I’m totally obsessed with Watchmen. I think it is one of the most amazing works of fiction ever created, and would certainly put it in the same tier as classics like The Lord of the Rings and Catch-22. Now that the movie and the game is out (Watchmen: The end is Nigh) the movie has been thrust into the mainstream, is there any way that they can gather the same acclaim as the original?
I suspect not, and I believe it has to do with the media involved (disclaimer: I have not played the game or seen the movie yet, will do so this following week).
The comic book form was a fantastic way to tell the Watchmen tale that might have been otherwise impossible in written word. The images in each panel convey meaning that would have taken pages of description; a characters facial expression, a ketchup stain on a shirt, all of this comes across clearly when we can see it. And it is because of this medium that Watchmen is able to convey so much complexity so quickly.
The movie, as a result, is some 3 hours long, and even then I wonder if it is able to do justice to all that the book covers. I bet it won’t be able to (although again, I have yet to see it), and will likely sacrifice plot points for continuity and time. The movie is at a disadvantage from the start, because of its medium. Likewise the game is even trickier, as how do you get across the feel of Watchmen when players can play the game however they want? It seems that the this may be a moot point, as the game is getting poor reviews and seems to have little to do with the film/book other than the graphics.
I’m not really sure where I’m going with this, but I suspect it’s similar to Street Fighter’s terrible attempt at making films, and how most movie games are terrible. Sometimes the medium is born in is the only place it really works, and translating it to other media falls apart.
Then again, Goldeneye did it well…