Who watches the Watchmen?


I probably should sleep (given the profession’s disgustingly early hours), but I just had to get this off my chest.

I’d wanted so much to like the Watchmen movie, especially since it’s based off my favourite graphic novel ever, but that was not to be. When I’d first read Ong Sor Fern’s review, I’d wondered how being too ‘slavish’ to the original graphic novel could be a bad thing. Having now seen the show though, I totally agree with her.

My biggest criticism of the film is its pacing. The original comic series was released over 12 separate issues, and even when collated into a single graphic novel, is separated into chapters. The on-and-off pacing works perfectly fine in print material, when you’re free to read the chapters in your own time, but when transposed into a 163-min film, instead becomes an extremely tiring experience. (Maybe a TV series would have worked better?)

I’d watched the show with friends who’d not read the graphic novel, and they too found the show quite tiring to watch. The story was appreciated – but that was lifted practically wholesale from the graphic novel anyway. I also have some quibbles with what they chose to leave in and what they omitted – for example, why leave Bubastis (the genetically engineered lynx) in the movie if they don’t spend any time demonstrating Adrian’s relationship with it? Since they’d tweaked the ending somewhat (a change I rather dislike), even the genetic engineering thing isn’t relevant anymore.

To make a long story short, if you’re the type who doesn’t read the book/comic if you watch the movie, please do yourself a favour and choose the graphic novel version of Watchmen instead. If you’re planning to experience both, I’d suggest watching the movie in a format you can fast-forward through (e.g. DVD, digital video file).

(The costumes were pretty cool, though.)


Posted on March 12, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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