I’m sure a lot of you who have been here for a while know that I’m a pretty big Harry Potter fan. But I’m sure you’re asking “What does Harry Potter have to do with Watchmen?” I’m getting there. Let me try to say this in as succinct of a way as possible: I outta punch all you complaining Watchmen fanboys in your whiny, selfish, silly little faces.


Anyway. So Watchmen is about a bunch of things. During a time of an impending World War III, a man is murdered. His name is Edward Blake (Jeffrey Dean Morgan), also known as The Comedian. He’s a costumed hero. A powerless superhero, in other words. In fact, there are quite a few costumed heroes out there—or at least there were, before the Keene Act was put in place and made them illegal. Most are retired now, including Dan Dreiberg AKA Nite Owl II (Patrick Wilson), Laurie Jupiter AKA Silk Spectre II (Malin Akerman), and successful businessman Adrien Veidt AKA Ozymandias (Matthew Goode). But then there are two others on opposite ends of the spectrum. There’s deranged sociopath Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley), an anti-hero out to figure out who killed The Comedian and why, as well as Jon Osterman AKA Dr. Manhattan (Billy Crudup), a God-like being who works with the United States to stay a superpower. But Rorschach thinks somebody is hunting down costumed heroes, and more evidence continues to pile up to help his case.

The story is actually much more complicated than that, too. There are love triangles. There are incredible themes of love, loss, death, and nihilism. The story is so thick and heavy, you can’t pick up everything on the first go-around. I read the graphic novel myself, and I have to say they did a damn good job adapting it.

This brings me back to my opening point. How dare some fanboys complain about this adaptation. This movie is damn near panel-for-panel of the graphic novel. There are some obvious things that were cut or removed for time purposes, but none of it was anything major. The biggest thing actually cut was the newsstand/Black Freighter stuff, but even that’s being released separately on DVD and being integrated back into the film for a Director’s Cut. But none of that is crucial to plot—only themes. As for the changed ending—it’s like I’ve said before, it’s so much better than the comic’s. The comic came out of nowhere with its ending, while it had been building up a perfectly logical ending that the movie actually went for instead. And I think the story was better for it. It makes perfect sense. It works. It changes absolutely nothing about the outcome. Why complain? Not to mention (and this made me the happiest) that the last frame of the graphic novel is in the movie! It had its perfect ending.

Not to mention there are so many other miniscule details from the comic in the film that you only have to keep an eye out for, even if they’re never mentioned specifically (Laurie’s snow globe, for instance?). There was an amazing attention to detail. The panels came straight to the screen. Hell, they even integrated the doomsday clock, which isn't even in the actual story itself in the comic.

The music has been another complaint (by fans and non-fans alike), but I didn’t find fault here, either. I thought the music used fit almost every scene. I think Hallelujah during the sex scene was witty, but I might have gone for maybe a smoother cover version of the song instead. That’s the only real music complaint I had.

As for the acting, I thought it was good all around, with maybe one exception. Malin Ackerman as Laurie got a bit cheesy and poorly acted at times, especially near the beginning. She got a little more bearable later on. But then again, the character was similar in the comic. The biggest shout out, though, goes to Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach, who was freakin’ brilliant. They couldn’t have picked a better person for the role. He embodied the character fully and even brought emotion in his facial expressions (once you see his face) that layered the character even more than in the comic. He was perfect.

For visuals, I want to talk about CGI and action. To get the CGI out of the way first, Dr. Manhattan (blue penis and all) was done fantastically. In fact, the majority of the visual effects were done great. My only CGI problem was Veidt’s pet mutant cat, which, honestly, didn’t even need to be in the movie. That was just a wink for the fandom. As for the action, it was exciting. You really feel like you’re there with these people, pumping adrenaline, and beating the baddies. And it was stylish, though that’s to be expected from the guy who made 300. Overall, the entire movie was visually stunning on all fronts (except for maybe Richard Nixon and any of the aging prosthetics).

There really isn’t much more I want to say about the film. It was funny, sad, depressing, heart-breaking, action-packed, and faithful. It captured everything that the comic was, and it really is as close to a perfect adaptation of this previously declared unfilmable source material as anybody is ever going to get. And personally, I can’t wait to see the version that includes the Tales of the Black Freighter material put back in. And though I give it the following score, I’m not saying the film is perfect (it did have its faults). I’m just saying it’s pretty freakin’ close.

Royale With Cheese

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