Watchmen releases this Friday, and no, I’m not going to be standing on line with the rest of the über-fans just for the privilege of seeing before most of humanity. I don’t like crowds and besides, it makes zero difference when I see it—the film will be the same two weeks later as it is on opening night.
Reviews are trickling in and are decidedly… mixed, for what it’s worth. High-brow (some might say arrogant) cineastes such as Anthony Lane hated it, but the pop-mag reviews are generally positive. Not too surprising. For folks who haven’t read the graphic novel, and have no intention of doing so, I’m sure they’ll have a more satisfying time seeing whatever respectfully topical or allegedly funny film Hollywood will squeeze out this month. Just about everyone else—particularly the demographic that doesn’t even read reviews—will likely dig it.
Based on the reviews, my takeaway is that I probably won’t like the movie. Not hate it, just not overly thrilled with it. Sure, I might appreciate the visuals and the effects that shine like beacons faithful to the source material—the transformation of Jon Osterman into Dr. Manhattan, for instance. However, I fully expect the dramatic tension will be buried beneath the flash-bang, the emotional gravity lost to the exigencies of keeping an 18 year-old transfixed and ass-in-seat for over two hours.
I suspect it’ll feel like Sin City for superheros. Except not even with a remotely memorable cast. Meh.
The question is whether I’ll shell out the $12 to see it in a theater jam-packed with the Legion of Dudes. Or just wait until it comes out on video. Good thing I have a few weeks to make up my mind.