> I’ve been looking forward to the release of Watchmen since last year, which doesn’t get its UK release until 6th March. A phone call. It’s my mate Stuart. Stuart has miraculously snagged two tickets to the press preview that night. Would I like to go? Would I? I don’t get frothy about anything much, but it was all I could do to stop myself running around the office like Daffy Duck.
Sitting among the film reviewers and junketeers at the Odeon, I steeled myself to be disappointed. I’m still dripping mental bleach into my mind’s eye to erase the memory of the last Alan Moore adaption I saw, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. However, it was three hours of brilliant cinematic spectacle. To be fair, the story is weak in parts where the graphic novel (OK – comic) hasn’t translated too well, or Zack Snyder has changed the story a bit, but I didn’t leave the cinema with the overpowering urge to hire a hitman which I did after the LOEG. It’s a film that credits the viewer with intelligence, and it could have been so easy to make it into Hollywood grey goo – which nearly happened. There was a plan a few years ago to have – God ‘elp us – Arnie Schwarzenegger as Dr Manhattan, and for the film to be standard helicopter-blowing-up pap. There’s a lot of scenes which are almost frame-by-frame replicas of the original, and overall it’s pretty faithful. Is it as good as the book? No – but then, nothing really could be. And for something that has been called ‘unfilmable’, it’s very good indeed. Well done, Mr Snyder.