Obligatory Watchmen Post (No Spoilers)

2009 Mar 13

It was way better than I was expecting, after hearing my brother’s lukewarm comments. Definitely worth seeing, despite some of my bone-picking below.

The fight scenes were exceptionally mediocre, with the exception of the jail fight which was beautifully choreographed, reminiscent of the pre-decapitation fight in 300. I’m not sure what the hell the choreographers were trying to express in any of the scenes, though, even the jail fight, which is generally a sign of poor fight choreography or a director who doesn’t know how to work with a fight choreographer. When there’s no purpose or narrative to a fight, it’s just a meaningless fight, even if it’s beautifully choreographed. They would have been better off following Gibson’s illustrations more, because I can’t imagine Alan and Dave wasted a single panel on something meaningless (plus it would have been cheaper, probably, and wouldn’t require FX). Plus, Leigh was right that the gruesome violence of the early fights kept Rorschach from standing out as the sole murderer among the heroes.

The new ending worked for me. What didn’t was Dr. Manhattan’s reaction to it. It just didn’t fit with the characterization we’d seen previously from him. I also felt the ending was really drawn out, as if it should have come to a head faster and then wrapped up faster, leaving the audience a bit confused and shocked by the pace of everything. But instead there was this pause and a lot of explanation. The whole film seemed slow at times, but the slowness of the climax was especially odd.

Rorschach was perfect. I can’t imagine him being any better. It was worth it just for him and Daniel.

They only say the superheroes’ names once or twice. I found that I’d forgotten many of them by the end (such as Ozymandias and Nite Owl). Interesting.

The director didn’t seem to know what to do with the female characters but, to be fair, neither did Moore (at least, at the time) or superhero comics in general.

I find myself wishing there was a happy medium between this cut — which leaves out a lot — and the drooling fanboy cut that includes everything. Oh well.

2 Responses to “Obligatory Watchmen Post (No Spoilers)”

  1. Leigh Walton Says:

    300 is actually divisible into separate fights?

  2. Only with some difficulty. Y’know there’s the “fight in the shade” sequence and the “falling off a cliff” sequence and the “immortals” sequence and the “let’s kill a charging rhino” sequence. The way they telegraphed the movements of Laurie and Dan in the prison just reminded me of the two nameless Spartans (the son of what’s-his-name and his buddy) doing their side-by-side butchery of Persians before the son gets beheaded.

    P.S. Why the fuck did they cut “The light is taking me to pieces”?

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