Watchmen (Book and Film) – Review


By Alan Moore Illustrated by Dave Gibbons

Genre: Graphic Novel

This is a book that I purchased as soon as I heard about the movie being made. I just didn’t have the time to get to it until now. Well it’s more because I forced myself to get it read before I saw the movie and I had to see it opening weekend, I actually saw it Saturday afternoon. Upon seeing the trailer I got really excited about the film and after reading several reviews I was expecting a wonderful read.

So, to start I read the novel. I will say that for the most part I found the book alright, I didn’t think it deserved the hype that it was getting. With that being said I had a few problems with the graphic novel. The biggest issue I had was the supplementary materials found at the end of each chapter. This made reading Watchmen very cumbersome and made reading the book rather difficult and jerky. I’m not really sure why this information was even there because I didn’t find that it contributed to the story.

The other aspect of the novel I found difficult was how it often shifted from one time to the next. I’m sure this may be the appeal to many people that read the book but I found it a little irritating. I think I would have enjoyed these “flashbacks” a little more if individual chapters would look at one time period as opposed to jumping from one time to the next.

I must say that I really did enjoy the images in the novel. And the colour pallet was good. The story line was alright but moved rather slowly. It didn’t take too long to read and despite the problems I’ve mentioned it’s worth checking out.

Now the movie had the same problems as the graphic novel. It just wasn’t smooth making it difficult to stay focused on what was happening on screen. It’s not a very long film but I felt like I’d been sitting there for over 3 hours. This is a novel that didn’t need a big screen adaptation. The trailer makes the movie look better than it actually was (as usually happens).

* * * SPOILER ALERT * * *

The biggest issue I had with the film was the change made to the ending. Rather than some kind of contrived alien creature used to prevent an inevitable nuclear war the film had it look like Dr. Manhattan did the damage. The only reason I can conceive for this change is so they can make a franchise and nothing makes me angrier with the film industry than taking something like this novel and making it into a franchise only to make more money. Don’t be surprised if you see a Watchmen II next summer, and if/when it does happen I will not be there.