Friday, March 6, 2009
Watchmen: One Man's Thoughts
Having written today's Medium Large strip at five in the morning immediately after coming home from the theater I fear my above take on the movie may be too dismissive and knee-jerk. But now that I've had a cup of coffee and got a good hour of sleep I wish to explain my reaction a little more.
While seeing Watchmen I had the odd–and the ultimately impossible to address–realization that the movie felt it need far more depth, more background for both the characters and the alternate reality yet was far too long of a film. In short, the visuals were incredible, the admittedly few action sequences were remarkable and the allegiance the director showed to the source material was exceptionally admirable. As most reviewers said, the opening six-minute montage is a work of genius and yes, had that approach somehow been maintained throughout the movie this might very well have been if not a brilliant film than an exceptionally entertaining one. However, to do that one would have to have created a whole new version of Watchmen that could breath within the confines of a film’s length but, alas, would only irate the book’s legions of admirers.
I by no means wish to take the standard but pointless approach of “put something up on a podium only to knock it down.” (One I can completely understand people accusing me of after a full week of Watchmen Medium Large strips). I think Zach Snyder should be applauded for what he did and I fear most directors who work on an adaptation are setting themselves up for a thankless task, not because of any lacking in their skills but because favorite books have played out so often in the minds of their fans without concern of such film necessities as time length and feasibility that they cannot possibly meet expectations.
My "capsule review" is that it was a triumph of technical skill and sheer–for lack of a better word–gumption on the part of Snyder, the cast (especially Haley and Wilson) and everyone involved. By no means should their hard work be dismissed so easily. But, alas, I found the movie dull and often realized I was watching a movie, which leads me to believe I failed to connect with it.
But that is one man’s opinion (much as the above strip is in no way meant to represent what I think the general opinion is nor how believe others should perceive it). Was I victim of my own hype? (I can’t blame others for such because marketing is marketing). Almost certainly. But all I can say is that I felt the time drag and my spirits deflate with it.
Of course, if you want to see the movie by all means do so. You may love it and you have ever right to tell me I am way, WAY off on my assessment. In fact, I hope as many people as possible enjoy it because who would wish others to have an unsatisfactory time?
I look forward to your opinions.