Watchmen Review

Watchmen

I read the Watchmen in the original comicbook form years ago. It was astonding at the time. I rechecked on Wikipedia, and it looks like I only read the first four issues (out of 12) before I left the country for Sweden in 1986. In the first 45 minutes of the movie, there are so many scenes (like the one above) that are indelibly etched in my memory.

And the movie was very faithful, on a frame-by-frame, shot-by-shot basis to the original. The Comedian. Rorschach. Dr. Manhattan. The Silk Spectre. They’re all there. As violent, as misanthropic, as big and as small as before.

On a personal level then, Watchmen is great. I’m a fanboy.

As a middle-aged adult, I’ve read the whole graphic novel (as the comic book series was later repackaged), but it didn’t sink in. I couldn’t even tell you how it ended, because I don’t remember. I don’t want to. There are some books that you read, love, and put down BEFORE the ending, never to pick them up again. You do this so that the characters live on, in mid-life, unvanquished, unsaved, striving, in mid-step. And they stay there forever. I did this with Watchmen. And with another favorite book, Prague.

I’ve seen the movie now, and understand that the ending is different somehow. For me, I personally tail off somewhere around the time the prison riot starts. After all, you have to see Rorschach with the psychiatrist. And Rorschach in prison. “You don’t understand!”, he yells to the angry mob of prisoners. “I’m not in here with you. You’re in here with me!”

This is the time to leave. While they’re all still there, working on their troubles (save the Comedian, RIP). Great work.

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