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How Successful Was the WATCHMEN Film Adaptation?

Despite the criticisms that any given director may earn for his or her adaptation of a story told previously in another format, there’s no question the task is monumental. Transferring a cherished story—often times a rabidly cherished story—from one medium to another seems like a mission on par with figuring out what moral code superheroes should follow. And as kaptainkristian, the maker of the above video, points out, one of the toughest film adaptations of all time was of Alan Moore’s graphic novel, Watchmen.

YouTuber and surprisingly soothing disembodied voice kaptainkristian, who’s made insightful and well-crafted videos on subjects such as Futurama’s handling of science fiction and the X-Men’s costumes in the movies versus the comics, tackles Zack Snyder’s 2009 take on the Watchmen graphic novel in his latest nerdly musing, noting that it both gives respect to and disconnects from the source material.

It seems like one of the biggest issues kaptainkristian has with the film versus the graphic novel is with the way the former treated violence compared to the latter. “[T]he film almost glorifies violence,” kaptainkriain notes, “[but] the destruction of New York is completely bloodless… which is the exact opposite approach of the comic.” He makes comparisons between the way Doctor Manhattan and Rorschach kill in the movie versus in the graphic novel, noting how the violence in the movie is less sensitized and contextualized than in the graphic novel. However, penty of props are given to Snyder (who, as we all know, took plenty of heat for Batman v. Superman as well), which seems more than reasonable, especially considering the fact that he had the guts to adapt what had been dubbed “unfilmable.”

Ultimately, kaptainkristian points out that “good or bad, faithful or not, an adaptation should only be seen as supplementary material, never a substitute for the original…” Which seems like a totally levelheaded way to think about adaptations. And now, speaking of totally levelheaded, what are your thoughts on this video, and the Watchmen film adaptation? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image: Warner Bros.

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