Tonight I had the privilege of watching a pre-screening of Watchmen at Rave Motion Pictures in Town Square, Las Vegas, NV (courtesy of Gofobo). One word: WOW! It’s based on the 1986/1987 DC Comics graphic novel by writer Alan Moore. It’s been years since I last perused the pages of the book, but this movie did live up to my expectations.
First, it’s an epic movie, running about 2 hours and 45 minutes. Pee before entering the theatre and again 5 minutes before it starts. Second, parents please leave your children at home. There are scenes that are extremely graphic in both sexual and violent nature. There is no shortage of flesh or assorted dangly bits, and also there are themes that kids under 13 will probably not fully comprehend. I certainly wouldn’t want to be trying to answer questions about the ultimate life joke in terms that a 7 year old would understand. If you do, go right ahead. This is why you’re the parent and I’m not!
Alas, I digress. Watchmen definitely pleased me both visually and musically. Zach Snyder, director, did an awsome job of creating those graphic novel type effects. As I tweeted upon leaving the theatre, the movie is epic, interesting visuals, dark, sexy, & action packed. A number of slow motion, pause, actual speed effects pull focus on the action — much like looking at a comic frame. These stunning effects are juxtaposed with 70’s and 80’s tunes (Leonard Cohen, Nena, Tears for Fears, Jimi Hendrix, Philip Glass, etc.) that provide a very interesting explanation to the action. As with 300, the scenes are extremely dark, and color is used to accentuate the setting instead of overtake them. As for the computer graphics, they were interesting and at times seemed to overtake the meaning of the scene. This is particularly true for the Laurie and Dr. Manhattan on Mars scene. The fight scenes were well choreographed, quick cutting and hard hitting. And of course there’s the obligitory love triangle (complete with a fairly graphic sex scene and a few frontal shots of CG Dr. Manhattan dangly man bits). There’s not much left for the imagination.
Acting was good as well. [SPOILER ALERT] One of the final scenes where Dan/Night Owl (Patrick Wilson) drivels as Dr. Manhattan obliterates Rorschach seemed overly sappy and contrived. [END SPOILER] Yes, some things became trite, but the characters were well-formed and consistent with the books. Overall, it’s a good movie and definitly one of the best in the graphic novel turned movie genre.