Monday, March 09, 2009

Watchmen. In short? It's very much a Zach Snyder movie, despite what I'd heard beforehand. It's got interludes of brilliance, and is interesting even in its failures. I especially liked how they shifted Veidt's trendy lefty do-gooder conceits from the slightly artificial nuclear freeze one-worldism of Moore's now-archaic script to a contemporary 'watermelon' environmental extremism which expresses itself in what looked like the deliberate assassination of Lee Iaccoca. (This new trendy leftism will look as archaic and foolish in twenty years as Moore's original script does now, mark my words.) They even papered over the cartoonish bigotry of the New Frontiersman editor in the coda, who was gassing on about minorities in the comic book & was whinging about 'hippie communes' in the filmed version.

But I didn't much like the ending, which inverted the purpose of the big evil plot, and tore out the heart of the ending. The *point* of the comic book's resolution was a renunciation of superheroism in favor of Veidt's one-world progressive futurism. The filmed ending was a reversion to type, with the definite suggestion that the New Soviet Couple are cheerfully polishing new toys & new latex duds in the basement, getting ready to go out every night 'at 3 AM to do something stupid'. While I don't particularly *like* Moore's politics and ideas, it was his story.

The movie was too long for a theatre experience, and too short to invest the audience in the climactic disaster, which was reduced to a CGI annihilation of streetside ciphers, most of which they hadn't had time to introduce to us in an already-overstuffed narrative.

I liked 300 better.

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