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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Watchmen – noticing the differences

Let's see if I can recall where I noticed that the movie was different from the graphic novel.  Now, if you've read the graphic novel but haven't seen the movie, don't scroll down. There's no need to be unnecessarily disappointed.  If you have seen the movie, but haven't read the graphic novel, then this might give you a little insight as to how the story is different.  Either way, spoilers begin after the image.

[click to enlarge]

These are in no particular order. They are simply listed in the order that I can recall them.  If you think of any others, feel free to comment.

  • Squid – Probably the most obvious change is the ending. Instead of the squid-like creature being teleported into the city and causing a psychic backlash, we have Dr. Manhattan energy bombs going off in major cities around the world. As I stated in yesterday's blog, I'm fine with this change. I think that for the average movie-goer, it required less explanation.
  • Genetic testing – Along with the Squid ending went the genetic testing that led to the creature's creation, which is why we see Bubastis show up seemingly out of the blue and with no real explanation.
  • Prominent Blue Penis – After going back and checking, the Doc's dong is visible in the book, but it's not nearly as Ron Jeremy as it is in the movie.
  • Captain Metropolis/Crimebusters – Although the second generation group were called "The Watchmen" and Ozymandias was the one rallying the troops, the book has Captain Metropolis gathering the group and calling them "the Crimebusters." That being the case, the book still has The Comedian saying, "…then Ozzy here is gonna be the smartest man on the cinder."
  • Laurie's maturity – This is just my opinion, but there were times in the book when Laurie aka Silk Spectre II annoyed because she seemed immature. She came across much less immature in the movie.
  • The Black Freighter – The book's interwoven tale of the Black Freighter comic was left out of the movie. Along with it, the role of the newsstand people are minimized to a cameo, and the lesbian couple aren't addressed at all.  This would also have been where we would have been led to the culmination of the dissolution of the prison psychiatrist's relationship with his wife. At least we can look forward to seeing The Black Freighter on DVD March 24th.
  • Hollis Mason's death – In the book, when some punks hear that Nite Owl II and Silk Spectre have broken Rorschach out of prison, they decide to take the law into their own hands. Because of his book "Under The Hood" they know who Nite Owl is, not realizing the difference between Nite Owl I and Nite Owl II. It's only too late into the beating that someone comments on him only being an old man.
  • Rorschach's Justice – In the movie, Rorschach takes a meat cleaver to the head of the scumbag that butchers the little girl.  In the book, he has a more painful death where he leaves him handcuffed to the stove, provides him with a hacksaw to cut himself free (Jigsaw style), and sets the building on fire. No one gets out.
  • Nite Owl's hoverbikes – In the book when Archie crashes in the Antartic, Nite Owl and Rorschach take hoverbikes to Ozymandias' lair instead of walking through the snow.
  • The Watch – I'm referring, of course, to the only watch with significance, the one that led to Jon Osterman becoming Dr. Manhattan. In the book, this was not his watch, as portrayed in the movie, but it was Janey Slater's watch. He had promised to fix it for her, and he finally finished and brought it to work.  Additionally, they weren't in love at the fair/amusement park when the snapshot was taken. Originally, they were just there passing time. She couldn't reach her mother, so they share a hotel room and one thing leads to another.
  • Order of Events – Some things had to be re-ordered to make more sense in the movie format, I suppose. One of the things that sticks out is Jon's comment to Laurie about not being able to see his own future clearly due to nuclear holocaust. In the movie, this happens during Rorschach's visit. In the book, this happens on Mars. If I could remember more that were out of sequence, I'm sure most would be the placement of flashbacks since the movie doesn't fit into chapters the way the book does.
  • Vomit – In the book, even as late as the last chapter, Laurie is still vomiting after being teleported by Jon. In the movie, she only vomited the one time. I suppose once really was enough to get the point across. I missed seeing her vomit about as much as I cared whether or not she smoked in the movie like she did in the book.
  • Ozymandias' lair – The layout was different, so at the end of the movie, you don't see the greenhouse that's portrayed in the book, nor do you see him sitting down at a table to eat so that Rorschach has an opportunity to try to stab him with a fork. The stubborn tenacity of the fight was definitely present, though.

Well, that's all I can think of.  Leave me a comment if you think I missed something.