Edge

‘Watchmen’ an unnuanced parody of original novel

ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA PATRICELLI

ILLUSTRATION BY LAURA PATRICELLI

The film adaptation of Watchmen, one of the most famous graphic novels ever, comes with much anticipation to see if the supposedly unfilmable novel can somehow work. Though it looks great and retains some of the novel’s essence, it feels misguided and, even worse, boring.

Set in an alternate-universe 1980s, the world of Watchmen is an unstable place teetering on the brink of nuclear armageddon. Richard Nixon is well into his third term as president and the Cold War is dangerously close to turning hot. Costumed heroes, once mainstays in the United States, have been banned and chaos reigns in the streets. If that’s not bad enough, someone begins knocking off the retired heroes as the Doomsday Clock (meant to estimate humanity’s proximity to total annihilation) ticks closer to midnight.

This is an unfair distillation of the rich and deep source material, but the film provides just that. It’s unreasonable to expect all the nuances to translate to the screen because the novel itself is so dense and thrives on ambiguity. The film makes a noble effort to cover most of the bases, but when a movie tries to summarize and remains nearly three hours, the result tends to be confusing. And, because the mind’s not engaged, boredom starts to set in.

The film is stellar technically and the opening credits sequence is incredible. While the central issues of morality and responsibility are included, the film tries to balance too much in too little time for the result not to become muddled.

Watchmen may please diehard fans, but it’s very unlikely to make new ones. Pick up the novel instead; it’s one of the best books one could read.

Rating: 1.5 out of 4

March 8, 2009

Reporters

Gabe Habash

Senior EDGE Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

They were way below the radar coming into the 1983 season. And after their 28-3 opening-game loss to ...

In the opening eight minutes on Saturday — and the final seven minutes — FIU looked like a team that ...

The N’Kosi Perry era is here. Whether it’s here to stay is yet to be seen. The fans got what they wa ...

Ten takeaways from UM’s 31-17 win against FIU on Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium: ▪ Credit Mark Richt ...

As the Miami Hurricanes started their third series against the FIU Panthers on Saturday afternoon, t ...

Get Out The Vote, a nonpartisan initiative headed by the Division of Student Affairs and the Butler ...

University of Miami Libraries commemorates Banned Books Week with a special event and display. ...

A year after UPup’s founding father met his match, the service club is realizing its goal of becomin ...

UM students, faculty and staff commemorated the five-year anniversary of the Donna E. Shalala Studen ...

Miami’s Turnover Chain inspires copycats, but the U’s turnover prop has a ‘cool factor.’ ...

N'Kosi Perry and a dominant Miami defense led the Hurricanes to a 31-17 victory over the Panthe ...

Estela Perez-Somarriba of the Miami women's tennis team is headed to the championship one of th ...

The Miami women's tennis team posted a 5-2 mark in official matches on the second day of the Mi ...

Freshman Riley Howard continued her incredible start as a Canes cross country runner setting another ...

The University of Miami soccer team is set to host Virginia Tech Sunday at noon at Cobb Stadium. ...

TMH Twitter
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.