You're Locked In Here With Me!

I arrived at Cinema 5 of Gateway Cineplex last March 5, 2009 knowing very little about Watchmen except for the hype about the comic series being one of Time Magazine's 100 best English-language novels of the century. I was prepared to be amazed, to have my socks blown off. After 2.5 hours, I find myself leaving the cinema shaking my head and half-entertained.

On an adaptation standpoint, the movie is faithful. In fact, too faithful to a fault. One can never go wrong making an adaptation from a comic series since the story is pretty much laid out. However, if you haven't read it, you might find the flow a bit disjointed. It ultimately resolved itself in the end but it could leave you feeling a bit stretched. For some reason, it had the same storytelling vibe as Lost for me.

The cinematography and visual effects lived up to my expectations but it offered nothing new to the senses. I found myself suppressing a giggle when a few 80's music, such as Nena's 99 Luftballons and Tears For Fears' Everybody Wants To Rule The World, were used as part of the sound mix even though they were appropriate for the movie's theme. The movie didn't fall short of its action, gore, violence and sexual parts -- where the latter often involved Malin Akerman -- although there was one violent scene in Rorschach's back story that was obviously censored or tempered to a certain extent. Among the actors, Matthew Goode (Adrian Veidt / Ozymandias) and Jackie Earle Haley (Walter Kovacs / Rorschach) stood out for me. Perhaps my favorite moment in the entire film was when Rorschach's uttered these words with such compelling fierceness and anger: "I'm not locked in here with you! You're locked in here with ME!"

That line, while I enjoyed it in context, somewhat seemed to me as a metaphor for Alan Moore versus every conceivable movie or TV show that would now appear to have borrowed some themes from it. This leaves me wondering why they waited this long to adapt this critically-acclaimed series when the technology and the creativity needed for it has been present in movies shown over the last five years.

As I ponder on that question, the movie did one good thing -- I bought the comics and I'm currently in the middle of reading it. While I earlier thought of giving the movie another go, reading Chapter 1 made me decide otherwise yet understood the adoration for it even after a few pages. I'm quite certain that fans of this series will be satisfied that Zac Synder and company delivered a pretty faithful adaptation. However, for me, it was one that was released a little too late.

My Rating: 3.5 out 5 smileys

Watchmen is now showing in Philippine cinemas. Thanks to New Worlds Alliance and to Solar-UIP for the Press Screening invitation! =)


    buti ka pa napanood mo na. i've read the graphic novel and i like it. as for the movie, i haven't seen it yet. i'm also not expecting too much since it's an adaptation. but based on some reviews i've read, it's not super disappointing like LXG and V for Vendetta. :)


    @angel: Ola! Musta na? I'm still in the middle of reading the graphic novel but from what I've read so far, I really appreciate it. It's really good. Honestly, you won't be disappointed if you're a fan. But since I didn't read the novel before watching, the movie elicited far too many pop-culture references in me: I was thinking about Lost and Heroes during some points of the movie. The visual effects -- while stunning -- is not something I haven't seen before. My rating would've been at least a 4 if this was shown perhaps around two years ago. Again, that's just my opinion. However, I'd strongly recommend hitting the cinemas for this especial in Digital format. =)


    i had meant to watch Watchmen over the weekend. however, the reviews i read and the feedback of a couple from my family members made me decide not to. So this might not be a valid comment. however, i'd like to point out that adapting any material to a movie must keep in mind that while keeping faithful to the original source is always a must, adjusting to the nature of the new medium is also important. otherwise, the attempt can really be considered a failure by most. but that's me.


    @Dementia On The Road: Thanks for sharing your thoughts! It got me curious though. What types of feedback did you get that made you decide not to watch the movie altogether? =)


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