg, and Jackie Earle Haley was convincingly psychotic as Rorschach.

I will also go on the record as saying that I liked the soundtrack.  I have heard complaints that it was too obvious, too clichéd, or simply “crazy”.  It was all of these things.  It was also fun, and in a movie as dark as Watchmen, you take your fun where you can get it.

That being said, Watchmen is probably not a movie for everyone.  It is violent and quite gory at times.  Limbs crack, skulls are split, and people explode into bloody goo.  It has some depressing things to say about the human condition.  After all, the only character willing to tell the truth about a mass-murderer is a violent psychotic. 

All I can say is it was everything I wanted out of a Watchmen movie.  I am frankly amazed that a movie like this was able to come out of Hollywood.

Or to put it another way:

I watched the Watchmen on Friday night, and it was good.


Scafloc said...

I should have done a short version too; here it is now: I liked Watchmen a lot, but [i]for the love of all that is holy[/i] don't take your kids to see it!

Anonymous said...

I liked it a lot.