The Ugly One and I went to see ‘Watchmen’ this evening, which wasn’t at all what I was expecting. At three hours, it’s a bit of a lengthy experience, and a decent enough movie although I have to confess I fell asleep half way through and missed about ten minutes of the narrative.
I can’t say it was a successful production. The camerawork was excellent, as was the use of music. The director chose to use popular music tracks slotted in throughout the movie, and I was a bit surprised to realise that I have all the albums from which the tracks were taken (with the exception of ‘Unforgettable’, which was used to great effect juxtaposed against a scene of excessive violence at the outset).
What it lacked was coherence in the internal logic of the film. I have not read the graphic novel on which this was based, but can see it working in that format. Transferred to reality, the viewer begins to wonder at the mixture of ordinary humans dressed as superheroes, and those who do have extra-human qualities. What, for instance, is the nature of Rorschach’s mask? Wikipedia tells me that the mask is made from a material made by Dr Manhattan, but this is not made clear in the film (unless it happened when I was asleep).
The ‘human’ superheroes are superstrong and superfast, with no explanation as to how this came about.
One can see this working as a miniseries directed by someone like David Lynch, who is well-used to incorporating surreal incongruities into his productions, but as a singular movie it tries to cover far too much ground with little room left to develop the individual characters.