Last night, after waiting for 17 years, I went to see “Watchmen”.
It was 2 hours and 45 min.
I had my pretzel and coke in hand. I was ready to be super happy or super disappointed.
I of course read the book. and while the movie stands alone I do believe that having read the book it changed my feelings about the film.
Let me start with the opening of the film. It was perfect. I mean it was like panel for panel with the graphic novel. I was completely floored by how much in this film matched up to the book. The details were amazing. Down to the last drop..and I mean that literally. The people they cast look so much like the book it was wild.
This was a fanboys dream and it lived up to in in every way, but….
The director decided to take liberties with violence that really bothered me. As an example there is a scene in the book where Rorschach finds a child killer chains him in his house and then burns it down. In the film however we got to see a change for the sake of shock value where the man is chained and then butchered in the head with a meat clever. It was very disturbing to watch.
There was more of that kind of stuff. Some of it was in the book and some not. I don’t shy away from violence in films, but there is something to be said for leaving it to the imagination. I this film we never have to use our imagination. This was very disappointing and not necessary for the film at all. In my opinion it really soured it actually. This to me was the worst part of the film. I hate violence just for the sake of it and there were some bloody scenes that were not in the book that they added in for no reason other than to get an R rating.
Then there is Doctor Manhattan who walks around as a big blue alien naked guy. His penis is fully exposed. This wasn’t too much of an issue for me because the character to me is like watching a documentary on a tribe in brazil or something. It wasn’t meant to be crude or for shock. While this wasn’t an issue for me it will be for others and is not appropriate for kids.
There is a “almost” rape scene which was straight out of the book. The director took it a little too far with the violence again and added more then there should have been. No nudity in it.
There were some prostitutes, but I don’t think they showed anything…
As far as explicit sex there was a scene on a couch which really didn’t show anything, a dream sequence which was just like the book and was kinda artsy so it wasn’t too much of an issue to me. There is an odd scene with the blue guy and silk spectre where there are 3 of him pleasuring her. Again we don’t see anything.
Then there was “the” sex scene. In this scene two major characters have sex on a ship. This scene is in the book. However there is something about 1980’s simple line art that is a little different than real people. While it was a necessary part of the film and the book I think they chose to show way too much. It is not an artsy fartsy film. Much of that scene should have been left to our imagination. Showing kissing and a shirtless back is enough, but they showed Silk’s breasts and and showed climax. This bothered me less than the violence because at least it was in the book, but it was still unnecessary and awkward.
The cinematography in this film is breathtaking. The fighting scenes are outrageous. The acting and casting is perfect. The story is brilliant. The violence is way over the top. The sex shows too much.
I had a hard time reviewing this film because I have been a fan of this for so long.
After thinking about it here is my thought.
If you have read the book and you are a fan of it then you will want to see this film. You will also know when you should be covering your eyes because anything that is violent in the book is taken to an extreme in the film. If you are able to get away with not watching in theater then rent it and make the ffwd button your friend.
If you have not read the book I don’t think you will be lost by watching the film, but because of no emotional attachment you might as well skip it and wait for star trek in May.
If you are under 17 and want to see this…send me your phone number so I can tell your parents to lock you in your room.
This is not a kids film and it contains too much stuff for shock value, but at the same time is a brilliant film. That’s why it is so hard for me to review. While I personally loved 85% of the film. The 15% of it that bothered me makes it so I can’t recommend this film to anybody who has not been an avid fan of the book since it came out.