With Watchmen opening this weekend, the story is much in hype and demand, which the good folks at Warner Bros have been doing an excellent job of cashing in on. One of their many ideas was to actually just take the already existing graphic novel and animate it. It’s an interesting experiment, but ultimately a flawed one.
Set in an alternate 1985 where Richard Nixon is still president and World War III is just around the corner, Watchmen follows the mystery of who murdered the Comedian and what devastating secret he had uncovered. Written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons back in 1987, Watchmen was a uniquely comic book experiment which broke rules and taboos of the kid geared medium and ushered in a truly multi-media story whose political and social messages extended far beyond the mystery and adventure story presented. Not a perfect experiment by any means, however its intellectual creativity will be sure to inspire even the most casual reader.
As for the motion comic, it seems to have been done rather hastily, with poor attention to details in the book and even cutting out whole parts for seemingly no reason at all. The animation isn’t that spectacular either, with a lot of awkward movement. They also include word bubbles, which on the one hand reminds you that this isn’t a real animated movie, just a visual companion for fans of the book or lazy readers, however these are often more distracting than helpful. Perhaps the biggest complaint is that the whole book is narrated by one not so great reader, another indication of its rushed production.
The disc looks pretty clean and smooth on bluray, with decent True HD sound. It includes a sneak of an Animated Wonder Woman movie, a single production diary entry from the new movie featuring artist Dave Gibbons, and a link to some BD-Live features.
Overall a decent rental for fan boys or lazy readers who want to experience the closest thing to the movie without having to see Snyder’s dreadfully campy, nihilistic film. Although be warned, this baby runs 325 minutes long in twelve segments, so be sure to stock up on plenty of baked beans and raw eggs and settle down for a spell or two.