However, if I hadn't gone in knowing what I know, it probably would be hard for me not to pass judgement on those manic fans of the graphic novel. I probably would have thought they were all a bunch of idiots who wasted their time grumbling about anarchy. An image is conjured in my mind of the Comic Book Guy. I bet this image is conjured up by many.
So here's the thing: The Watchman movie is a superficial version of The Watchman graphic novel. I'm pretty sure it was designed to have as many recreated scenes from the original graphic novel as possible, at the cost of the plot line. That's the good/bad thing about movies based on graphic novels. On one hand it's all "cool! it's just like reading the graphic novel but LIVE" and on the other hand it's "Oh....I could have just stayed home and read the graphic novel...great..." I hope you can see what I'm getting at. To satisfy the fanboys and girls, they alienate the audience who is coming in for the first time. If it's just superficial stuff then they aren't going to feel very welcomed, and that kind of blows.
Do you want to know what happens when someone who has heard their friends go on and on about how much they love the graphic novel and then go see the movie? You get the response from my sister-in-law:
"Watchmen: THIS was the shit you pol were all swoony over in high school? Was there really nothing else to balm your alienated souls? Who ARE you people? My broody, emo ex-boyfriend? Seriously. I want my last three hours back. And some mental floss."
This is kind of sad. I enjoyed the graphic novel, and I enjoyed the movie. I thought Dr. Manhattan was horrible, though, and should be renamed Dr. Emo Pants or Dr Dangly Dick (also: insert jokes about blue balls). It's sad that a movie can alienate somebody like that and drive them to judge their friends who did enjoy the graphic novel. It's not my sister-in-law's fault that she didn't enjoy the movie, it's the movie's fault for only playing for the glossy scenes and not for the actual substance of the story. The characters were pretty superficial, the plot was contrived and patchy, and you didn't really feel any sympathy for anybody at all.
What bothers me, though, is that people are going to simply think that's what the graphic novel is about. It appears that my sister-in-law already has done that. The movie was SO BAD to her that she's simply going to take it that her friends enjoy reading crap and the book they loved so much is crap and because of them she's wasted three crappy hours. She is going to judge her friends because of this movie. But who knows, maybe she has some really annoying Watchmen friends who just wouldn't SHUT THE FUCK UP about this so yeah, that anger might be justified.
Might. But not quite.
But hey, I enjoyed the movie. It's not the graphic novel, which is sad - I think they could have made a very good movie if they had focused on the story. Now, however, we'll get probably a month or more of Geeks yelling at Geeks.
"You made me go to that stupid movie!"
"It's not stupid! Read the novel!"
"I'm not going to read the novel because the movie is stupid!"
"You're stupid for liking that crap!"
"You're stupid for judging me!"
And on, and on, and on.
Ah well. So goes the internets.