Saturday, March 7, 2009


Look, I'm sick and tired of everyone, including myself just the other day (in fact), yelping all over WATCHMEN because it's supposed to be, according to Alan Moore himself (as well as thousands of rabid fans), 'unfilmable'. This is just absolutely, stunningly, untrue. What Zack Snyder has done with the source material is nothing short of breathtaking and borderline epic. Is the movie perfect? Hell no! Is the film a direct carbon copy of the graphic novel? Nope. Is the movie even watchable? Without an iota of doubt.
From the opening credits featuring bits of the comic that would have otherwise fit jarringly into the movie, to the ending NOT featuring a giant, city-levelling space squid, WATCHMEN is a treasure to behold and a wild ride comparable only to the finest roller coasters. The script taken from the comic is just about as dead on as you could want without having someone physically read it to you, which, by the way, is exactly what happens in the illustrated comic now available which also happens to be very good, only a bit disconcerting since the same GUY does every character. But, it does include a direct narrative reading so you do get an embedded BLACK FREIGHTER reading as well. Anyway, there are so many beautifully filmed scenes in Snyder's flick that it's almost too difficult to name them all here, so I won't. But I will name a few.

A) Watching Doc Manhattan lose his composure just before leaving for Mars as a mob of angry people call him out, is wonderfully done and you really do feel for him. In fact, his scene with Laurie on Mars as he tries to accept humanity as worthy of his saving is quite real as well.

B) The Comedian spilling his drunken guts out to his arch-enemy, Moloch, is so very effective as a lead in to his untimely, yet necessary death.

C) Watching Rorschach getting taken down by the Police, and even the moment leading up to it where he finds himself trapped, are so powerful and allow you to really feel his character's brooding angst.

The cast was, for the most part, brilliant. Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach was almost uncomfortably dead on that any future re-readings of the book will certainly illicit flashes of his voice as the character on the page. Billy Crudup gives just about as lively a performance as you honestly can when being ultimately animated. Yes, for the love of God, you do see his penis. Let's all get over it. I mean goodness, there's a sex scene between Malin Ackerman (Silk Spectre II) and Patrick Wilson (Nite Owl II) that could have been easily stripped straight from a Cinemax movie. Even so, both of the aforementioned actors do their parts, Wilson a fair share better, but Ackerman did deliver on the requisite sexiness. Jefferey Dean Morgan as the Comedian was like a living version of the comic page. He so solidly pulls off his 'not giving a shit attitude' that he instantly becomes the most identifiable by proxy. And, finally, Matthew Goode as Ozymandias was, for the most part, just there, but then again, that's how he was in the comic. All in all, as I said, phenomenal main cast.
Now, before everyone gets up in arms over the lack of space squid and the decision to make Manhattan the scapegoat... well, it actually ends up being better, by a nudge, than the comic. I was very fine with the changes.

So there ya go. Find a free three hours, an IMAX if possible, and get ready for a movie so utterly FILMABLE as to make even the most hardened naysayer proud.

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