I read the following quote by “Watchmen” director Zack Snyder on CNN just now:
“The story itself is a pretty straightforward mystery,” said Snyder, “but inside of that, there’s this huge plot that has international intrigue and a super-villain and everything you want from a superhero story.
And it made me want to put my head through the wall. The “Watchmen” graphic novel is a “straightforward mystery” with a “huge plot that has international intrigue and a super-villain and everything you want from a superhero story” in the same way that “All in the Family” was a “straightforward sitcom” with “a cast of zany characters full of good-old-fashioned American hijinks and crazy situations and everything you want from a silly sitcom”.
No no no no no no no. Like “All in the Family”, “Watchmen” used the traditional conventions of a genre and turned them on their head to tell the story of interesting, conflicted, flawed, deeply human characters. My dad never realized Archie Bunker was making fun of racists — he thought the part was straight-up and agreed with everything that came out of the character’s mouth. He didn’t understand the concept of irony any more than Zack Snyder does, judging from that quote. To walk away from reading “Watchmen” and to think that the plot and the super-villain were the most important bits is to completely miss the entire point. I cannot tell you how disheartening it was to read that. Gah.
I have a sinking sensation that this movie isn’t just going to be bad, it’s going to be epically bad. Categorically bad. Galacticaly bad. Bad in a way that slanders not just itself and its source material but the entire genre. My guess as to how this is going to turn out is best summed up in this “Bloom County” strip:
I sure hope I’m wrong, but everything I see gets me more and more disheartened. Zack Snyder completely does not understand this project. At all. I better bring a sponge with me to the showing because I have a feeling my eyes are gonna bleed. Blech.