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Still Watching

March 8th, 2009

A few more Watchmen thoughts:

I think Alan Sepinwall’s review pretty much nails it. He correctly identifies  Malin Akerman (Silk Spectre II) and Matthew Goode (Ozymandius) as the weak links. Part of Goode’s problem is an actor’s conceit that ultimately works against his character. Picking up on a reference in the book to Ozy’s German parents, he adoptes the notion that Ozy uses an American accent while in public, but drops back into his native voice when ensconced in his lair. As his heritage is never mentioned in the film, the Germanic accent arrives from nowhere and has the unfortunate side-effect of making Ozy seem exactly the sort of stock villain he claims not to be.

On the graphic violence: I went back to the book last night and found that I was wrong about the difference being simply one of a stationary medium versus one in motion. Snyder definitely ratcheted up the gore. Some of it can be excused; I would argue that the bone-breaking on display in the alley scuffle could be viewed as a deconstruction of movie fight scenes similar to the way that the graphic novel deconstructs superhero tropes. However, the method in which the film dispatches Big Figure’s henchman during the jailbreak strikes me as entirely gratuitous; in the original, the violence occurs mostly off-panel and in a far less gruesome manner.

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