The Motion Sick: My rant on Watchmen

Just so I can say I told you so…

I just watched the new trailer for Watchmen –

Watchmen is, in my opinion, the best comic book ever written.  It is an amazing story with interesting depth and complexity layered onto a genre built on simplicity.  It’s a self-conscious commentary shattering the pristine images of the heroes themselves.  It’s an experiment in which classic archetypal good-doers are thrown into a paranoia-filled, blurred, disturbing world.  Each struggles to demarcate right and wrong.  In the end, the reader struggles to make the same distinctions.  As it is set during the end of the Cold War and that is the basis for the movement of the plot, it also makes me relive the fears that filled my 6th grade self.  

The movie adaptation is coming out.  I’ve seen a couple of trailers now.  I can pretty much say that I think that every single stylization and visualization completely conflicts with what I see as the mood and tone of the story.  I am pretty sure that I am going to be furious at how stupid this movie is.  It’s directed by my good buddy Zack Snyder, who directed _300_, another festering pile of garbage (not that the original comic was very good anyway).   

You might wonder why this sort of thing upsets me.  You might say that I have no right to be upset by it.  When something dear to you is exploited in a way that dilutes the intensity and impact of the world it had created, it is a great betrayal.  It really does “ruin” the graphic novel to know its association with an annoying Hollywoodized piece of crap in which they take nuanced, realistic characters and turn them into music-video cowboys.  

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe the trailers grossly misrepresent the movie, maybe it will be great, but I’m pretty sure it won’t.  Anyway, carry on.  Do yourselves a favor and read the graphic novel…and skip the movie.


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