Some of you fortunate souls already have your tickets for the midnight showings of Zack Snyder’s take on the Watchmen.Â Some of us, won’t be able to see the film until later in the weekend, thanks to pregnant sisters who are demanding attention.Â For others, they were able to view the movie weeks ago as part of the Warner Bros. press junkets that popped up around the country, and now that the embargo is lifted, the reviews are spilling out all over the Intarwebs.
Check out this review by Kenneth Turan of the L.A. Times.
If you don’t want to watch the video, there’s a summary and my thoughts after the jump.
Alan Moore was right. There isn’t a movie in his landmark graphic novel “Watchmen” — at least not a really good one. What we get instead is something acceptable but pedestrian, an adaptation that is more a prisoner of its story than the master of it.Â The difficulty is not with a lack of fidelity to this dark tale’s narrative about an apparent plot to eliminate costumed superheroes from the alternative reality America they’ve protected and defended. The changes to the story, including updating its 1985 situations to include a subplot about the energy crisis, are so nonessential that you might wonder why Moore has, in addition to taking his name off the project, vowed to “spit venom all over” the film version.
To quote Matthew, “Here’s the thing”; There has never been a perfect adaptation of a book into movie form, and there will probably never be.Â Lord of the Rings didn’t include every passage or dialogue exchange from the books, Disney is notorious for changing the source material of the fairy tales to suit its needs, and regardless of how great the Iron Man or Dark Knight movies were, they were mere adaptations of the for better or worse.
Yes, Alan Moore is probably correct, there may be no way to bring HIS version of the Watchmen to the screen, because it would be a 12 hour movie.Â The last time audiences viewed a piece of work that long was probably the first complete performance of the Ring of the Nibelung which rang in at 15 hours.Â So to bring it in at a time that will make the theater owners, studios, and movie goers most happy, things will have to be trimmed.Â While I doubt we’ll get to see the intricate interplay between the Barneys of New York City, and while I know we won’t get to see the giant squid, my main concern is the intent of the piece – does it due justice to the source material, and if it doesn’t, is it something that stands on its own legs?
Here’s my advice for those going to see the movie — detach.Â Go in and forget everything you’ve ever read or heard about comic book.Â View the movie as a stand alone flick, and enjoy (or don’t) for what it is. After the movie, take some time to reflect on what you’ve seen, and then later begin to compare it with the source material.Â If you hate it (or love it) after that, then let your reviews fly, but if you go in with the preconceived notionÂ that the movie can’t meet your expectations of the comic book, then the movie has already failed.
Me?Â I’m excited about the movie, not because I’ve enjoyed the source material, but because it looks visually amazing, there’s an interesting story to be told, plus there are leather clad hotties, and an 8-foot tall nekkid dudes (there is that three-way scene) running around and the MPAA isn’t balking with an NC-17 rating.Â Will I like it?Â You’ll find out on the next Major Spoilers Podcast.
If you are interested in reading all of Kenneth Turan review, you can find it here.
And as always, feel free to let your thoughts fly in the comments section below.