Watchmen is unfilmable. The movie is a slight on Alan Moore's genius that someone even thought his elaborate tale could be told in the capitalist-run, cut-throat, shallow world of Hollywood film.

Don't watch it, you'd be endorsing sweatshops and slavery.

...Now that the fanboys are happy, we can talk about the movie.

Snyder's previous comic-book conversion, 300, was brainless eye- candy, which some (mostly Iranians) even found offensive, reports the BBC.

This time, given the depth and scope of the source material, the result is brainier.

But the director still retains his desire to mess around with the audience, which is most obvious in the film's sex scene, which ties with 300 for one of the worst sex scenes ever filmed.

A slow-moving plot

The rest of the movie is more pondered, maybe overly so.

Watchmen the comic was elaborate and complex, the plot labyrinthine, and the medium suited it - one could read at his own pace.

The film is relentless, especially in its use of flashbacks and memories, and Snyder does not have the skill to fit them quite so seamlessly in the main narrative.

The result is sometimes mind-boggling, simply presenting the viewer with too much information to handle in the space of the movie. We need time to digest it all.

It was never going to be an easy endeavour, and it is better that the movie went this way, rather than over-simplifying.

That is not to say that the plot is too complex – compared to the graphic novel, its like a Postman Pat episode, but at least they didn’t dumb it down to "Good guys win over lovable bad guys with moral code in grey area".

Imagery and violence

The movie does offer a wealth of imagery.

Snyder clearly loves his fight scenes, and while they are still as unbelievable as 300's, they are a glory to watch.

Rorschach supplies some glorious moments of violence and gore, which will make some people look away, but which really do fit the character and the mood of the comic.

Furthermore, in line with the novel but not to the same extent, is the number of pop-culture references the movie makes - there are a lot to look out for.


A launchpad for the cast

The cast, aside from Malin Akerman, does a great job of portraying the characters.

Akerman's Silk Spectre is the only vacuous face in the movie, and while the comedian could have been more hard-nosed, his diminished screen time annuls the problem.

Rorschach is portrayed brilliantly, Ozymandias' subtly, but one can see how this movie will be a launching pad for many involved in it.

Jeffrey Dean Morgan looks like an oversized Robert Downey Jr., and the supporting cast does a brilliant job of fleshing out the story.

Naturally, some things have been changed, but then, this is a huge change of medium, and to try and keep things exact would have been foolish.

The ending has been changed slightly, and theimpressionist prefers the original one, so we suggest you go read the novel as well.

Ultimately, it's not the novel, and nothing ever will be. Get over it and watch a bloody good movie.

Photo by Alberto Furlan
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Review: Watchmen

By: Alberto Furlan