Thursday, February 26, 2009

Watching The Watchmen

I've been looking forward to the release of Watchmen since last year, which doesn't get its UK release until 6th March. A phone call. It's my mate Stuart. Stuart has miraculously snagged two tickets to the press preview that night. Would I like to go? Would I? I don't get frothy about anything much, but it was all I could do to stop myself running around the office like Daffy Duck.

Sitting among the film reviewers and junketeers at the Odeon, I steeled myself to be disappointed. I'm still dripping mental bleach into my mind's eye to erase the memory of the last Alan Moore adaption I saw, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. However, it was three hours of brilliant cinematic spectacle. To be fair, the story is weak in parts where the graphic novel (OK - comic) hasn't translated too well, or Zack Snyder has changed the story a bit, but I didn't leave the cinema with the overpowering urge to hire a hitman which I did after the LOEG. It's a film that credits the viewer with intelligence, and it could have been so easy to make it into Hollywood grey goo - which nearly happened. There was a plan a few years ago to have - God 'elp us - Arnie Schwarzenegger as Dr Manhattan, and for the film to be standard helicopter-blowing-up pap. There's a lot of scenes which are almost frame-by-frame replicas of the original, and overall it's pretty faithful. Is it as good as the book? No - but then, nothing really could be. And for something that has been called 'unfilmable', it's very good indeed. Well done, Mr Snyder.


Affer said...

The Watchmen is a genre that has passed me by - a generation thing, I guess! But on your reco, I googled up the trailer; it looks pretty good, so I shall await its release. Biker Ted will like it...there's a Moto Guzzi in one of the scenes!!!

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

I missed the Guzzi - but it's well worth seeing, especially if you read the 'comic' version first. Alan Moore is a genius, truly.

Leigh said...

ah, not seen it yet but am beside myself with anticipation - yet to read a bad review!