Sunday, March 8, 2009

Watchmen Review

**I will do my best to keep this spoiler free, but be warned**

The un-filmable movie has been filmed and is now out there, whether you like it or not.  There are those that have said to just leave the book alone, those that have been waiting for years for this to come out and those that say to leave it alone but secretly have been wishing for a film version.  So what did they get this weekend?  They received a very faithful adaptation that was not made for the unfamiliar.  While 'Watchmen' does a good job of telling the characters back stories and establishing a motive, the movie doesn't really get the chance to connect the audience with who these people really are and the world they inhabit.  While fans of the novel will understand the pacing and dialogue of the story, the unfamiliar will feel lost and and perhaps like the story is dragging. 

Here's the shocker though, this does not mean that it is a bad movie.  Quite the contrary.  This is a very good movie.  The style will make the fans incredibly happy and the novice impressed.  The fight choreography is some of the best that I have seen in quite a while (the prison breakout is quick, intense and awesome!).  Outside of the visuals, it's amazing that the story is still relevant today.  It's an alternate 1985 and super hero's do really inhabit our lives.  But our government has turned on them and forced them to retire.  However when one of them is killed, it leads us into an investigation that could bring about the destruction of the entire world.  We see a world that has collapsed in a housing and energy crisis (sound familiar?) while it teeters on a showdown with Russia.  It explores the darkest elements of humanity as we see the lengths that one would go to save the world from itself.

I definitely recommend this movie.  Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach and Jeffrey Dean Morgan as The Comedian are fantastic and I think do the best job in this movie of truly inhabiting their characters.  So when you go see 'Watchmen' be prepared for the long running time, a very serious film and not an action/adventure movie, the cgi blue penis and the violence.  Also, if you haven't yet, pick up the graphic novel to explore the other plots that did not make it to the theatrical release and to see what an amazing job Zack Snyder did in bringing this vision to the big screen.                            

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