By Lies 12 Comments
In the Lord of the Rings: Return of the King movie adaptation, where Peter Jackson has that giant army of the dead sweep across Pelennor Fields, obliterating the rest of the Orcs and magically saving everyone left in Minas Tirith. Now if you were one of the people who only watched the movie and didn't read the books, that was probably fine for you. After all, it was pretty grandiose and entertaining. The problem is, Peter Jackson entirely missed the point of that battle in the book, where it's supposed to be the race of man proving their worth, alone and without help. In the book Aragorn uses the dead to clear the Corsair ships, but then sails up the coast rallying Gondorian farmers and gathering soldiers from the outer provinces. And yes, they sail up the river and turn the tide of the battle at Minas Tirith- but it's men having the might to prtect themselves. This is where they prove they have the strength to inherit the world from the Elves, who are slowly vanishing. Overall, in the grand scheme of the tale, the army of the dead serves the same purpose (and takes less explanation), but it misses the deeper message of that clash.
That's kind of how I feel about Watchmen: The End is Nigh. It was a fantastic book and a serviceable movie, but neither of them were really about punching dudes. Watchmen is a critique of superheroes cliches and the utter silliness of dressing up in a costume and fighting crime. It's self-aware. The game is not self-aware, and just focuses on the visceral thrills of beating thugs. It's certainly a serviceble brawler, but the use of the Watchmen license really hurts it, because it stands in stark contrast to the message of the original work. It's just missing the point. And that sucks.