Has there ever been a time where someone tried to replicate a perfect day or experience for you? Maybe its taking you back to a restaurant where you had a great meal or a holiday spot where you fell in love or just had the best time with your friends. Then someone takes you back and tries to do the impossible and replicate the magic. You end up feeling bad about yourself because you appreciate the effort but also resent them for trying to do something so blindingly obviously un-doable. That pretty much sums up how I felt walking out of the cinema yesterday having just taken in Zak Snyder’s “Watchmen”.
It’s a very solid effort with some excellent moments – the jail sequence and Dr Manhattan’s origin being particular high points. But it plods for long periods and the soundtrack is sometimes extremely jarring. I also wonder how people who do not know and love the comic will relate to these characters and even get what’s going on half the time. Characters are implied rather than introduced and plot elements simply happen without any sense of pace or crescendo.
It may well be that there will eventually come a director's cut of this that hangs together a little better – certainly how anyone could hope to perform the alchemy of squeezing 400 pages of densely plotted and drawn graphic fiction into a 2 hours plus movie is beyond me – and I’m sure there will be myriad DVD extended versions of this to tantalise us further.
In the end though I have to say I can’t see how anyone could have done any better with the task in hand. But when the task is effectively turning apples into oranges, what was the point of trying in the first place? Just read the comic for fucks sake.