I got the chance to see the new Watchmen film today, at a bloggers preview sorted out by those nice people at Paramount and PPC. It was a pretty exclusive gathering, the numbers restricted by the less than 24hours notice and the fact it was at 10.30am. I was lucky in having an understanding boss!
I’ve not read the book, so had no idea what to expect. I’ve seen enough graphic novel adaptations – and read the reviews – to know they rarely meet the fans expectations. The reviews for this one have been mixed as well, with people not sure what to make of it. I’m not sure what to make either, except I enjoyed the experience. Here’s a relatively spoiler free review, no plot points, just my impressions.
What I didn’t like
- It was long, it felt too long. There was whole sections in the middle, exposition and backstory, which I felt could have easily been removed from the film. They helped the story, but were not essential and I think they could have easily been removed and added to the DVD or put online for those who were interested.
- The excessive and graphic violence. I have generally no problem with films displaying violence/fighting, but this was too much for me. There were scenes when I had to close my eyes to avoid the squirting and breaking and crunching. It was not every scene (in fact, there were some absolutely superbly choreographed fight scenes) but enough to put me off a little
What I liked
- I liked the movie in general, the stories, the characters. It kept me involved for most of it (with the exception of the aforementioned slow scenes).
- I liked the complexity. It was not a straightforward ‘superhero’ movie, it made you think. It was a thriller, a murder-mystery, a scifi, lots of stuff in there. I’m still working through the ethical questions it invoked. There was another level of complexity that I’m sure will come clear once I read the novel and go through all the easter egg sites!
- I liked the film style. At the start they introduced a scene that slowed the action down to draw attention to particular viewpoints, which are obviously key panels from the novel but this technique reduced as the movie went on (which was a good thing from my POV). But throughout, the style was gorgeous
Would I recommend it? Yes. But you will have to go in with an open mind. It’s not a straightforward hero movie, it’s far more complex than that.
Would I see it again. Yes. However, I think I now want to see it post reading about it, so I can get a better idea of the world that surrounds.