Friday, March 20, 2009

Watchmen Movie

I went to see the Watchmen movie this past week. I wasn't sure if I was going to get around to it, actually. But my friend hadn't seen it or read the original comic so it seemed like a good opportunity.

And here's the thing: I really liked it. Now, considering how faithful Watchmen the movie is to Watchmen the comic you might expect that I'd been a fan of the original comic. That is most decidedly not so.

The art in Watchmen was (and is) of the highest caliber. Dave Gibbons is fantastic, no question. My problem with Watchmen was always the story. I found it far too nihilistic. It always felt to me that one of the central premises of Watchmen was that the world is horrible place and no, you can't make a difference.

To be fair, this may very well be me misremembering some of what the story is about. I haven't read it in a few years and I didn't particularly want to reread it right before I went into the movie. But what I do remember quite well is the bizarre hero worship that has risen up around Alan Moore. It seems like the weirder the guy gets the more people want to idolize him. It doesn't make much sense to me.

But I digress. This post is titled "Watchmen Movie" after all. And as I said, I liked it. It was a gorgeous film and the music really impressed me. All the actors played their roles to perfection (or near perfection). But I think mostly I liked it because it felt heroic at times. And the Watchmen comic (or at least my rememberance of it) was anything but heroic.

That may just be me. I'm a fan of the heroic. I'm a believer that people can make a difference. I'm a believer in the idea that just because you can't save the world doesn't mean you shouldn't try to save something Watchmen the comic always seemed to me an idictment of the very idea of super-heroes.

And for someone like me, that just won't fly.

But even if the heroes failed to stop Ozymandias from carrying out his plan they tried. That, and the fact that movie Nite-Owl actually seemed to give a damn that millions of people (and Rorschach) died. For me, the scene where he attacks Ozymandias in rage after the fact made the film for me. At that moment movie Nite-Owl felt more like a real person than the comic version ever did.

I think that's it, really. Watchmen the comic seemed to be trying to tell us that all people are inherently bad. But that's never been my belief or my experience. In Watchmen the movie there are people who fit into the Comedian's view of the world... And there are those who stand against it.

Those are the stories I want to see. Watchmen the movie was one of them.

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At 6:54 PM, Blogger Sea_of_Green said...

I still haven't seen this, and I've felt kinda iffy about seeing it because, like you, I was never all that impressed with the story and characterisations in the graphic novel. But after reading your review, I'm a little more intrigued. HOPE! :-)

At 8:58 AM, Blogger SallyP said...

My daughter and her boyfriend just went to see it, and liked it very much. I DID give her my copy of the book, so at least she'd have some vague idea of what was going on...and she STILL liked it.

At 12:31 PM, Blogger GL2814E said...

I felt much the same way.

I have some friends who were pissed with the lack of nihlism, but I enjoyed Niteowl showing his displeasure. (I think it brought him closer to Ted Kord than Alan Moore's story did...)

That and the story moved much quicker...


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