3/6/09

Watchmen

If I hear ANYONE complain about the Watchmen movie because of its differences from the graphic novel, I'm going to kick them in the shins.

If they wanted to put the graphic novel in its entirety on the screen, they would have to have made it into a miniseries. There's no possible way you can fit every single thing in the graphic novel into a 3 hour movie. As such, it is completely necessary to omit certain details about the comic book's ending. Since with these omissions the original ending didn't make a lot of sense, it was necessary to create some simpler details which lead... well, you get the idea, without revealing any spoilers.

Douglas Adams, creator of the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, had his creation turned into a book, a radio drama, a video game, a TV series and a movie and he considered each incarnation a completely separate entity from the original. As such, he had no problem with the differences there are between them. Everyone should remember this before they go criticizing any movie because of its differences from the original. Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons were quite active on the set of Watchmen and they were excited to see the movie coming out. If the creators don't have a problem with it, then the fans shouldn't.

That being said, the movie is a pretty awesome movie in itself. It lacked some of the potency of the message(s) of the original graphic novel, but, again, I think that boils down to lack of time and resources. In stead, they focused on character and world development without sacrificing a pretty powerful exposition on the real human condition. Also, there were explosions and epic battles. All the makings of a great movie.

Despite having a powerful message, a great story and some awesome cinematic sequences, and despite this being a movie about superheroes, it's definitely not a movie for kids. More than anything, Watchmen brings a realism to crime-fighting that has never been explored in cinema history. That means fighting fire with fire - fighting violence with graphic violence. It means people giving in to carnal desires and taking drastic measures to get what they want. In the pursuit of a potent commentary on humanity, it's sometimes necessary to explore the depths to which the human heart can sink, but one should not visit the briny deep without proper deep-sea equipment. One should not watch this movie without the ability to properly and maturely processes the images given to them. If you can do that, then the movie will be all the better to you.

All in all, I approve of Watchmen without suggesting you take your kids to see it. If you're looking for a powerful movie, this is one of them. And the roller coaster of a ride on which it takes you is all the more argument for watching the Watchmen.