Film #16: Watchmen (2009)

director: Zack Snyder
language: English
length: 155 minutes (2:35)
watched on: 25 Jun

I think this was quite a good adaptation work. It seemed to get all the characters looking right, and I couldn’t think of any gaping plot holes that it had left – indeed, I’d probably say that it managed to pare down the plot of the book to a good extent, because the book was chock-full of stuff that wasn’t quite relevant to the plot and was more to give flavour of the world which the characters inhabit.

Of course, I’m no comic book fan, and I’m sure there are plenty of them out there decrying the film – it’s rule #1 of adaptations, after all. I enjoyed it, anyway.

Just a couple of complaints: it’s a bit long for essentially an action film, although it’s obviously based on the comic book and there’s not much they can do about the volume of material in the book even when they cut bits out.

Then there’s the Bad Guy character – I just felt a slight annoyance when there was a throwaway visual gag that implied he was gay, and it was almost as if they meant to emasculate him by doing it. (I think it was implied in the book too, but more subtly)

Any other complaints I had about the film will be ones that I had about the book, too; I think the major one for me again was Mars, where they look up into the sky to see the very picturesque scene of Phobos and Deimos hanging in the sky like our very own moon, big enough to see and with phases and everything – whereas in real life, they would look like tiny stars racing across the sky. And Phobos would be going backwards. Kinda hit my suspension of disbelief somewhat.

Also, that entire sequence is a bit annoying; I don’t really get the Dr Manhattan character – I can very well believe that he’s the supernatural equivalent of autistic, but he’s supposed to be able to see into the future. That said, the story does have some kind of midichlorians or something to make him unable to see the future. I didn’t quite get that, either… it was always a bit too much techno mumbo jumbo.

Anyway, good adaptation. Not sure what else to say about it really.

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