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You may have already seen this. I’ve had it emailed to me a dozen times this week, but it’s pretty darned funny and very clever. It’s the opening sequence from the 1980s Watchmen cartoon, which never really existed. Produced by Happy Harry Productions, I thought the PopCult crowd might enjoy it, plus it gives me an excuse to briefly share my thoughts on the movie after the jump.

I finally got around to seeing “The Watchmen” Friday night, and I was impressed. It was nearly the best they could possibly do in turning the comic book into a movie. It’s still far inferior to the experience of reading the comic, but they did an admirable job. I had my mind blown by the comic book when it was published 24 years ago, so this was something I looked to with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation.

The casting, for the most part, was amazing. Most of the actors looked exactly like Dave Gibbons’ drawings come to life. And the dialogue was almost all directly lifted from Alan Moore’s original script.  I’m going to get a little spoilerish here, so if you haven’t seen it and want to be surprised, you may want to skip the rest of this review.

The had to cut big chunks out of the comic book series to keep the movie from running six hours.  As it is, it still clocks in at over two-and-a-half hours.  One major change–the ending–works better for film than the original ending would have. The denouement, however, seems tacked on and is confusing.  In the comic book, the scheme by the character Ozymandias to achieve world peace through fear involves a fake alien invasion and a giant monster cloned from the brain of a dead psychic.  That would take too long to set up in a movie, so they changed it to a fake attack by Dr. Manhattan, the blue atomic-powered superhero.

The problem is the scene after that, where Silk Spectre II and Owlman go to see her mother, the original Silk Spectre, in the comic, they are in disguise, in hiding after the manufactured crisis.  In the movie, they just barge in with no attempt to hide who they are, which is even more bizarre because the dialogue is lifted straight from the comic, and doesn’t really make sense.

Another problem with the movie is the casting and general treatment of the character Ozymandias. In the comic book this character is a big, brawny super-hero type, who seems above suspicion when it turns out that he’s the one behind the killings and the outrageous plot at the end. In the comic, it’s a shock. In the movie, it’s obvious from the first moment you see him that he’s the villain.  The casting here was off the mark, too. In the book, he’s a muscle-man. In the movie, they hired an actor who looks remarkably like Macauley Culkin.  About as menacing, too. That they cut the back story of Ozymandias to the bone doesn’t help either.

However, aside from those complaints, it’s still a great adaptation.  About 65% of the original comic book is in there. Melanie tells me it’s confusing to someone who hasn’t read the book, and it dragged in places for her, but considering how bad the adaptation of Moore’s “V For Vendetta” was, this was as much as we could expect.

It should drive even more readers to the graphic novel collection of the comic book, which is the best medium  for this story.