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March 6, 2009

Watchmen: Quick Review (No Spoilers!)

by at 11:34 pm.

This week was the debut in theaters of Watchmen, the film adaptation of the 1986-87 comic graphic novel, and we headed out to see it tonight.

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!

3 Responses to “Watchmen: Quick Review (No Spoilers!)”

  1. Ryand Says:

    Not only will the director’s cut end up in theatres, but there’s possibly going to be a second director’s cut that could up there as well… each one longer than the next. I believe the third cut may include parts of the animated companion about the comic-within-the-comic that’s being released straight-to-dvd.

  2. kpem Says:

    How was the character development? I am worried that it will be dissapointing and that so much will be left out. I am hopeful if you liked it though.

  3. Lynne Says:

    I think it was adequately showcasing the themes and character development as best it could in the limited medium of film. I can’t wait for the director’s cuts!

    Also, the little references in the movie were just stunning, if you know the book well…you will see all these little things and you’re like, I can’t believe they put that in the movie! Cool!

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