After worries of legal battles and murmurings of delayed release dates Watchmen finally arrived on the 6th March but I will confess that up until one year I ago I had never heard of the Watchmen. It wasn’t until I discovered that Jeffrey Dean Morgan was cast as The Comedian it caught my attention and forced me to read the graphic novel.
I had never read a graphic novel before the Watchmen and thought I would struggle through it but I read it in a matter of days. I couldn’t put it down. The initial excitement for JDM turned into genuine excitement for the movie itself and I was not disappointed.
I absolutely loved everything about it. The characters were exactly how I imagined them to be. Jackie Earle Haley was superb as Rorschach, my favourite character in the novel. His story was the one I enjoyed reading about most and it transferred so well onto the big screen. If it had of been a Rorschach movie I would have been happy. The prison scene and Rorschach’s back-story were my favourite parts of the book and also the best parts of the film One teeny tiny grumble (I feel that I should had at least one complaint) is that the first time I heard his narration I thought it was Christian Bale’s Batman talking. The gravely voice sounded so similar but within one scene that was quickly forgotten about.
The other characters were also very well played. Night Owl(2) (Patrick Wilson) and The Silk Spectre(2) (Malin Akerman) played well together on the big screen. I wasn’t a big fan of Laurie’s when reading the novel but I warmed to her in the movie version although the same cannot be said for Dr Manhattan. I totally understand the point of his character, I can see how he began to lose touch with humanity and I appreciate the irony of the only “super” hero not wanting to get involved but there is something about the character that I just don’t like. I really detested the conversation he and Laurie had on Mars in the novel and I disliked it just as much in the movie. The fact that he was constantly telling her “you will go to Dan” or “you will cry at the end of this conversation” really just angered me. He is just one of those characters that you come across at times that you just cannot warm to.
There has been criticism of Matthew Goode being cast as Ozymandias, but once I just accepted that he wasn’t that great at an American accent he was fine. As a Supernatural fan, of course seeing JDM play The Comedian was a major part of going to see the movie. He was awesome. The Comedian is a complete and utter unapologetic bastard but by the end of the movie you cant help but like him. The rape and the Vietnam scenes were uncomfortable to read about and just as uncomfortable to watch. You know you have got a major badass on screen when someone can fire a few rounds from a shotgun and not blink - JDM did just that in the riot scene on the streets of New York and I was very impressed.
The action was also very good. Perhaps there wasn’t as much action as some people were expecting but when it arrived it came with a bang - and it was very graphic in parts, especially one scene with a chainsaw that even Leatherface would have flinched at.
The ending differed slightly from the book but I thought the movie ending was actually better and easier to understand but other than that it was faithful to the original text. Although it was left completely out of the movie Tales of the Black Freighter has been filmed and will be on the dvd and I am satisfied with that as it was almost as engaging as the main plot.
I would give the movie 10/10. I had been waiting for the movie for months and when it arrived it did not disappoint on any level - even the soundtrack was awesome. I would recommend it to anyone but I would also suggest that you read the novel too.