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Monday, March 09, 2009

Movie Review: Watchmen

So I've already seen Watchmen last week, and I know some of you guys will fucking kill me for what I'm about to say.

I thought Watchmen was...just alright.

Before you lynch me, I'll have you know I've read the graphic novel...thrice, and even then my expectations were set as low as I can manage. I'm just glad something as popular as Watchmen got its chance in the spotlight. But in the end, Watchmen was just...alright. Watching scenes lifted directly from the comic book come to life on the big screen got me cringing sometimes...which made me think if all this hype is just morbid curiosity to see if director Zack Snyder can pull it off.

Soaking in all the broken fingers and compound, open fractures and blue penises, I concede that Watchmen is an almost perfect adaptation of a comic book anyone could possibly see. Snyder was very faithful to the book to a fault, you see. I don't think anyone can complain about the effort they made just to bring this to life.

But as a movie that stands on its own, without any connection to the comic book and any way, Watchmen falls flat, lacking any sort of gravitas that could have helped sell the dreary, pre-apocalyptic world these poor people live in. Comedian's line in the Vietnam bar was stilted and flat at best, and Laurie's lines could have used more...I dunno...verve or something. It's as if adapting Watchmen on the big screen was Really Serious Business, and god forbid you should laugh while Laurie and Dan make sweet, sweet love in Nite Owl's ship to the tune of Hallelujah.

The cast, however, definitely shine on this one. Jackie Earle Haley's totally owned the character of Rorschach, and Patrick Wilson's journey back into the Nite Owl persona deserved some raging fanboy applause. The weak link here unfortunately is Malin Akerman, who despite giving us fanboys heaping shots of her tight T & A, underwhelmed with her wooden and uninspired delivery of almost every line she had.

I guess this is a textbook case of relying too much on the source material, having no discernable 'hook' of its own besides being based on a famous comic book. In the end, Watchmen is a somewhat generic superhero movie cosplaying as one of the most influential pieces of literature of our time. Nobody said it couldn't be done, but nobody was really sure it was gonna look awesome if it was.

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