Watchmen is the TRUTH
If you don’t go see it, you will have not spent the best 2 hours and 45 minutes of your life reveling in the pinnacle of comic book geekdom turned film, and you will be a lesser human being for it. I might be writing this because I just came home from watching this movie and the experience is still fresh in my mind, but DAMN! The movie is about 99% faithful to the series, almost a panel for panel translation from comic to celluloid (or rather, digital), which raises an interesting question – how important is it for a director to respect the original source material vs. the unspoken rule that directors must always exercise creative license in their films, lest they be thought of as hacks? After thinking about it some, I would argue that Zack Snyder’s own style is constantly on display throughout the film, making it his own – even if he lifted the story, the dialogue, and even the imagery directly from the comics. Maybe since Watchmen was such a limited series there’s only so much material you have to work with before altering it too much makes it unrecognizable. Maybe the original comics were so well written, so iconic within the comic world, that taking liberties with it would be tantamount to taking liberties with Shakespeare; sure it’s been done, but nobody would ever consider Baz Luhrmann’s Romeo and Juliet a “real” or definitive version of Shakespeare’s work.
There may be a Watchmen remake when I’m 50 years old or something, but to me this feels like the “definitive” version already. As far as I’m concerned, he brought this fucking thing to LIFE! God bless Zack Snyder for not fucking with it. MAJOR credit goes to illustrator Dave Gibbons, who reportedly worked side by side with Snyder to ensure that the integrity of the material and the imagery was consistent with those of the comics. As an illustrator, I’m certain Gibbons feels the same giddy pleasure I would if I were to see my art work on the big screen. And of course, credit has to go to the man who wrote Watchmen, the main man Alan Moore. His name is conspicuously absent from the credits because Moore himself chose not to associate himself with this movie, or any film based on his creations. Long story short; DC Comics screwed Alan Moore over by refusing to relinquish the rights to Watchmen, so Moore wanted nothing to do with DC. Since DC pretty much owns all of Moore’s characters, that meant he wouldn’t attach his name to any of the films, take no creative consultant role, or even accept royalties (I don’t blame him; ever seen League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? Yes, he wrote the comics that movie was based on and let’s just say that the comic was far, far better than that shitfest). DC comics may have fucked him over, but perhaps he should take some solace in knowing that his vision was for the most part respected in this movie. I can appreciate that Moore is taking a principled stand here; I like people with principles.
Then again, Rorschach was also a principled man; look what happened to him. (By the way, after the movie was over, everybody kept telling me that Dr. Manhattan reminded them of me. Might have something to do with my habit of walking around naked in blue paint, but other than that I just don’t see it. I personally always identified more with Rorschach…) Point is, go see this movie – even if you’re not a comic book fan you’ll be floored. Just remember to take your shits and your pisses before walking in. You’ll be there for a while.