Monday, March 09, 2009
You're Locked In Here With ME!!
Brandon and I went to see "Watchmen" Saturday night and needless to say I was not disappointed. For those of you who don't know, I've been a comic book reader for close to two decades now. And before you say it, yes, I know it is absolutely incredible that I was able to land a hot wife while being fat, pale, and into comics. Dreams do come true, kids. I think Disney did a movie about my life. It's called "Miracle".
Anyway, "Watchmen" is the quintessential graphic novel. It is an example of the sophisticated things that comics can do by telling a very dark story that is grounded in real world sensibilities while being filtered through a view of men running around in tights. Holy shit, I can't believe I just made up that last sentence. Good thing I'm sitting down. I read "Watchmen" years ago and was blown away by the narrative, the tone, the events, and the conclusion. It was one of the first times I read something in comics that I wasn't ashamed to tell people to read. Seriously, it is that good.
The movie has been in development hell for years. But with the worldwide success of such comic book movie franchises like "Spider-Man" and "X-Men", it was only a matter of time before the Hollywood machine would tap one of the genres most adult and compelling works for the big screen treatment. And after seeing the movie, I honestly don't know how it could have been done before now.
I don't like to give away things in my reviews of movies because I like to be surprised when I sit down in the theater as much as the next guy. Hell, I even passed on a re-reading my copy of "Watchmen" because I wanted to go in with a somewhat naive eye. Well, as much of a naive eye as I could seeing as how I knew what happened. But I was surprised at some of the things I forgot about and was actually glad at the end of it that I didn't 'ruin' the movie experience by reading it again. With that said, make no mistake, the book is better than the movie, but that is usually the case anyway. But the movie did make as faithful an adaptation as it could.
The cast was top notch for the most part. Jackie Earle Haley, that punk kid Kelly Leak from the Bad News Bears movies, was superb as the psychopathic Rorschach. Billy Crudup, who was great in "Almost Famous" and "Big Fish", was excellent as the god-like Dr. Manhattan. Patrick Wilson, who I last saw almost getting his balls chopped off by a pre-"Juno" Ellen Page in "Hard Candy", actually made me like Nite Owl. Jeffrey Dean Morgan, whom I've never seen before, was perfect as the asshole Comedian. The other two main people were just okay. Malin Akerman as the Silk Spectre didn't really do it for me, but at least she has not problem with nudity and sex scenes. Matthew Goode as Ozymandias was also just adequate and was the only one of the cast who I thought could have been handled by someone else.
The movie is long, running nearly three hours, but it is well worth it. It deals with a lot of themes that some people will probably not want to deal with, like nuclear war, man's savage nature, and decisions that need to be made in times of crisis. For these reasons I don't think it will be very popular with a majority of Americans who want everything to be wrapped up nicely in a nice bow at the end. But if you want to actually have a comic book movie make you think about things, if just for a little bit, then go watch the "Watchmen". It's worth it.