I finally got around to finishing the Watchmen graphic novel a few months ago after continually stopping and starting throughout the summer and loved every minute of it. It actually took me the entire summer to read half the book and then I sat down one day and finished the entire second half in one sitting, it was just that good, I couldn’t put it down. I really wanted to get through the book before the movie came out because sometimes I like having something to compare to. And from what I had read, Zack Snyder and company were trying to keep the movie as faithful to the book as they could, so there wouldn’t be any surprises either way. So anyways lets get to the movie.
I went with 2 of my friends neither of which had read the book or really even knew what to expect from the movie. Their expectations were based soley on the trailers they had seen so I wasn’t sure how they were going to like it. I on the other hand knew the story and knew that it was not your typical superhero type movie that the studios have been pushing lately. And I will say that if that’s what you’re expecting I think you’re going to be very disappointed and maybe even a little bored. Personally I enjoyed it, the visuals were pretty stunning and as a fan of the book, it was pretty faithful. With a 2 and a half hour runtime, the movie was abe to capture all of the main aspects of the book without leaving anything of importance out. This also leads to a lot of long sections of dialogue, which didn’t bother me, but again, if you’re expecting non-stop action and suspense, you’re really not going to find it here.
The only thing that really bugged me about the movie, as it apparently did for a lot of people (based on what I’ve read), is Snyder’s use of slow-motion. I don’t recall any slow-motion shots in the Dawn of the Dead remake that he did a few years back and then in 300 there were a ton, but it was a fairly new idea/concept (it was done in the Matrix, but not much else), so it kind of worked in the context of that movie. I’m not sure it worked in Watchmen. There were some scenes where it was cool to see the action slowed down, but after awhile it became very repetative and mundane, almost expected.
So other than the slow-motion becoming a little ridiculous, I enjoyed the movie. It is quite long and there is a lot of dialogue at times, but it is a very good adaptation of a supposedly “unfilmable” story. Of course there are a few differences between the book and the movie, but the overall message is still in tact. So again, if you’re thinking this is going to be an action packed comic book movie, you may be disappointed. There are action scenes and they are pretty intense, but the overall movie does not revolve around action. There’s a much deeper meaning behind the whole story, and it probably could have been portrayed without using masked vigilantes, but that just happens to be the context of the story. But if you’re a fan of the book I think you will also enjoy the movie, I know I did.
What did you think? If you read the book as well, did you think it was a good adaptation? If you didn’t read the book and didn’t know the story, were you disappointed? I’m curious as to how other people felt about this movie, so if you have a second please leave a comment below.