W.

I suppose I should blog about this. I really should, seeing as it was my event of 2009, and now it is passed I need to start aiming for something else. I suppose suggestions would be welcome. The thing is my life is now not empty, not meaningless – also there is no massive void, no gaping chasm in my world now that it is here, but there is a sense of anticlimax for this and I needed time to digest it. Plus, going with two virgins probably didn’t help my case… but here we go.

Watchmen, the movie.

Snyder’s Watchmen is an interesting beast. It’s like someone said “Hey, look, you can make a movie based on the most interesting and revered comic book ever” and Snyder went “Okay, let me have a look… and then just made the comic book. And I know what you are thinking – that must be a good thing. I mean, that’s what you wanted, right? You wanted a movie version of the comic, not a movie that just so happens to have your characters in it and disregards the complexities of the book. You got what you wanted right?

That person would be right – I did, I got the movie I wanted. In fact, I think I got the movie loads of fans wanted, the movie that so closely sticks to the comic that they might have just copied and pasted the scenes from the novel to the screen panel by panel. That’s a good idea too, and works for the most part. But it is in the inescapable universe created by Moore and Gibbons that the film is suffocated, almost to death, by the confines of a regimented storyline that needed to be told. So here’s my critique of the film. Spoilers, for those who have not read the book or seen the film, lie ahead.

The Characters
There was no problem here. Ozymandias, the only one that I was slightly worried about, was actually portrayed really well by Matthew Goode, almost perfectly. In fact, Ana turned to me during the film and asked “Is he gay?” to which I had to say “Yeah, probably”. Rorschach considered that as a possibility too during the comic book, a facet of the character never explained explicitly. Also, Ana, on the ball as always, picked up the not-too-subtle inference that The Comedian was Laurie’s father. It unfurled in a slightly more dramatic way than in the comic book using a new power of Doc Manhattan’s to push memories. And Doc Manhattan was excellent. He was naked, like in the comic, and his willy was blue (and circumcised, for some reason). It worked, but his nakedness was never explained… and that was interesting – it almost made no sense for him to be naked without explaining that if he was no longer human why would he need to wear clothes? Dan Dreiberg was another well cast member of the crew, and pulled off the impotent washed up regretful superhero quite well. Even standing naked, he looked the part.

Rorschach, my favourite character, for reasons that will become obvious, was played perfectly. So much of the film rested on his shoulders that pitch perfect casting was required and it was absolutely correct – this made this film; especially the final scene with him and Manhattan, even with the comedy “Noooo!!!” from Nite Owl. The Comedian had the most fun though, even if the make up was a little off at the beginning. And the least said about Laurie the better. It is obvious she was a little out of depth in the film but looked the part.

The Ending
The ending is the part of the film I was most apprehensive towards and was the only time that I didn’t know exactly how it would pan out. In the movie Adrian Veidt uses research with Doc Manhattan to create an endless power source. He then uses this to detonate a massive explosion in each of the largest cities in the world killing millions of people to trick the world into uniting behind the common threat of Doc Manhattan. The end was the same outcome, but in the novel it is not Doc Manhattan, but a large telekinetic extra planetary squid. I always thought the ending of book was a little WTF, and the new ending streamlined the plot in a good way – at least we still got the ending in spirit.

But there was important changes that ruined it a bit. First of all Rorschach’s death at the hands of Doc Manhattan was well done (apart from Nite Owl of course) but the missing parts killed me. For example, the impact of Veidt saying “I did it 35 minutes ago” knocked me dead in the comic book, but the impact was missing from the film for some reason. Plus, Veidt in the movie never seemed too pleased about his endgame outcome – in the novel he sheds tears when he turns on the TV screens and says “I did it!” whilst crying. He knows he succeeded. That was missing. Then, at the very end, Laurie says “Nothing ever ends.” Which is nice, but in the wrong place! Manhattan can read the future and past, and in the novel Veidt asks him “Did I end it? Did I do it?” to which Manhattan replies “Nothing ever ends” which has a million times more meaning than Laurie saying it – because Manhattan can actually see the future and knows, but refuses to tell Veidt.

The Music
Argh! Snyder fucked this up impressively. The music was dreadful at parts – the opening scene was good and the funereal scene was played well but Ride of the Valkyire? Hallelujah? No thanks. No thank you at all. I wanted a proper soundtrack like The Dark Knight, but instead I got a 3 hour music video. That was disappointing.

So…
Did I like it? Yes. It was a good adaptation but probably a terrible film. I hate being that guy though… you know, the guy who complains about the changes, the errors and the mistakes, and the only reason I am writing this is to end people asking me about it. The reason why I am so amiable? Well, I still have the comic book, so no matter how shit the film was, or how good it was, I’d still like the comic. The comic is the original and the best, and always will. Snyder’s Watchmen was interesting, a good version and the best attempt that we could hope for as fans.

As for Ana and Michael?
“That was a terrible film!”
“It was very long and slow at parts.”