Your Ad Here

Friday, March 06, 2009

Alienhits loves... Watchmen!

I've been a comic book fan almost my entire life and I love the new breed of "serious" comic book movies. The fact is, comics have always been taken seriously by me, from when I was a kid until now. Some of the best stories I've been exposed to have been through comics.
Though it's considered the holy grail of comic books, I was born too late to fully grip the brilliance of Watchmen. Read today, it still totally holds up and is unflinching in its weirdness, humanity (and lack of humanity), and willingness to distort familiar superhero archetypes. I can only imagine how innovative and exciting it must have been in the eighties when it was first published. As far as I know, it was the first time a comic really looked at what the world would be like if superheroes existed, offering up both a psychological and philosophical study. And it was all the darker for it.
While the movie version misses some of the nuance of the comic, it is an extremely faithful adaptation, transporting much of the characterization and mood to the big screen while ditching some of the more esoteric sideplots that made the original somewhat confusing to the casual reader. I don't know how it will go over with the general public, as it's not the type of "comic book movie" people are used to seeing. It's challenging and demands attention and patience, just as the comic did. I can't really think of any other film like it.
My only gripes are ones I had with the source material too. The plot can be sluggish, with so much time spent on flashbacks, character studies, and philosophizing that you tend to forget the stakes of the conflict. But it's not really about the conflict, or even plot, with this story, It's about the experience, the individual scenes, and the sheer cleverness and realism of it all.
Personally, I'm just happy to see that Hollywood did a legend of a comic like Watchmen justice without totally pandering to the masses. It gives me hope for the two adaptations I'm aching to see--both by my favorite author Brian Vaughn. Y: The Last Man and Runaways are both planned for release in the next few years, and I couldn't be happier. Comics are no longer for nerds only. They can be important and cool and can even have something to say about the human experience. I believe we call that "art."


Post a Comment

<< Home