Who’s Not Watching the “Watchmen”?

Me, that’s who. I’m a comics geek. I read Watchmen in 1990 and have been an avid comic reader ever since. That’s why I won’t be seeing Watchmen (2009).

Watchmen the book is brilliant. It exploded the boundary, then and perhaps forever, on superhero entertainment and the comics medium. So a faithful adaptation, as director Zack Snyder said he tried to do, misses the point, IMO. It offers superheroes and violence up as entertainment, without the irony.

Instead of investing almost 3 hours and $10 in the movie, read this interview at Salon with creator Alan Moore. (Can’t find the source of the link; sorry. It was probably Morning News or Bookslut) Read the graphic novel. Or go here for a hilarious imagining of what Watchmen might have been like as an 80’s kids cartoon, or to Slate for a parody of what other directors might have done. (Last two links from ALoTT5MA)

My husband G. Grod went to see it last night.

“How was it?” I asked.

“Exactly what I expected,” he replied. “That bad. Now I know.”

Rober Ebert liked it, but it’s clear from his review that he hasn’t read the source material. Part of what worked about recent comic-book movies like Spiderman 2, Iron Man, Hellboy II and The Dark Knight is that they were based on the larger legend, but eschewed existing stories in favor of ones crafted specifically for the movie.

TV critic Alan Sepinwall’s review confirmed my suspicions about the movie. I’ve not yet gone to see any adaptation of an Alan Moore project, though all the graphic novels–League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Swamp Thing, From Hell, V for Vendetta–are among my favorites. Movies and comics are different mediums. Sometimes one can bring something to the other than deepens the story. But with such rich source material as Watchmen, I don’t much see the point.

4 Responses to “Who’s Not Watching the “Watchmen”?”

  1. Amy Says:

    My kids wanted to see it (neither having read the book). Neither hubby nor I wanted to. We were OK with them going on their own. So I took them to the theater, bought them tickets, went up to the ticket-taker to tell her it was OK (we’ve done this before), and this time she said, no, they have to have an adult. So I bought a ticket, walked them in, waited until her back was turned, and I walked out. Yeah, I’m out $5. On the other hand, that was nearly 3 hours of my life I would have lost.

    And the kids weren’t that impressed.

  2. Steph Says:

    For whatever reason (I haven’t read the original source material), this movie just has no appeal for me. I thought all of the trailers for it were less than impressive, and while I’ve enjoyed other movies based on comics, this one leaves me utterly cold. Skipping it.

  3. girldetective Says:

    Sounds like “skip it” is the concensus around here, with you, Amy, and G. Grod kinda wishing he had. I recommend the graphic novel. It’s great stuff.

  4. girldetective Says:

    It’s supposed to be ultra violent, so it makes me glad they were paying attention, but I think you’re clever for sneaking out. Yeah, five bucks for not watching 3 hours of silly violence in a bad adaptation? Bargain. Plus I bet your kids think you are a cool mom.