Friday, March 6, 2009
Never fear, no spoilers here! I went into Watchmen hopeful, optimistic even. I wanted Watchmen to be good. I really did. I am not even that much of a finicky fanboy. My moviebuff-self always comes before my nerdy self. I tried hard. And honestly, it was not terrible, it just was not good. It got off to a good start. I even thought about the great review I was going to give it as I watched the opening scene and the title segment. But, unfortunately, that's about the highlight of Watchmen. Aside from a few other scenes spread out that honestly would have been impossible to get wrong, it was bad in all aspects. First off, the acting, particularly that of Sally Jupiter and Nite Owl, were borderline bad, delivering lines a bit too dramatically. A majority of the characters were oversimplified as well to fit whatever vision Zack Snyder was trying to achieve. I believe he was going for something about good vs. evil and the lines drawn between them, which at this point is a bit too standard for super hero movies if you deviate from the source material. Snyder could have won me over easily if he had either stuck entirely with the novel shot-by-shot or had completely strayed away from the beginning. But Snyder's changes to the story leave plot holes, multiple ones at that. Alan Moore has every right to despise adaptations of his stories, and Watchmen only adds to the list of botched graphic novels. The movie is sloppily put together at the ending, and a good beginning cannot make up for a paltry ending. The action was good, as was the cinematography, but I cannot seem to get past the poor writing of the end. Alan Moore practically storyboarded the entirety of a movie for Zack Snyder, and he could have just adapted it directly, but he instead had to steal most of it and then contort the ending for his own needs. Zack Snyder's additions to the story are pointless and feel extraneous, as the exclusion of other scenes for these scenes feels like it is cheapening the work. Snyder also was forced by the studio to leave out some parts because of time. This is a massive setback, as Rorschach's origin is never discussed and many things are left unanswered or appear confusing to the audience. By limiting time, there is a strained connection with the characters and this creates no emotional appeal to the characters, so when something happens, no one will care when they are gone. What Zack Snyder should have done is not resorted to compromise even in the face of armageddon. For a movie that is 2 hours and 45 minutes in length, Watchmen feels rushed. If you are searching for cheap thrills in an action movie on the other hand (which is basically the opposite intention of the comic, but whatever floats your boat), then see Watchmen in IMAX. I firmly believe this is the only way I found it to be remotely good and I find IMAX to be crucial in the future of film viewing. Overall, see Watchmen if you want cheap thrills, blood, and sex, but if you are a fan of the graphic novel, only disappointment awaits you.