Tuesday, 10 March 2009

I went to see Watchmen last night with my wife. And I would have to say that I was wholly underwhelmed.
I am a big fan of the book, having read it several times over the years, most recently last summer. I believe it is arguable the most important graphic novel of all time. I have been excited about the film since it was announced, and have been eagerly waiting for its arrival.
If you haven't seen the film yet, don't read on. I'm not going to give the plot away or anything, but I don't want to colour you opinion before you see it.
I thought it was slow, lacking pace, and confusing to anyone unfamiliar with the book (like my wife). Visually it was exceptionally good, and faithful by and large to the imagery portrayed in the book. It was also faithful to the plot, more or less, and there lies it's fundamental problem. By trying to shoe horn in scenes and characters fleshed out fully in the book, the director was left with a sluggish plot that crawls along at it's own relentless pace. Seemingly no thought was made how to interpret the book into a film, of which bits to edit out and which bits to embellish. There were good bits, and even some exceptional bits, but the characters were two dimensional (odd considering the source material), and the film dragged on apparently indefinitely. At one point, about half way through Silk Specter asks Doctor Manhattan "Why don't you just tell me how all this ends so we don't have to go through it all?"
A sentiment I have to echo.

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