March 8, 2009

Watchmen was good, but

Oh, yes, Watchmen was a very good movie. It was true to at least the surface level of the novel, even if the makers had to abandon some of the parallel levels that lent such texture to the novel. But let me tell you something, it is no movie for children. The Rave did its part last night, they had an usher at the door, carding everyone. Despite this, there were children in the audience, some even five and younger, allowed into the movie by their parents to see the graphic sex scenes, the full, male frontal nudity, the extremely violent attempted rape scene and to see the graphic-novel-esque violence of exploding bodies, meat cleaver killings and four-letter-word filled dialog.

One has to wonder what the hero of the movie, if there is a hero of the movie, Rorschach, would say (and do) to such parents.

So why, with all of that, would I consider Watchmen a good movie and a great book? Let's put it this way, I saw a trailer for a new Johnny Depp movie about John Dillinger, the Chicago gangster, and Melvin Purvis, one of the "untouchable" G-Men. Eliot Ness and Melvis Purvis were considered "untouchable" because they couldn't be corrupted, they couldn't be paid off by the criminals they were chasing (many other lawmen were paid to look the other way). Many people loved John Dillinger because they hated the banks and they saw Dillinger like Robin Hood, stealing from the rich bankers and making the corrupt establishment look bad. And then there were the untouchables, tasked with bringing in Dillinger, who were uncorruptable, uncompromising, and often just as violent. You can see the conflict: people loved Dillinger and weren't afraid of him because he was hurting those who were corrupt and not the normal, hard working, getting their job done people. Purvis, though, was a hard working, uncorrupt, getting the job done person. Watchmen is full of that kind of conflict, taken to the max.

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