Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I caught Watchmen this past weekend and was rather intrigued by it. I had read the graphic novel over this past summer as part of a research project I was doing on the influence of the Book of Revelation on comic books (the article from that should be published in a book on apocalyptic and comics sometime next year). What intrigued me about Watchmen was the same thing that many critics have taken it to task over: the faithfulness of the adaptation. Watchmen is easily the most faithful adaptation I have seen of any novel, graphic or otherwise. With the exception of a slight tweaking of the ending, the film is virtually a shot for shot remake of the graphic novel. For me, this actually worked in the film's favor. I am one of the apparently few individuals who was underwhelmed by the artwork of the graphic novel. On screen, however, the visual imagery comes to life in a way that adds an extra punch to the experience. Unlike typical novels, graphic novels lend themselves well to this kind of rigidly faithful adaptation because the graphic novel is already a visual story and so the jump from there to film is much shorter than it is when having to translate words alone into images. 

The other highlight of the film was Rorshach. Jackie Earle Haley does a great job of making you root for and loathe his character at the same time.


At 10:27 PM, Anonymous Mark said...

I too enjoyed Watchmen very much though my fellow movie-goers were slightly horrified by all the violence and general darkness of the film. I hadn't read the graphic novel so I came into the movie without many expectations. What I found most intriguing about Watchmen was Dr. Manhattan. I have always been a fan of demi-god type characters in the comics (The Beyonder, Galactus, Darkseid, etc.) and was impressed with the way in which they developed Manhattan's character throughout the movie. Definitely a great example of a modern apocalyptic text, I'll be interested to read your article.


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