So, having heard about Watchmen for several years, I was extremely curious when I heard it would be made into a movie, with the director of "300," Zack Snyder, at the helm. It was interesting because many uphold Watchmen as the high-water mark for comics; a book that transcended the bounds of comics and elevated them to an art. It's an argument I'd heard on and off for a long time. Yet, I didn't read it.
Then, I saw the trailer for the movie based on the comic. I don't know whether it was the Smashing Pumpkins song used or what, but it looked absolutely spectacular, epic. After that first trailer debuted over the summer, I was sold. Sold enough, in fact, to buy the collected edition of the Watchmen.
Indeed, the comic tells a deep, complicated story about the psychological consequences of being a "superhero." It's a dark tale full of violence, psychosis, sensuality, betrayal, sacrifice, and mystery. It's full of flashbacks and even includes a "story within a story" called Tales of the Black Freighter. It was a good, solid read. I understood what the fuss was all about. I think the comic lived up to the hype, which is something that doesn't happen very often.
Famously, Warner Bros. and Fox have fought over the rights to it. They finally settled the whole deal, but Watchmen sat in development hell for years at Fox. In fact, Terry Gilliam was once signed to helm a Watchmen movie, but quit...saying the movie would be impossible to film. I can see why he said that. The tale is so well interwoven, it would be difficult to cut it down. I'd say it's an achievement that Snyder has managed to keep the running time under three hours.
Anyway, I really liked the comic, er, graphic novel. Some very interesting characters populate this universe, and I thought it was worth it to take a look at how the movie costumes stack up against their comic book roots.
Of course, "Watchmen" opens March 6.