A courageous and faithful adaptation of a classic graphic novel.
- Watchmen review by CP Customer
For those who are fans of the original ‘Watchmen’ graphic novel you’ll be hard pushed not to enjoy this film. Not only has Zack Snyder managed to transfer the iconic novel into a credible film, it’s arguably the most faithful adaptation of any Alan Moore graphic novel to date. There are minor differences between the novel and the film, the comic book within a comic book idea is dropped, a couple of small sub-plots are missing, a couple of minor characters are omitted and a few key scenes are slightly different, though even Watchmen purists will find it hard to object to these changes. The biggest deviation from the novel is the ending; without spoiling it, the cause of the ending is significantly different, though the actual outcome is the same, though within the context of the film I actually preferred the new ending over the novels original ending.
For those who haven’t read the graphic novel, this is very different kind of superhero film. It’s almost like a mix of a traditional superhero film like ‘Spiderman’ and ‘The Dark Knight’ and a dark violent film noir like ‘Sin City’, though at the same time completely unique in its own right. The basic plot of the film is based around an alternative view of history in which superheroes have become an accepted part of life. The superheroes have varying degrees of powers, some age normally as humans and retire while others have extended life spans; some are glorified vigilantes while others have true superpowers. After the assassination of JFK, Nixon is elected president and enlists the help of superheroes in bringing the Vietnam war to a swift end in favour of an American victory. Set in 1985 the world now perpetually exists in a cold war crisis against the Soviet Union where nuclear war is a continual threat. And after a repeal of presidential term limits Nixon is elected for a third term in office, where he promptly outlaws masked superheroes branding them as vigilantes. After a superhero named ‘The Comedian’ is murdered a plot emerges that someone is trying to eliminate and discredit past a present members of the Watchmen. Led by the masked vigilante Rorschach a remaining few set out to prevent their own destruction while at the time uncovering a far more sinister plot. If you’re expecting an easy to follow popcorn flick, you’re going to be disappointed. The story is slow paced complex and feels every minute of its 2 hour 40 minute running time. The film is also fully deserving of its 18 certificate, it’s violent, gory and very much aimed at an adult audience. Overall, ‘Watchmen’ isn’t a perfect film and proof that a good book doesn’t necessarily transfer into good film, though you have to admire Zack Snyder’s adaptation of a novel which many, including legendary director Terry Gilliam and writer Alan Moore deemed as unfilmable, and if you’re looking for a superhero film with depth, character, great special effects then this is well worth renting.
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful.
The underbelly of superheroes
- Watchmen review by AC
I read the graphic novel years ago and was looking forward to seeing this in Blu Ray.
The film itself is intriguing. I'd love to say it's beautiful film, but the pervading mood of darkness and decay is all consuming.
It's a long film (it's a long story so what do you expect) but well delivered. I just wish that the disk had played properly.
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful.