Sunday, March 8, 2009

It's PROBABLY the most male genetalia you'll see in a superhero movie: A Spoiler-Laden review of "Watchmen"

I went to see the Watchmen film earlier today. For those unaware of the film, the bare-bones plot is that the Comedian, a gun-toting, government-sponsored superhero is found dead in his apartment, and the superhero group "The Watchmen" slowly band together to find out the truth. But it's much more than just a whodunit story with capes; it's a deconstruction of the superhero genre, a reimagining of the world under the existence of super-heroes, and a period-piece of the mid-eighties cold war mentality.

In fact, it's such a product of its time that I've heard people criticize it on that level. The original series by Alan Moore came out in the mid-eighties, and relies heavily on the fear of global destruction and mutual annihilation. The movie's set in the same period, and I've heard complaints that the movie lacks the same impact the comics did, because we're no longer in the same place in history. I suppose the alternative is to either modernize the entire plot (which would have ended very, very badly), or not do the movie at all.

There's actually a lot going on behind the "do we need a Watchmen movie?" argument. I think there's a bit of a nostalgia element at work--for a lot of people, the Watchmen is the first truly great comic series they ever read, so any adaptation pales by comparison. And this adaptation is so faithful that there's not really anything terribly new if you've already read the comics--as comic blogger Rachelle Gougen says, the reason for fans to see the movie is to watch the story come to life. And, of course, there is also the issue that Watchmen creator really, really doesn't like comic book movies. (Feel free to read to page 4, in which he states that the reason Americans like superheroes is "America has an inordinate fondness for the unfair fight." Gee, why didn't they use him for promoting the film?)
And one should always, always take into account what Alan Moore feels about a subject, because

he is
the scariest comic book writer
ever to walk the earth.
Anyway, this movie is probably the best movie based on an Alan Moore comic ever to come out, and after V for Vendetta, that's actually a positive thing. It's got a lot of harsh language, graphic nudity, both male and female, and really, really graphic violence. If you don't mind any of this, then you're going to have a very enjoyable experience. Also, Rorschach's inner monologue is every bit as hilarious spoken aloud as I thought it would be. It's like Batman, if he accidently wandered from Gotham to Sin City.

Later Days.

1 comment:

Kate said...

You're right about Alan Moore being a scary sonofabitch, god bless his black heart. And I don't blame him for pulling entirely out of this project, given his history with Hollywood.

Man, I just enjoyed the hell out of that movie, though. I could list maybe half a dozen things I legitimately didn't like about it, but none of them were dealbreakers. And they certainly didn't outweigh how OMG AWESOME it was. I will be she;ing out money to see it again, poor as I am.