Watchmen Worth the Price of Admission

Even though my coupon got me in for 6.25, I would have been satisfied if I had paid full price. For someone who is very price conscious, that speaks volumes.

It has been weeks since the movie opened and we were stuck in a puny theatre that was only at about 1/3 capacity. That was fine with us, we could spread out.

This is not your typical comic book (graphic novel) turned movie. Directed by Zack Snyder (300), it is a dark, gritty alternate 1980’s universe where Nixon serves three terms in office. It is a Hollywood movie but doesn’t have that shiny Hollywood feel.

Based on a 12-issue comic book series by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, it was stuck in development hell for about 20 years, changing studios, directors many times over. At different points, Tom Cruise (ick!!!), Jessica Alba, Natalie Portman and Arnold Schwarzenegger were either attached or considered for different roles in the movie but the relatively unknown cast served the story well. Jackie Earle Haley (formerly of Bad News Bears fame and more recently Little Children) as Rorschach was a stand-out.

The movie received mixed reviews. Some said it was confusing. I came in with slightly lowered expectations- a little concerned that I would not to understand what was going on but I did not have problems following the narrative. I think audiences are too used to being spoon-fed the same dreck. Anything the least bit involved (not accompanied by Coles Notes) seems to short circuit the brains of critics and audiences alike. The violence was a bit gratuitous (I’ve seen worse) and the sex scene and attempted rape flashback was just a shade on the right side of and R rating. Not for everyone and not a big deal for me except that I saw the movie with my brother….

I left the theatre wanting to read the the graphic novels. Watchmen was the only graphic novel listed on Time’s 2005 “All-TIME 100 Greatest Novels” list. These kind of lists are meant to be eye-opening as well as confounding so there are many arguments against the inclusion of Watchmen on this list.

I may feel differently about the movie after I have read the original source material…. We shall see.


~ by angryegg on April 19, 2009.

2 Responses to “Watchmen Worth the Price of Admission”

  1. There was nothing overwhelmingly bad about the film. It’s just not very good. By trying to stick so close to the look and setpieces of the graphic novel, there was not much room left for character development, and since 90% of the graphic novel is character development, you get a hollow narrative on screen with awesome visuals. The graphic novel is amazing, and I’m not a big comic book reader. Definitely deserving of Time’s Top 100. The film could have been so much better if they had put their energy into the characters rather than so heavily into the rigorous replication of the book’s visuals.

  2. Hmmm…. Thanks for this. I am not a big graphic novel person either (though I am now caught up on the Buffy books) but I will get these sooner than later. They sound like keepers.

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