So they’re making a Watchmen movie. I know, old news. And there is a new trailer floating around the internet, well it’s like a week or so old so I guess it isn’t really new. Again, old news. So why am I writing about this?
Well, let’s just say I am excited about the thing. And scared. Oh so scared. I’ve seen the trailer, and it looks good. I was worried about Zach Snyder helming the thing–he’s the guy that brought 300 to the screen and man that movie blew; it was just a two hour music video with people shouting and a heavy metal soundtrack. It too was based on a comic, so needless to say my faith in Snyder’s ability to adapt source material to screen was not very strong.
Based on the trailer it looks as if he is going to be much truer to the Watchmen than he was to 300, and that is a good thing. The graphic novel on which the thing is based is one of my all time favorite comics, and it is filled with great characters, scenarios, and intracacies that could easily be lost on the big screen. The book is massive in scope, size, complexity, and social commentary. It is a beast of a comic, and if it wasn’t a comic it would be so well known that nobody would have to ask what is Watchmen because they would already know. This is the kind of story that should be mandated reading for high school/college students.
Anyway, while it looks like Snyder has been faithful to the book (as faithful as he can because the Watchmen has so much going on that it will be impossible for him to include everything) I am still worried about the movie. The world of the comic is dark and gritty, and grimy. In a word it is FLITHY. As you read it, even on the slick paper it is now printed upon, you feel dirty and gross from the atomosphere of the book. The colors are not bright, even the bright ones, and everything has a sense of decay or at least corrosion.
The trailer, however, is very slick and sleek. This is to be expected, I suppose, because everything is sleek and slick in Hollywood nowadays, especially where comic book movies are concerned. The Dark Knight may be an exception to that, but if so it is the only one (and even the point that it was not sleek could be argued–except for how the Joker looked, cause he was a gross and dingy character). The world of the Watchmen is not sleek or glitzy. It dwells in the back alley’s, in apartments where mother’s are prostitutes and abuse their children. This is a world where people get raped, have their faces melted with hot grease, and broken coke bottles forced into their faces. The world of the Watchmen is a violent, dark, disturbing, and gross one. There is nothing clean or slick about it.
If the movie is going to be as polished as the trailer makes it look, then I think I will be disappointed. The atmosphere has to match the action, and even if all those horrible things happen on screen, they will lose their impact and their importance, and make the whole thing feel passionless.
Watchmen should not be a special effects extravaganza. Sure, it has some moments that lend themselves to WOW inspiring visuals, but for the most part it is a realistic comic. And I mean that in the terms of there are not men flying around wearing capes, or exhibiting any other kind of power. In fact, the big blue guy (Dr. Manhattan) is really the only one who exhibits any kinds of super power at all.
I will watch this movie when it comes out, and I hope to like it. I want to like it. I love this story so much that I want the film to be successful. I am sure it will be in terms of making money, but I want more than that. I want it to resonate in the same way the comic does, and on that count I am not so sure.
Plus, I want them to keep the original ending, but I know they won’t. It’s probably too preposterous for mainstream audiences, but it’s perfect, and I will be pissed when I see that it has something to do with nuclear weapons or some other nonsense instead of the ending it needs and deserves (the one in the book).
That’s it. Rant over.