Saturday, 7 March 2009

I Have Watched The Watchmen

My wife and I went to see Watchmen last night and, once it had finished, talked about it in the car on the way to grab some food, in the takeout place as we waited for our food, and then in in the car as we drove home.

Is it the same as the book? Not exactly, but it's as close as you're going to get. It looks fantastic - Jackie Earle Haley and Jeffrey Dean Morgan are spot on as Rorschach and the Comedian respectively - are pretty much spot on.

Not only does it capture the look of the book but the film isn't afraid to be as complex either - not quite as complex as the book, admittedly, but more so than the ususal Hollywood films of late. It jumps around in time and just expects the viewer to work out what's happening and I applaud it for that.

The violence is brutal in places with bones popping out and a surprising use of an angle grinder and while the fighting is mostly slo-mo kung fu style nonsense, you kind of get used to it after a while.

There actually aren't many spoilers coming up - if you've read the book, you know what's going to happen. If you haven't then the following isn't going to make much difference to you. However, they do include the end of the film so highlight at your own risk. Spoilers on: the ending is changed slightly insofar as the teleported fake psychic alien is gone, replaced by multiple simultaneous explosions in the hearts of several major cities. These explosions are still caused by Ozymandias but are made to look as though Dr. Manhattan had caused them. While the method might have altered, the end result - the world stepping back from the threat of nuclear war - is the same. While purists might disagree with this change, it makes sense in the film - the whole sub-plot of the Black Freighter writer, the artists, scientists and psychics going missing is dropped so there's a need for a slightly tidier explanation of why the explosions happened and this works. Spoilers off.

It's never going to be the book which is still a sublime work of genius, but it's a damn good film nonetheless and I will definitely be getting it on DVD - hell, I've already ordered Tales of The Black Freighter!

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