4-Color to 35-Millimeter: Watchmen


Zack Snyder learns that taking a twelve-issue comics story that has a really dumb plot, but is densely characterized and has superb world-building, and turning it into a three-hour movie leaves you with the characterization and world-building compromised and exposes the dumbshit plot for all to see. The great superhero movie rewatch asks who watches the watchmen by rewatching Watchmen.

An excerpt:

Arguably the two best issues of the original comic book are the fourth and sixth. The former tells Manhattan’s entire story, in a rather non-linear manner akin to how Manhattan perceives time, the latter Rorschach’s. The movie tries its best to re-create these issues, but fails. Manhattan’s backstory grinds the movie to a halt, but doesn’t really do his story justice (and is a bit too linear, sadly).

And Rorschach’s story is completely botched. I always found one of the two or three most interesting characters in Watchmen to be Rorschach’s shrink, Dr. Malcolm Long. Watching him change as he gets to know Rorschach is one of the most compelling parts of the comic. But we don’t get that here—Long is reduced to a quick walk-on, and we only get the last part of Rorschach’s story, which is robbed of its buildup.

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