Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Who watches the Watchmen when they take their clothes off? I do! I do!

I admit I was one of those people with major reservations about the Watchmen movie. In fact, I was one of those people who didn't even want a movie to be made from the book(s).

Surprise, surprise: I liked it. A lot. Not without reservations, mind you, but given how low my expectations were going in, I left feeling pretty satisfied. It's been about 20 years or more since I read Alan Moore's original, so I was roughly halfway between a hardcore fan and a total newbie. I was joined by the Hub (who had never heard of the book, let alone read it), a friend of his who'd just finished reading the book 2 hours before the movie, and the friend's wife (who was in the same boat as the Hub)--and every one of them enjoyed it, too. Sure, it's damn violent, but the thing's about (among other subjects) how to deal with a violent world, so that didn't bother me too much. I also thought the movie did a great job at least raising the thorny moral dilemmas explored in much more detail in the book. And I appreciated the presence of a sense of humor that did not involve wisecracking heroes punctuating their gutpunches with punchlines.

But let's be honest. My favorite thing about the movie was the chance to see Patrick Wilson naked yet again (see also: Angels in America, Little Children, and this troubling spectacle). I had my doubts when I heard he would be playing Nite Owl, but I'll be damned if he didn't end up looking almost exactly like the comic book character (who is supposed to be a bit of a schlub, but I found him cute, too). Did I mention he was naked?

(Bummer! Just learned from IMDB that his 2003 New Year's Resolution was "To be in a movie or a play which doesn't require me to take off my clothes. Unless, of course, I don't get another job... In which case I'll be half-naked and whole-heartedly depressed for the rest of my career." Hey, that Plan B works for me.)

As icing on the (beef)cake, the updated outfit (shall we call it an "owlsuit"?) he wears when he finally suits up is mighty swell, too:

Not sure I bought how quickly the meek retired crimefighter transforms (back) into an asskicking, jailbreaking hero, but that scene struck me as the only one totally untrue to the spirit of the original. Not bad odds, all things considered.

Bonus for readers who actually value literary value over hunkitude: Here's a link to Beaucoup Kevin's list of graphic novels he recommends to folks who've been introduced to the medium via Alan Moore's opus.

Bonus for readers who are as shallow as me: Oh yes, there is also that gigantic blue penis in the movie.

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