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Finally Getting To It

March 31, 2009


     As the title of this suggests, I’ve been putting off reviewing the Watchmen movie for a long time.  Why?  I’m not really sure.  Maybe I was afraid to actually say what I felt.  But now, I’m going to say it.  Well, this movie can basically be viewed in two ways.  The first is that of someone who has never read the Watchmen, considered the greatest comic book ever, and thus has few preconceptions.  The second is that of someone who has read Watchmen and therefore knows what the original story and ideas were.  The former will enjoy this movie to a certain degree, depending on how confused he/she gets and how squeamish he/she is.  The latter will basically deride this movie as crap.  I’m one of the latter.  This is an absolutely terrible adaptation of Watchmen.  Alan Moore was worried that this movie would not live up to his work, and he distanced himself from it.  Now I know why.

     For one, the cinematography is amateurish.  Slow motion for certain scenes to imitate comic book panels?  Stupid.  Next, the acting is pretty terrible.  I didn’t believe Malin Akerman as Silk Spectre or Patrick Wilson as Nite Owl for even a minute.  I felt like they were reading their lines.  Jackie Earle Haley, however, was superb as Rorschach.  Then, there’s the alterations to the ending.  Okay, so a genetically-created alien-like being is pretty silly.  But by changing the ending the way they did, the creators of the movie fundamentally altered the ending.  That’s really not okay.  This movie was also even more bloody than the comic.  It was especially bad when they did slow-motion for when someone was getting his arm broken.  That was gross.  Lastly, I know it’s been talked about.  But what the hell was up with Dr. Manhattan’s penis?!  We get that he doesn’t care about clothes.  But Dave Gibbons drew his nudity tastefully and never really showed that.  But with the movie, it’s like they just HAVE to show us that.  It’s pretty silly.

     So I’m giving this movie two ratings.  The first is for people who haven’t read the graphic novel.  You’ll enjoy this decently, but you’ll be put off by a few things, depending on your personal movie preferences.  And if you’re a fan of the graphic novel, the second rating is for you.  Unless you want to be able to say you saw the movie, DON’T SEE IT.  You will be pissed, in varying degrees.  As for the people who haven’t read Watchmen, go read it.  Then maybe you can understand why we fans are so mad.  But Zack Snyder, here’s a message for you: don’t go ruin some other comic book we all love!  Go direct something nobody cares about and hone your craft first!

Story: 6.5      Cinematography: 4.3      Soundtrack: 3.2      Acting: 5.5

For Casual Viewers:  6.9

For Fans: 3.2

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