Friday, March 06, 2009

Watchmen

Alright, so I'm about to provide my amateur review of the Alan-Moore-adapted-Zack-Snyder-directed superhero movie Watchmen. Obviously, there's going to be a fanboy-bias to the movie - I mean, after all, I did dress up as Rorschach :D

... in fact, I was the only guy in the movie theater dressed up as Rorschach... I mean, I was considering dressing up as Doctor Manhattan but a) I don't have enough body paint and b) I don't have the time to shave all the hair off my body. And I guess the fact that I don't have his physique either probably has some factor in it...



Putting that aside, let's move onto the review. I've learned that easiest way for people to read through reviews are to list the pros and cons - and lists are usually fun to read.

Cons:
- More plot-driven than character-driven. The comic book is very character-driven and I really liked that about the comic book. However, Snyder opted for a more plot-driven move - which, sure, makes it a fun movie to watch, but there really isn't much to get out of the experience.

- Forced and trite dialogue. I felt that a lot of the dialogue written felt very forced. A lot of the lines seem to be written for the sole purpose of moving the story along, however they lack subtlety. Not to mention, there were some cheesy lines that made me want to punch somebody.

- Acting. I felt Patrick Wilson, the actor behind the Daniel Dreigberg - the second Nite Owl - was the only one I felt satisfied with. However, there were something about the other actors/actresses that rubbed me the wrong way...

- Characterization. Doctor Manhattan and Rorschach were just too human in the movie. What made these characters interesting in the first place was their inability to connect with the world around them. Rorschach does not have the cold demeanor that he's displayed throughout the graphic novel, nor the awkward tension that he brings to the room, and Manhattan is not alienated enough from the world around him... I do appreciate Laurie being not as whiny or bitchy as she is in the graphic novel, however there really isn't much to her character in the movie was well. I felt that Dan Dreiberg (the second Nite Owl) was the only character that was appropriately adapted in the movie.

Pros:
- The adaptation is very faithful to its source. There are shots, lines, and scenes lifted straight out of the novel. Zack Snyder said that he used the comic book as his story board, and it shows.

- Visually stunning. It's expected from Snyder. He's a very visual director, as evident by his work, 300, and uses this to his advantage. Beautiful shots and great visual direction.

- Awesome combat scenes. Seriously. So much fun to watch, so visceral and brutal - it's just so much fun.

- Easter eggs. Did you know that the US flag that is buried with the Comedian has 51 stars on it? The extra star belongs to Vietnam, which becomes a state of America after the Vietnam War in this reality. It's small details like that that Zack Snyder puts into the movie that I believe makes the movie worth watching over and over again - just to try to catch little things like that.

- Soundtrack. You know how in the graphic novel, there's always that last panel of black with quotes? Some of the songs from the soundtrack correlate with those panels. Within the same vein, the soundtrack also provides an idea of the epoch that Watchmen encompsses.

- More of the old Watchmen in action. We get to see more the old Watchmen in action in the beginning of the movie, which I feel is a lot of fun to watch: Mothman being thrown into an asylum, Dollar Bill being caught with his cape in a revolving door and shot, Silhouette and her murder. It's interesting to see the rise and fall of the Watchmen condensed into less than five minutes.

That's about all I can provide - I would rant more, but I have things that I need to do as of the moment. By all means, do go and watch the movie - its a lot of fun. Just don't expect it to have as much depth or meaning as the graphic novel - rather, see it because it's just too bloody awesome to pass up.

1 comment:

Henry said...

Haha, I have to write a Film review for my writing class. I can base it off any style, I'm doing it on Cracked.com's style and titling it "10 reasons Watchmen fails to be called an EPIC film (and how it could been made to be one)