Watchmen: Walking on Razorblades.

Its been a really great year for comic movies, which means that the end is near.  Every time good movies start coming out in tandem, you can expect the good times to stop rolling and for heads to steady roll off and drop into trashcans.  However, there is a chance that comic movies will continue to do right by us, as long as we are very, very careful.  The upcoming Watchmen movie will either destory the happy times, or solidfy them.  After the break, I’ll explain exactly why this is, and why comic movies should never, ever be truly based off the source material.  Spoilers are very much ahead.

Watchmen, written by Alan Moore, is a great graphic novel.  It could be an amazing movie.  Or it could be really bad.  The story is about a world that has banned superheroes.  The few superheroes left find out about a plot by a mad man to stop all war and create world peace.  To do this, he kills millions of people and convinces the world that Aliens tried to invade.  That’s how the book ends.  It isn’t a happy ending, really.  It is very Alan Moore, and Alan Moore never translates well.  Alan Moore’s ideas and visions are always great.  But his endings have always been butchered.  The common movie-goer won’t like how he sees the world, or us.  Most of his graphic novels put the spotlight on the very people who watch these movies.  V for Vendetta was good, and delivered a message.  But the comic book was far more complex, far more interesting, far more lingering.  No movie based off Alan Moore’s work has yet to move his energy from comic to film.

That is what might ruin Watchmen.  If the movie stays very close to the comic, then the fans of the comic will hate the fact that it wasn’t close enough.  If the movie strays, the fans will hate it for straying.  And the people inbetween, the regular non-fanboys, won’t know the difference.  Most people haven’t read Watchmen.  So most people won’t care if the movie isn’t a direct translation.  Some of the Watchmen is a bit dated, too.  I have no desire to see a fat Nite-Owl fighting on screen. The Cold War is over, and this is a different world with different political implications.  And Alan Moore has a strange fascination with rape and female characters.  He does.  The female lead in V for Vendetta the movie was nothing like the comic.  In the comic, she was a hooker.  Seriously.

Movies aren’t comics. And they shouldn’t worry about it.  Comic fans will go and see Watchmen and they will hate it.  They will hate it because someone dared to make the movie, and dared to put pretty people in the roles.  But if the average movie goer likes Watchmen, especially with the shocking ending, then we all win a few more years of comic book goodness.


2 thoughts on “Watchmen: Walking on Razorblades.

  1. So what your saying is you would prefer a damaged version of watchmen to one that was spot on. I’ve read the comic and I would much prefer an out of shape Nite-Owl to an in shape Nite-Owl because it would probably make the most sense for his character. The character has feelings of inadequacies because of his being out of shape and these feelings cause him to second guess himself and his worth with the silk spectre. I suppose a nite-owl that was just a copy of batman would be acceptable if not down right boring but there is also Rorschach to consider and how much he is similar to batman himself. Now you have two characters who will pretty much be the same in most regards. Lame.

  2. Dollars to donuts, the ending will be different. Oh, it’ll still be a sfx spectacle, but it’ll be different. This is such a peculiar film project. I always considered the notion of Watchmen being a premium cable miniseries to be utterly ridiculous. Who would watch it? The comic fanboys can’t afford cable…they’re going broke on their sub boxes.

    I’ve completely moved past this “movie similar to comic” notion. From a business standpoint, it doesn’t make sense. I love that del Toro made the most un-Hellboy Hellboy movie. The Dark Knight is rather far from a Hollywood-scaffolded comic film. I hope that Watchmen strays. The indellible images will remain, as will the dialogue.

    I think it’ll be a servicable enough film. Snyder is a stylist, not a great storyteller. He’s proved that thus far. I’m just hoping for some substance. Honestly, I think the Dark Knight has ruined comic movies for me. I need a break from them.

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