Sunday, March 8, 2009


I saw Watchmen yesterday. It's a movie that's very important to pretty much every single comic fan - this is the ultimate graphic novel isn't it! You feel it in your heart as you sit down to watch it - this is it...
I'd say it was almost 'make or break' for comic book movies - if they can't get this right, then that's that ... let's just pack up and go home now... Although Dark Knight showed us that it's not all over just yet!
A lot of my chums got to see previews of the movie, but none of them seemed blown away by it. You know, they all said it was good and faithful to the book, but no one was jumping around with glee...
I didn't really expect to like it, despite those amazing trailers. I thought it might wash over me, just like Iron Man and Hulk did.
I still can't decide if I liked it or not, I really can't... My gut instinct is to give it a 9 out of 10, but there are a lot of drawbacks to it. It's way too long... they really could have got rid of some of it - especially the Nixon scenes (he looked ridiculous!). Characters disappear for a long time, and when they return I was like 'oh yes, Dr Manhattan is in this movie'.
It's way too grim and downbeat and in-your-face depressing. It just gets worse and worse - the constant rain - two dogs eating on a small girl's bones - but I looked back at the graphic novel - and its' actually all there!
The violence is too much. That alleyway scene - well I guess this is the point - but I just found it too hard to watch. I'm not a big fan of broken bones!!
The good stuff: it looked great. I loved how the origins were so expertly woven into it. The Comedian was perfect. Nite Owl looked just like Nite Owl should - and his human persona did too. Rorshach was phenomenal. Loved him. And when you see the actor in real life - it makes his acheivement even more impressive. The actor is nothing like the character. And I loved how they turned Rorsharch into a superhuman -with speed and strength. Silk Spectre was gorgeous - and I didn't have a problem with her acting as some people seem to have. Ozymandias was a little unexciting... Dr Manhattan was great, but not quite iconic enough - and maybe they should have just covered up his penis - a bit distracting!
So yeah, great film, with some reservations. But you can't come away with it without some amazing lingering images - Rorshach's final blot... the ultimate explosions... the opening sequence...
But it does seem like Dark Knight has taken on the mantle of 'classic superhero movie', which should really have been taken by Watchmen.


JamieB said...

Will Watchmen capture the public imagination, do you think? There are so many tie-in books in the shops right now -- as well as stacks and stacks of the GN -- seems like a lot of businesses are betting the farm on this film capturing the public imagination. Is that a wise bet?

Mart said...

It's a tricky question, but my gut reaction is 'no'. If it captured the public imagination, it would have to create the vibe that films like the Matrix and Dark Knight did, and i'm not feeling that. Watchmen is great but it's got its faults - too long etc. (Poor Synder, he can't win, can he - chop the book and he'll get crucified, keep it as faithful as poss and it's too long!).
At least a lot of the merchandise is good - Titan's portraits book is gorgeous (and I'm not just saying that because I work for them).

kelvingreen said...

No no not, Nite Owl should not look like that. He should be middle aged and a bit tubby. He should be Adam West's Batman, not Joel Shumacher's.

And I'm not sure about giving everyone superpowers. That seems like it's missing the point a bit.

Mart said...

hmm actually yes you're right. nite owl's costume is a lot less Batman-y in the comic. i didn't mind him - the receding hairline was enough.

the whole superpowers thing is confusing. Snyder keeps saying only Doc Manhattan has powers - but Rorshach definitely has something a bit extra doesn't he - with his leaping around.