Sunday, March 22, 2009

Watchmen: Wil Wheaton was right...

Ok, well it took a while, but I went and saw Watchmen. As you know I've had some trepidation about going to see it, because I so wanted it to be great and so dreaded it being filled with suckitude. And the reviews were mixed - some people said it was good, others said it was, indeed, filled with suckitude. And even the good reviews said "yeah, it was good but...". So that didn't bode well. But Wil liked it, and so did my brother, so I gave it a try.

And, well, I'm glad I did. Let me be clear. If you have not read the graphic novel, or did not like the graphic novel, save your money. Even if you like other graphic novels, if you haven't read this one, you probably won't like the movie. The movie was very obviously made by someone who loved the novel, and wanted to be true to it in as many ways as possible. On the one hand, that made some really cool things happen. The characters came alive in ways that really seemed to personify the book. On the other hand, it made things happen that would have been confusing or boring if I didn't know the book. It's like, since I knew the book, when I saw a certain scene I was like "well, there it is - I was waiting for that!" And the movie was true enough to the book that the sense of "waiting for it" was seldom disappointed. But if I didn't have that background, the very same scene would have been like "what the hell is that?" or "why did they even need that?" So that's my long way of saying that I view this as an aficianodo's movie - if you love the book, the movie could do you well. If not, probably not. All of which does not bode well for blockbuster status, but makes for pleased comic book geeks. Yay us.

And yes, true to the book, Dr. Manhattan, who sometimes is 10 stories high, was glowing blue and naked 90% of the time which means that 90% of the time you got to see his glowing blue penis wafting gently in the wind. And yes, if I was to focus on the glowing blue penis, that would have been distracting. But to be honest I was just so caught up in the story and everything else happening that I rarely noticed it. And yes, they did rather dramatically rework the end. But there are two things about that. First, it was entirely necessary. To have kept it the way it was in the book would have taken twice as long to do (they would have needed the whole black freighter sideline which was its own story arc). Second, the spirit of the ending was entirely consistent with the book. Entirely.

So I can definitely see why Wil, a Geek's Geek, liked it, and why my brother, liked it and I'm really glad I saw it. But I can also see why it's gotten mixed reviews and why it is almost out of theaters already (only 1 theater in my area had it showing). And there ya have it.

No comments: