[An excellent guest-post here from one of our number. All are welcome to submit any comics-related posts for wider publication.]
Hello everyone: I’m Bevan, the tall pale guy with the black laptop that’s been bogging the class down with all those comments about Sandman, From Hell, and to a lesser extent the other books. Anyway, I was talking with Dr. Ogden about the Watchmen movie and expressed some comments about it that he suggested be posted on the blog. So here there are, and be warned that there are some spoilers:
Unlike many people, I don’t think the movie was a good movie. The opening credits showing the effects of superheroes throughout different parts of history (Comedian assassinating JFK, Andy Warhol painting the heroes, etc.) was brilliant, but most of the rest of it didn’t work so well. There are various reasons, but two main ones:
The first was that I felt the movie lacked “energy.” I just couldn’t get involved in what was going-on. I wasn’t carried away by the story. It’s hard, if not impossible, to give reasons for this sort of thing. Something either has it or it doesn’t, and Watchmen didn’t.
The other is easier to explain. The movie took some of the more problematic or disturbing elements of the comic and cranked them-up to make them objectionable. For example, the murder of the Comedian and the sexual assault on Silk Spectre takes up relatively later paper time in the comic, but are very long in the movie, dwelling on very raw, disturbing, and ultimately uninteresting violence. Dr. Manhattan busts up a vice club by blowing-up many of its members, which is implied in the book (something that always bothered me), but is graphically shown in the movie. Nite Owl apologies to Rorschach for yelling at him, saying that he’s Rorschach’s friend (despite all the things the man’s done), which is exaggerated in the movie.
But most objectionable of all is the fight with the gang. In the book, Nite Owl and Silk Spectre are attacked by a street gang, and after that they defeat the gang, they become seriously turned-on (one of the themes of the book is the erotic overtones of being a superhero). Now, in the movie this fight happens, but the two very clearly KILL many members of the gang. People getting aroused by being in a fight is one thing, people getting aroused by just killing a group of people is something else.
Now obviously most of this stuff is already in the book, but I found that the movie cranked it up enough so that it changed from something artistically sound, to something that left a bad taste in my mouth.
Anyway, that’s my two cents.