Sunday, March 08, 2009

Bark: Watching the Watchmen

I saw the Watchmen film yesterday with my old chum Neal, and I have to say, it was a whole lot better than I thought it was going to be.

Of course, they trimmed out a couple of entire sub-plots (including the Tales of the Black Freighter comic-within-a-comic), changed a couple of scenes (most notably Rorschach's story to the psychiatrist about the abducted girl who'd been fed to dogs - presumably PETA wouldn't have liked Rorschach taking a meat cleaver to a couple of dogs on screen) and radically altered the ending from the original's mock alien invasion to something else which I won't spoil here. The fight scenes are also extended and they changed a few details here and there, basically to make the story more filmable.

At something over two and a half hours long, it's still a bit on the long side (or at least my ass and lower back were beginning to think so in the cinema seats), but I was impressed with the pacing and the fact that the film is still pretty dialogue and character heavy (and most of the dialogue is lifted directly from the comic). Though if it's a little talkier than most action films, the special effects are still absolutely terrific, and the production design is absolutely spot on compared to the original comic.

There's only one really toe-curling scene - where Dan and Laurie are having sex in the Nite Owl's ship. Not so much for the sex itself, but the music: I can't abide Hallelujah at the best of times, but Leonard Cohen in a sex scene... just NO-NO-NO-NO-NO. I don't know what they were thinking.

Other than that low point, however, I think it's definitely worth seeing. I'm not sure it'll make it into my DVD collection, but it's not such a bad way of spending a few hours.
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