I present to you without further ado, the first blockbuster review of 2009, Watchmen!
To note, i was not a hardcore comicbook follower of Watchmen, but to gain some background knowledge of what i was about to expect, i did read up the comics on the weeks before the movie, hyping up and to grasp the main essense of the story so as to give a fair review of the movie.
I believe there will be two stands in this review for most people, the movie purists and the comic book purists. You either love it, or hate it. I won't go into the details of the movie because much of the storyboards from the comics are pretty much translated visually into the movie. And the introduction of the movie ( which was pretty long ) kinda summed up much of the prelude, though i must add that nifty as it was for long term fanboys or those familiar with the comic books, it was just visual candy till it was explained slowly to the audience later.
Much of the movies' narration is done by Jackie Earle Haley, who plays Rorschach, in a form of a diary. Whilst his narration and portrayal of Rorschach is good, the narration off the diary to explain the story can somewhat feel odd at times, like random thoughts of a violent vigilante, twisted in his logic by his moral absolutism. While some may find his actions to be the justifiable and ''right'' thing to do, his character actually is the platform for sympathy, despite being the one who stands for right and charging on obivious to certain doom.. '' no even in the face of armageddon. Never Compromise'' He is also by far the only character who gets more character exploration and understanding.
And while this movie may be visually appealing, and despite sticking faithfully to its comic book version, much of the story and backgrounds for other characters were not explored and represented fully, nightowl II, ozymandius etc. whilst the film is peppered with little snippets to explain sufficently to easy movie goes, it fails to deliver for the die hard comic book purists. Hence the ton of dissapointed reviews. Though much of it is made up by its raw graphic violence and action.
Movie purists who want true-to-original movies would love this film, considering it does tell the story faithfully, while comic book purist who expect much more from backstory would be greatly dissapointed.
My rating of it is 4.5/5 stars as i felt it was one of the only few comic book movies that stuck true with its original materials despite lacking aforementioned background stories and proper narration. Sure beats majority of other movies that have been readapted and changed. I believe the major flaw of the movie isn't in the movie, but in the fact that they tried so hard to replicate and stay faithful to the movie in representation, so much so that when certain parts which did not make it on-screen, are heavily and critically panned by fans who expected it deliver much more. But i must say that being a 2 hour film, to explain a 12 series graphic novel, this film sure did its best in bringing out watchmen.