Watchmen is one of my favorite graphic novels of all time. In this case, the term “graphic novel” is appropriate in describing my reading experience; I’ve never even touched the individual issues that ultimately comprised this wonderful narrative. My paperback copy was purchased spontaneously at a coastal book store, and the dog-eared corners present even then have grown more prominent with each passing year. Fans of the book shouldn’t be surprised; Watchmen demands repeated readings.
Give me smallest finger on man’s hand. I’ll produce information. Computer unnecessary.Batman remains my favorite superhero for his conceptual brevity, but Watchmen is my favorite superhero story. You can imagine, then, the anticipation I felt up to the moment I finally experienced the long-awaited film adapation in Vancouver’s wonderful Cinetopia theater.
If the movie had attempted to completely encapsulate all of what Watchmen is in under 3 hours, it would have failed. This is why I admire the direction taken, which feels more like an incredibly vivid window into the key points of a tale wide in scope. The result is that, at it’s worst, the film feels like an impassioned love letter to a piece of iconic pop culture. At best, it captures the depth, intelligence and wonder I felt when I first read the original.
Yes, the ending feels a bit flat. Yes, the licensed music feels odd a couple times. And yes, they did omit several scenes. But when you see Dr. Manhattan glowing and Godlike while losing touch with humanity, or Archimedes bursting from the river and flying through the clouds, or Jackie Earle Haley playing Rorschach flawlessly, none of that seems to matter at all. I ate it up.
The only problem; I have absolutely no objectivity. I can’t decide if I was drooling over the film for the fact that these characters and plot points were interpreted in glorious motion, or because it was simply a good film. My geekiness has completely usurped my objectivity; I love Watchmen too much to hate this film.
So what did you think? Did the uneven pacing throw you off, or were you speaking in a gravelly voice and denouncing humanity under a creepy mask and fedora as you skipped out the theater?