July 26, 2008

Will "Watchmen" succeed?

Anyone who has seen "The Dark Knight" probably caught the trailer for the "Watchmen." And if anyone has read the 12-part series (or the trade paperback which collects all twelve issues) knows "Watchmen" is one intricate plot. (Hell, the official site even says so: "A complex, multi-layered mystery adventure...") Given that, the question is -- how will "Watchmen" translate to the big screen?

Unfortunately, my opinion is "not too well." "Watchmen" is one of those stories that is tailor-made for comics ... and comics only. (It is, like Marvel's awesome "Kree-Skrull War", "an epic so grand, only the comics could bring it to you!") To do the story any justice, I think the film would have to be about three hours long -- that's about an hour too long for a casual movie-goer.

I won't go into the plot here (that would require a LOOONG post); I'll simply recommend reading the trade paperback (probably about $25 at a bookstore/comics shop), and at the very least the Wikipedia synopsis. When you're through, ponder if the yarn will translate to the silver screen. For me, I'm seeing another "Dune" debacle. But I hope I'm wrong.

The main characters of "Watchmen."

Posted by Hube at July 26, 2008 11:12 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Actually it will be probably worse than Dune. I think this is pretty unfilmable...But I'll go

Posted by: Mark at July 28, 2008 06:58 AM

When I commented below and predicted the failure of this movie, it was more on the basis of people saying "What the heck is this?" Given that this is Hollywood, and also given the complexity of the plot that you and other friends of mine have mentioned, I would expect that the plot will be heavily modified, almost to the point that fans of the series will say "What the hell was that, because it sure wasn't the Watchmen?" (I know virtually nothing of the series other than random tidbits picked up over the years.)

I know some Spiderman fans were upset at the first movie, for example, because in the movie Peter Parker was bit by a genetically modified spider, rather than a radioactive spider and he shot his own webs straight from his body, rather than developing a formula himself and mass-producing them somehow. (For the record, both changes make sense to me, a non-fan.) I would bet there will be a lot more howling of a similar nature from Watchmen fans over this movie given the need to fit the plot into a 2-1/2 hour (roughly) timeframe, plus the relative unfamiliarity of the general public with the overall characters and plot.

Just a hunch, but I would bet that fans will leave disappointed and non-fans won't be drawn to it.

Posted by: Paul Smith at July 28, 2008 09:28 AM