Watchmen vs. The Incredibles
I just had a big surprise today. As I sit here about to get ready for the midnight screening of the Watchmen film from Zack Snyder, I read a rather negative piece about the film describing one man's reason why he won't go and see the film.
Now I totally respect that, but I wasn't prepared for a comment that was in the story that came from almost five years ago. You see the story had been flagged to me because it contained my name, and in reference to a quote from some time ago about The Incredibles and Watchmen.
21st November 2004 I sat down and wrote about The Incredibles and just how good a film I thought it was. I was just really starting on my reviewing hobby and had no idea where it would take me. I was, as I am now, just writing about films because I love watching and experiencing them.
Unsurprisingly I gave The Incredibles a big review, I loved it. Absolutely everything about it, and still do, but back then I picked up on a very interesting comment which Christopher Campbell over at Spout Blog picked up on for his piece, 5 Reasons a Watchmen Movie Was Unnecessary.
During his second point he talks about how the superhero film has been satirised so much it's almost ridiculous, and
“...The Incredibles was the best possible movie to come out of the graphic novel’s wake, and The Dark Knight was the darkest and most realistic. Comparatively, even a decently made Watchmen adaptation should seem a pale wannabe. That’s why it’s easy to side with IMDb user Richard Brunton’s concern from years ago...”
That startled me, but what was most surprising was what followed next, an excerpt from the review I wrote:
“There is so much similarity to The Watchmen that those who haven’t read the graphic novel will be saying ‘That’s the Incredibles movie’ when Watchmen finally comes to fruition.”
A part of me laughed when I read that comment again, but then I reread it and thought about what The Incredibles was all about, and I realised that actually there's a lot of merit to that comment, perhaps more so before the Zack Snyder version came along, for the story of The Incredibles is in fact a much lighter version of Watchmen.
Just think of the opening blurb:
The story sees a group of once great superheroes quashed by the Government, they live in secret, being normal people, and itching for the old days, struggling with themselves and what they once were. That is until the day comes of a threat so large that they must defy the Government and fight once again.
There are some amazing similarities, and for those who don't share the love of the comic book and are seeing Watchmen for the first time, we must be thankful that so much time between that film and today. For if Watchmen had been released closer to the release of The Incredibles, I think people would have been saying "That’s the Incredibles movie", albeit a much darker one.
With that, I depart to watch the Watchmen for myself with high expectations. I may have loved The Incredibles, but I surely do love the Watchmen comic.