movie: Watchmen

Movie: Watchmen

After a lot of failed attempts, Zach Snyder (director of 300) has created a movie that has shortened the plot of the graphic novel (so that it would fit into a movie timeframe), and celebrated its sexual and violent content.

A couple of the characters remain undamaged: notably, the most violent characters were the most interesting to watch. Visually, the comic book style has been well brought to life: it’s an impressive effort in that regard.

The trouble, I guess, with the film is that it lacks the heart of the original. The point of Rorshach’s transformation was not the violence, but the utter depravity of humanity. Snyder manages to capture the horror, but misses the deeper problems.

And that’s where the whole film falls short. We’re watching a bunch of spectacularly rendered superheroes walking around, doing a bunch of dystopian hero things. The story is a condensed version of an excellent story, but the insights into the human condition that are in the graphic novel are missing from the film.

It’s a well-executed film that has some impressive visuals (and a loud, obvious but slightly clever soundtrack) but it still falls short of what I was hoping for the film adaptation. In saying that, I realise my standards are unrealistic, but what’s the point of thinking about movies if you can’t keep raising your standards.

Roger Ebert review
Roger Ebert blog
Karen’s review
Matt’s review

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