Watchmen Trailer

23:40 Fri 18 Jul 2008. Updated: 18:09 28 Jan 2009
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The trailer for the film adaptation of Watchmen is out. I’ve always been sceptical of what Hollywood would do to it, figuring they’d manage to mangle the masterpiece that is the graphic novel.

The trailer looked better than I expected, however. Various bits and pieces are a little off. The first thing I noticed was what seems to be common to all modern comic book adaptations: costumes that are bright and perhaps a little ornate in the comics become dark and sleek in the films. This is probably because watching people in e.g. bright red or bright yellow would just be too jarring in a movie, but it also means that the variety afforded to comic book characters via their color schemes is a little lost, and they all begin to look similar. Less ridiculous, but also less unique.

Nite Owl, therefore, looks like a knockoff (movie) Batman—which actually works out fine, since Nite Owl is so clearly based on Batman. Both Silk Spectres look less distinctive, and more like every sexy leather-clad heroine from other movies.

Overall, the movie has a quite slick look to it, perhaps too slick given the somewhat run-down atmosphere of the original. I don’t think that’s critical on its own.

What it will really come down to, I think, is whether they screw with the plot (I get the impression they haven’t much) and whether they take the darkness or complexity out of the characters—especially The Comedian, Rorschach, and Ozymandias. If they make Ozymandias more like a typical villain, or the other two more heroic, it will alter the dynamics of the story quite badly.

I don’t like what I see of Ozymandias from the trailer; Matthew Goode looks a little too English-public-school (which probably isn’t that far off from Adrian Veidt, but somehow seems irksome), and (again) the costuming seems off—making him appear mostly in black gives him a villainous cast that the comic book character wouldn’t countenance (he’d see it as interfering with his public image).

Despite these issues, the trailer has probably achieved its goal: it’s made me curious enough that I’ll probably go see the movie when it comes out next year. Look for complaints about it in this space when the time comes…

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One Response to “Watchmen Trailer”

  1. Niall Says:

    There is no way that what’s special about that work is filmable in one film. I expect it to fail ponderously and unimaginatively.

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