I saw it with my dad, whose comic collection I have been reading for the last 23 years, I hadn't read any reviews, and only seen the trailer once- before Christmas. Before we left for the cinema Anna flashed a Guardian page at us showing how it had been panned by all the papers, four out of ten all round, no more than a five anywhere. But I didn't worry that much, Jonathan Ross had enjoyed it, and he's a comic nerd so surely it couldn't be 4/10 bad, could it?
I re-read Watchmen in November after I heard they had made the film (at last), I first read it probably about seven years ago, my dad bought each issue as they came out in 1986, hmm...I wonder if I was eating my mashed 'nanas by his side while he read them. Anyway, the book is complex, in between each chapter, as it were, is a crucial piece of plot in the form of extracts from books, police files, newspapers etc. These bits I always found kind of a pain to read- not because I can't read without pictures! Just because it slowed it down a lot. (honest!)
After the opening fight resulting in The Comedian's death these (boring) bits of the comic are played out in an amazing title sequence with Bob Dylan crooning appropriately over them, the times they are a-changing. (I'll add now that the soundtrack was excellent) It was brilliant. I didn't want to blink! It was amazing! It was genius! It was perfect!
I did feel that this film was tailor-made for me. Does this make me a massive nerd? Yes. Do I care? Hell no! I just saw the most amazing film of my life! I'm insanely happy! I keep trying to think about this from an outsider's perspective (ie someone who has never read the book) but I don't want to! Because I know they'd hate it! It was unnecessarily violent- I don't mind thugs and bad guys getting bashed up, I don't mind super-heroes getting bashed up (they can take it) but I do mind kid's disembodied parts being chewed by dogs and innocent women's legs getting shot. Yeah, I don't care about heavies getting their arms sawn off (I closed my eyes) but I draw the line at women and children... People have heard of Superman, Batman and the X-men, they know what to expect from a "super-hero" film, that's why I think they will be disappointed.
What, the bad guy just gets away with it? The one guy who's fighting for justice gets blown up at the end? The lead is a wimpy nerd who can't get it up?! Wha-?! Yes. Deal with it. And He's not a bad guy! He's awesome!
Yes the cast. Wow, the cast! Perfect casting! Completely perfect casting! They were all people I'd never seen before (except sweet little Brooke Burgess from He Knew He Was Right playing Ozymadias, holy hell I can see why they picked him for the Brideshead remake he practically is Jeremy Irons! -oh, and Billy Crudup). This was good, if there had been anyone big in it I would have been like "ugh, he was so-and-so in that awful film about whatever!" And not once did I notice that Nite Owl was Raoul from Phantom of the Opera! The only thing I noticed about him was that he was HOT. Yes, all the men (sorry, not you Rorschach) were GORGEOUS. And all the women were GORGEOUS which was great because seriously, Dave Gibbons cannot draw women, they look like ugly men most of the time, so I was like "Wow, all the male characters are perfectly cast and the women are all being played by beautiful women!" They looked perfect, spot-on. And the film itself was spot-on, possibly the best and most faithful adaptation of anything- ever! Brideshead Revisited (1981) is almost word perfect, Watchmen is picture perfect.
I can see why they cut certain sub-plots, but who the hell cares?! As a fan of the graphic novel I was still touched to see the newspaper-stand guy hug the kid before they were blasted into smitherines, it was an excellent touch to keep little references even if whole parts of the novel were cut. But most of it wasn't cut! Most of it was there! All the bits I was waiting for were there! All the chapters with all the characters' backstories! Rossy said it was slow in parts, when? When was it slow?! I didn't notice! Wow! I am still excited about it and it's been two hours now since the credits went up.
I can't wait to see it again. I can't recommend it to anyone though. That's the problem...
"Hey, this was the best film of my life, but you'd hate it."