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For those not a fan of the comic, or who have never read it, it’s an dark alternate-80s world inhabited by vigilantes in masks - all just normal people who know how to fight, except for one, Doctor Manhattan, who is practically omnipotent. Ostensibly, it’s a murder mystery, as the main characters try to find out who killed one of their own.
But Watchmen is so much deeper than that, and in reality, you could read the graphic novel several times and still not reach all the subtleties therein.
Our general consensus (the Mr.’s and mine) is that it was a pretty damn good adaptation of this super-complex story. While a lot has been left out by necessity, they managed to portray most of the larger themes. As for the ending, which I won’t tell you, but which is well known and publicized to be a major deviation from the comic, it is a very interesting choice and works superbly for the story. (Mr. Lynne says it’s even better than the novel version, though I pointed out that there are story elements in the novel that make the ending in it work for it. We agreed that perhaps each ending works for each version of the story.)
The Mr. mildly complained that the acting could have been better, but the actors playing the Comedian, Rorschach, and Doctor Manhattan did really well (Rorschach creeped the hell out of me, as well he should - he delivers some of the best lines in the book or film), and the other actors weren’t bad, just not as good as they could have been. All in all, whether you’ve read and liked the graphic novel or not, you should see this flick, and while it’s in the theaters, for full impact. You should also consider reading the novel if you have not.
Just fair warning - there are some pretty graphic (in the hide-your-face sense) scenes in the film. Having read the comic a few times, I knew just where to turn my head, but it’s pretty gritty.
As for me, I expect to see it a few more times to catch elements I missed the first time around. A good fan should do at least that much!
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