It's 3:30am and I just returned from watching Watchmen at a midnight showing in Red Bluff, CA. Going into the film I was plagued with several emotions. Critics really didn't care for the film, though Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars. Regardless, I had been excited for his film since I saw the first preview for it when The Dark Knight came out. After viewing it I find that I really want to see it again. It's 2hours and 43minutes long, so it's hard to remember it all. I find that I'm feeling the similar emotions as when I saw V for Vendetta (ironically, based on a graphic novel by the same writer/illustrator team as Watchmen). I liked it, though my original idea of what I thought it would look like is completely off.
I'm not going to give a long review as I will be writing one for the newspaper I submit articles to, so if you want to know my full thoughts just go to their website and download the PDF (or you could just ask me in real life). I will say that it was great to watch the movie after reading the graphic novel is based on. The director took greats pains to make this film the perfect adaptation, and it is...perhaps to a fault (more on that in the review). Still, I loved the graphic novel. It wasn't a superhero story about good and evil punching each other in the streets. It was a mystery story that ends in a very unexpected way. This isn't the left and right scenario most superheroes face. This is that gray area most superheroes don't seem to find themselves in. That's why Watchmen is such an important piece of superhero literature and an important piece of literature in general. TIME magazine has this one in their top 100 American literary works written since 1920. Imagine that, a major magazine has Watchmen on the same list as The Great Gatsby, Lolita, and A Clockwork Orange. Makes sense, it is that good.
I won't give anything away, but I will say the film is completely worth the price of admission for those who want to see a superhero film expand the genre's scope. It's not as good as The Dark Knight but it's an enjoyable film. Actually though, I really wanted to write this post because the film got me thinking about my top 5 favourite superheroes again and I wanted to update my list with a little more detail.
5. Gambit: there's something about a southern dude who turns playing cards into kinetic energy and throws them at his enemies; also, his uncertain loyalties make him very interesting.
4. Green Lantern: a regular dude given the power of the gods in the form of a ring; it's like Lord of the Rings stuff but with more green and aliens.
3. Wolverine: I can't help it, he's just great; Hugh Jackman brought him to life and the different versions of him in the comics are cool; he's the ultimate assassin in the Ultimate X-Men and the Weapon X storyline is so intriguing.
2. Rorschach: You'll see him in Watchmen; the uncompromising anti-hero with a strict code of honor; he's methodical, crazy, and, in the film, the inkblots on his mask continually change--so cool.
1. Captain America: I know, why would I love a character that was created to motivate soldiers in WWII; yet there's something intriguing about him; a classic hero trying to survive in contemporary America; and he leads the rebellion against the government when it decides to force all superheroes to register; interesting how he reflects this country--especially when he's assassinated and his sidekick Bucky, who was once brainwashed into a super soldier for Russia and now uses excessive force when he pleases, becomes Cap.