Watchmen. For many years uttering that single title sent shivers down comic readers’s backs. It is considered by many as being one of if not the best comic. I rate it in my top 5, along with Sandman, The Killing Joke, V for Vendetta and Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. For years Hollywood and comic book fans alike stated that Watchmen could never be made into a movie. In steps Zack Snyder, the director of another comic based movie (300), takes the Watchmen story and gives us a movie that’s as worthy of praise as the book its based on.
One of the reasons that like 300, Watchmen really works is that it very seldomly deviates from the comic that its based on. Heck, the first 20-30 minutes of the movie is a scene for scene, dialogue for dialogue copy of the first few chapters of the book. This is the closest a movie has come for capturing not only the characters from a comic book, but the story and the atmosphere as well. As far as comic book to celluloid is concerned, Watchmen does it even better than The Dark Knight or 300. As expected, some subplots were removed due to time contraints (IE: Almost all the newspaper booth stuff, and most of the Janey Slater stuff was cut back). The ending itself is mostly different, but it still conveys the same theme, atmosphere, intentions and feelings as the book. I’m not quite sure why Snyder decided to deviate so much from the original story for the ending, but it does not make it bad in any way, shape or form.
[rant]A quick sidenote: If you’re a parent, Watchmen is not Spiderman or X-Men. This movie barely missed getting an NC-17 rating in the US. This is purely an adult movie in theme and execution. In ways its even darker than The Dark Knight. If the adult nature of the story isn’t enough to keep your younglings at home, also know that there’s very graphic violence, a graphic rape scene, nudity and sexual activity, with a tiny bit of swearing tossed in. If you can’t get a babysitter, don’t go see this movie with your brats in tow. I consider myself liberal, and I would still not suggest this movie to anyone under the age of 15-16. [rant off]
I won’t get into the story of Watchmen. If you’re never read it, head on over to Wikipedia and read a very good summary as to Watchmen is all about. Although the way the movie was made, you don’t really need to know anything about Watchmen in order to enjoy it. If you have read this masterpiece, then I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.