Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Ben Watches the Watchmen. Perv.

Watchmen was always, in fairness, going the be an incredibly difficult comic to film. It wasn't exactly built for it, from the start. The comic itself is incredibly slowly paced - to its advantage - which, even with a three hour film, was going to be exceptionally difficult to translate.

To Watchmen's credit, it works very well. combining almost graphic-for-graphic images from the comics with the film. It's also carried by very strong performances from the actors. For a guy whose face you rarely see, Jackie Earle Haley gives an amazing performance as Rorschach. His vocal style and different levels of physical acting made the character come across as a personality of its own.

It was definitely a good idea of Zack Snyder to cast relative unknowns for the parts - it allowed the characters to speak for themselves. Personally I didn't like 300, Snyder's previous effort. I thought that it was vastly overdone, and in all fairness, would have been all of ten minutes long if it hadn't been filmed almost entirely in slomo.

But in reproducing most of the comment almost shot for shot in Watchmen, Snyder manages to retain most of the Atmosphere from the comics. Admittedly he has to change some of the plot elements - the Cthulhu-esque monster from the end of the book would have just looked stupid come the end of the movie.

...The books been out for 23 years. If you claim I'm spoiling it, fuck yourself. Sideways.

There are other elements of the story different from the Books. The overall tone of the ending is a lot... happier. For lack of a better term.

The Problem with reviewing it, is that theres no way to detail any of the plot without really spoiling anything else. So I'll stick to what I know...

See Beginner's rule handbook #2: "Why Re-invent the Wheel."

...Ze Action in Watchmen, It be fucking awesome. you do get a good amount of Gunplay in some scenes - primarily flashbacks to the days of the Comedian - But the Hand to hand scenes are utterly fantastic. If you read my "Top-Ten Fight scenes" from a few entries back, you'll have noticed that I have a bit of a thing for realistic fight scenes. Watchmen somehow manages to do bigger-than-real fightscenes without actually losing the realism of the movie. Its also illustrated by the fact that each character has a very distinctive individual style, from Nite Owl II's more heavy handed kickboxing/bodyblock style to Ozymandias' uniquely defensive counter-fighting technique, it contrives to give each fight a very individual flavour and makes for very compelling fights - something 300 distinctly lacked.

Watchmen Is, truth be told, one of the best superhero movies I've seen, even when all the characters are substantially less than super.

Until World War 3, I remain,


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