Watchmen: The Review

After waiting for an eternity, through Paul Greengrass, Darren Aronofsky et al, screenwriters, casting choices, the bloody court case and of course, salivating over the trailer of the 10 billionth time, DC, me and a whole bunch of geeks plus some innocent bystanders got to watch the preview of Watchmen.

And and and, you urge…

Well, well, well, I say…directed by 300’s Zack Synder, Watchmen a faithful adaptation of the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. Down to how each scene is blocked. The sets are sumptuous and each detail lovingly etched. For the fan boy, there is trivia by the fistful. Whether you get the reference to Snyder’s previous movie or hear Tears for Fears in the background, each scene works. The characters are still relevant today but what makes Watchmen a classic story is not simply a straightforward case of good versus evil. It looks at the superhero psyche and then dissects it with an unflinching knife. Who are these masked men? Are they really heroes? Do heroes even exist today, given the wars, the circumstance, the decisions that they have to make? Or superhero/vigilante – where is the line?

The movie on its entirety though, will probably take some getting used to, especially if you are watching it for the very first time. While the graphic novel cuts much closer to the bone in examining its issues and providing a fuller picture to the interweaving storylines, the movie works well on an action and intellectual level. It’s not just a campy superhero action movie with no depth. If you are looking for something chop socky and quick, look elsewhere for this is a movie that takes time to breathe and tell its story.

The cast is near perfect, turning in performances that make you wince, yet feel for them at the same time. Even the ever blue Dr Manhattan. Most of the classic lines are intact and hearing them said for the first time, really blew me away. The violence is fast and hard-hitting, bringing to mind the fighting in 300 but on a more brutal level, bearing in mind, these guys are superheros.

If there was one thing that was a disappointment…it was the soundtrack. What happened to the music in the graphic novel? Why are we now stuck with the 99 Red Balloons song? The only song that remains from the novel is Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin' which is powerful, yet oh so relevant.

The other concern that I had was – how will this fit with the people who have not read the graphic novel? DC was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information that was tossed out. While fanboys may delight in the details and mull over one part of the story which was dropped, even I felt that what came up onscreen was the best they could do.The rest, I say, should be saved for the DVD.

Overall rating: 4 out of 5

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1 comments:

vanessa-faith said...

You do not, do not, I repeat, do not let a Moore fan read your review. They will whoop yer butt and go into a long speel about how bad it is (and the other Moore adaptations as well including LOEG & From Hell).

From Not- that- fanatical- thought Watchmen was a decent "diet" version that could appeal to the masses (the music not bad lah, cheesy little sidenotes and hey, Hendrix, Cohen & Dylan, I'm not complaining) who just kena whacked by *MAJOR* Moore fan ;-)

Vendetta-ed

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Ever prodded a sleeping dragon, only to have it whip up and bite you in the ass? Well, neither have I. But I advocate that you should try everything...once ;P
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