For a while now, I've been laughing at the tagline on the Watchmen
from the visionary director of 300
, because,well, 300 was a hilariously faithful adaptation of someone else'
s vision, and that's what I, and from the discussions before the movie a lot of other fans, wanted from Watchmen
; Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' vision put onto the screen.
That was what I expected and wanted and that, to an extent was what I got. The visuals felt like Watchmen
, the characters were all right (and the performances, without exception, were amazing), and even with the changes to the story, the spirit was there, and the overall ideas on subjective morality were kept, even without layer upon layer of subplot. There were so many panel-to-screen and word for word quotations, it might have rendered itself pointless.
What I wasn't expecting - though I was hardly surprised, and it wasn't unwelcome - was to laugh my way through so much of it. Maybe it's that having read it, I was no longer shocked by the actions of the heroes, so the oh my god these people are sick
element was gone. I felt a lot like Silk Spectre described in one scene - you know your friend needs help and you can't explicitly condone his actions, but they're so familiar that you can only laugh. But that's only some of it. The rest is the parts that weren't strict adaptations - the parts of Snyder's tagline-a-riffic
, that I recognised from 300
: The random slow mo, the heavy-handed soundtrack, and the world's funniest sex scene.
I mean com'on guys, with all the spoiler-filled reviews I read before seeing the film, no one could say
Also, this film will do more damage to the song Hallelujah than the X-Factor ever could
A good movie adaptation takes the premise of a book and recreates the story using the medium of cinema, changing details where necessary to make a good movie first, everythig else later. This isn't a bad adaptation, but it's more of a filmmaker's fan tribute to the original story; you know, when people set scenes of Buffy
to songs about women kicking arse, without much thought or creative input of their own. In this case, the story is strong enough not to need anything, and the sledgehammer camera speeds and soundtrack only emphasise what was already fairly over the top in the original. If you want a violence filled romp of people in costumes and Batman and Robin
style rubber nipples, this is your film. If you want a slightly more effective tale about the subjectiveness of morality and deconstruction of comic tropes as they stood in 1985, find the book.
The Hathor Legacy
has a better review of the film itself, by the way. Meanwhile, I've realised that with all the similarities between the Minutemen and the Modern Age Justice Society/League, and between Silk Spectre and the Modern Age Black Canary - Watchmen
did it first.