Last night I saw Watchmen in Queens. I’m really not sure what quite happened in my theater, but there were mass walkouts. It didn’t happen all at once. People quit the film at four distinct parts. It was kind of bizarre how the crowd turned on the movie. I’ll give you the play by play because it was so fascinating to me.
Everyone got in their seats – anticipation was high – squeals of excitement – the movie starts – silence – everyone is holding their communal breath – then someone yells “this fucking sucks” – a chorus of grunts and shutup – 15 minutes later it happens again, but this time the shutups are more like harumphs – Twenty or so people walk out – Wash – Rinse – Repeat 3 more times. It was really strange how vocal the anger was. Has this happened to anyone else?
In a way I don’t even think it was the movie’s fault. I think the audience felt slighted more than they hated the movie. A few times I heard whispers, ‘This is nothing like the preview” and then, “yeah, the preview looked sick!”.
Personally, I thought it was pretty okay. It certainly was gorgeous, and the atmosphere was really well put together. The fight scenes were intricate, bloody, and Rorschach was well cast. Although the new trend towards who can have the most gravelly voice in comic book movies is getting slightly tiresome.
I also ‘got’ why they made the ‘superheroes’ have super powers. They realized that an audience who just watched the preview would have felt unbelievably cheated if these guys weren’t super strong. Now I’m not going to spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, BUT two really drawn out sex scenes within four minutes of each other… was not that appealing. Hilariously this was a big walkout moment. I think it was partially the music choices that really isolated certain audience members too. Which made me realize perhaps my music taste was impaired as well because I thought the soundtrack was completely awesome. It seemed like certain pieces must have been used as scratch track though, and someone love them so much they were just kept in. I mean if someone thought they were making their “2001: A Space Odyssey”… you never know.
Finally, Zach Snyder is a visual genius. He’s got style by the mile, but lacks the ability to direct his actors that well. It’s not that he does an absolutely terrible job, but everyone is such a caricature… Maybe this is what he is going for – When someone is crying they have to be crying out of every orifice – When someone is bleeding it is out of every limb. I find it amazing how little I care about things that cry and bleed too much. It just isn’t that realistic.
Finally, I’ve been anticipating this movie for so long, and now that it is out I don’t feel cheated. I’m not going back for more, but I think I can walk the streets knowing that it got made without anger. Thanks Zach. I had my qualms with Watchmen to be sure, but I also knew what I was getting into. This is a movie where in the end not too much happens to the main characters. They, much like the director, are trapped by their own devices. For two hours and forty minutes I realized how this book could not adapt well from a perfect graphic novel to a perfect film. Maybe good acting would have helped me believe a little more. Maybe there should have been less slow motion. Maybe there should have been less super powers.