Last night a large group of us went see Watchmen. The last time all of us went en masse to the cinema was to see The Dark Knight, so afterwards we started comparing the two, and I think it's a valid comparison: Both superhero movies, both very dark, both with strong vigilante & sci-fi elements etc. etc. Oh and both too long!
I, and some of my friends thought Watchmen was far the better movie of the two:
-Story & Characterisation: I felt that TDK was slow, ponderous, 2-dimensional and boring. Watchmen had intelligence, pace, drive, and twists and turns that stayed on just the right side of convoluted but never became too confusing. About half way through TDK I realised I didn’t really care what happened to any of the main characters. Watchmen forces you to identify with even the most unlikeable and unsympathetic of them.
-Cinematography: I appreciated the cinematography of both films, but Watchmen, possibly because of its source material as a graphic novel had more of those beautiful and awe-inspiring moments which I enjoy in a film.
-Acting: I feel that the standard of acting was generally good in both films, through to excellent: Jackie Earle Haley & Heath Ledger both turned in unmissable performances.
-Dialogue: TDK's dialogue was at times good, but too often was bland, uninspiring and flat. Watchmen's dialogue was often moving, inspiring, and poetic. Although probably less realistic (if that means anything in a superhero movie) than TDK's, the feeling in each line made Watchmen’s dialogue all the more believable.
-Action sequences: Both films had their fair share of incredible action sequences. Possibly due to the characterisation issues I mentioned earlier, I was bored and fidgety during TDK's scenes and didn't care, Watchmen’s action scenes were spectacular, shocking and brutal in their violence, but also emotionally involving because of my connection with the characters.
-Soundtrack. I felt that TDK's soundtrack was almost entirely forgettable. Watchmen's soundtrack, was apt, enhanced the action, and uplifted or subdued my mood as appropriate.
I'd gone in to both films with huge expectations. After the excellent Batman Begins, I was expecting something special from The Dark Knight. Sadly, TDK was a letdown. Watchmen lived up to and exceeded those expectations.
Which do you think was better?
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