Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Don't Watch, Man! Save to Rent!

I wasn't as excited about Watchmen as some people; I had read the book and I didn't quite think it lived up to its expectations. It was a fun read, but not quite the masterpiece everyone claimed--it was ahead of its time, but that's about it. So when I went to see the movie this weekend, I didn't have high hopes--despite Roland (from the book)'s claim that it was one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.

I think part of the problem is it's not a superhero movie--it's an anti-superhero movie. As we stood in line to buy tickets, two teens went away disappointed when they learned it was R; the teen said, "What kind of super hero movie is this?!" I couldn't help but laugh. The movie used gore where other super hero movies left it up to the imagination, had dialogue that was silly at best, and had a story that just went on way too long--you could have easily cut out 40 minutes and it still would have made sense.

I suspect the director wanted to stay loyal to the book, and perhaps this is another one of its follies. Print doesn't transcribe well onto film; you have to change things around. It felt like the director wanted to pay homage to the book, and give something to true fans--but he forgot that for a movie to do well you have to make a movie that sells well to the mass, and not just the fans.

As I walked out of the movie, I could help but wonder if this was nothing more than an R-Rated version of the Incredibles (then again the Incredibles was nothing more than a PG version of Watchmen)...the storyline is the same in many respects--super heroes must become normal people, but they never quite fit this mold and always secretly wanted to get back into action; the villain turns out to be someone the good guys know in both movies to--a villain, in both cases, that became corrupt in part because of fantasies about what a super hero is. The only difference is the Incredibles was funny--even charming; Watchmen is just long.

The Dark Knight is the perfect example of a dark superhero movie done right; people's bones are broke, but unlike Watchman, the audience doesn't see the bones sticking out of their body--and there's no slow motion clip of people's faces getting smashed in--and there's certainly no sex scenes with a slutty girl who can't keep it in her pants on (please tell me I'm not the only one just a little creep out when the girl was hitting on her father? Totally unnecessary and weird!)--Diana said it was also weird that she left the blue guy who could basically please her in ways not human for a guy who couldn't even get it up at first was also a bit weird...I agree.

The soundtrack was great (especially the title sequence); and parts of the movie was entertaining--but the just of the movie was a sloppy, unedited mess, that needed more test screenings and definitely more cutting. If movies carried a letter grade, then this one would get a B-...a good effort, a potentially good movie, but too many flaws to get into A turf.

1 comment:

Emy Augustus said...

I hated the gore and also the cynicism of it all. It felt like way too much. Rorschache's life was just too tragic ... and the Comedian was a very easy to hate character obviously. I disagree with what u said about the 'slutty girl'. I don't think she was hitting on her father but in that one scene was just responding to this older man's attention ... she didn't know that was her father, just a slightly dangerous feeling man showing an interest in her. And it wasn't odd that she left Dr. Manhattan because even though he could make her feel good physically, he wasn't there for her emotionally and she didn't feel understood by him at all at one point, so she turned to a guy who did seem to.
Overall though, the gore and other little things of this movie just pissed me off and made me cranky. I give it a much lower grade.