Who watches the Watchmen? I did. Last week.

Sex, violence, a radioactive blue penis, Watchmen has it all. And having it all is what was important. When Zack Snyder declared he was to attempt to film the often-labelled un-filmable graphic novel, fan boys around the world rejoiced and groaned in unison. But after almost not being released due to money problems, Watchmen finally hit our screens last Friday. Was it worth the wait?

In short yes. Snyder’s commitment to the source material is unprecedented. You can almost feel his unwillingness to disappoint fans with every minute reference and sly nod to the graphic novel in almost every frame.

In a stylish montage to Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A’ Changing’ Snyder summarises the alternate world we are about to enter. This one segment alone may be the best-shot scene of the film; the rise of the minutemen; their subsequent fall and the birth of America’s secret weapon who is no longer American: Dr Manhattan.

Like the rest of the film this scene is what fans were waiting for, but the commitment to the story works against Watchmen. While satisfying for it’s fans, it may prove to be an information overload for all those not so familiar with Nite Owl et all.

This minor problem, plus one awkwardly scored sex scene aside, there is much to marvel at. Jackie Earle Hayley was apparently born to play Rorschach, effortlessly embodying the badass pseudo-detective through whom we begin to unravel the stories mystery.

In fact all the cast are inspired choices, if not completely resembling their characters visually (Veidt, I’m looking at you) they have their personalities down to a tee. And if anyone still isn’t happy, look at the past cast lists for the film and consider yourself lucky those versions never made it to fruition (Schwarzenegger as Dr Manhattan? no thanks.)

But make no mistake, this is Watchmen the movie not the graphic novel, things may be different but the spirit of Alan Moore’s story is there. What’s more it’s a Zack Snyder movie, so no shortage of slow motion and impressive fight sequences.

Also it’s refreshing to see a comic book movie that’s not afraid to pull any punches, this is an R-rated movie all the way, “no compromise” as Rorschach would say, and what a relief.

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