‘Watchmen’ Backlash Spawns Backlash

Word of mouth on Watchmen has been so negative since the film’s release last Friday, that even I — a fan of the graphic novel — am wondering if I’ll ever find the motivation to see it before it leaves multiplexes. Friends (Alan Moore faithfuls and plebeians alike) have gotten me so bummed about the supposed lack of suspense, the fight scenes, the crap acting, and the almost three-hour runtime. My only reason for seeing the movie now is to check out its most preposterous aspect: that infamous sex scene. Sensing this rapidly spreading vitriol, two people — one with a strong connection to the film, and one who feels strongly connected to it — have taken to the interwebs to plead with us, go watch Watchmen!

Standup comedian Patton Oswalt unleashed a manifesto on his MySpace blog, tearing into all the haters and bandwagon jumpers. He writes:

Zack Snyder STEPPED UP, motherfuckers. THE WATCHMEN was going to get made, one way or another. And instead of bleating on his Facebook status updates or Tweeting about how shitty the upcoming adaptation’s going to be, he TOOK THE BULLET and tried to do it right. Yes, THE WATCHMEN should be a limited series on HBO and blah blah blah IT WAS NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN THAT WAY. Zack delivered a 2 1/2 hour, honest attempt, and broke his ass cranking out tons of free extras. Hell, he even animated The Tales of The Black Freighter for you chumps. Plus, he gave you a kick-ass DAWN OF THE DEAD remake, plus 300, plus whatever else he’s got coming down the pike. He’s the best friend the Nerd Mafia’s had since Joss Whedon and Brian Michael Bendis, so everyone please crack the tab on a frosty can of Go Fuck Yourself and go see the movie version of THE WATCHMEN.

One of the film’s screenwriters, David Hayter, is trying to minimize the film’s second-week rot (and the damage to his career) by reaching out directly to hardcore fans, begging them to see it again via an open letter on Hardcore Nerdity:

You have to understand, everyone is watching to see how the film will do in its second week. If you care about movies that have a brain, or balls, (and this film’s got both, literally), or true adaptations — And if you’re thinking of seeing it again anyway, please go back this weekend, Friday or Saturday night. Demonstrate the power of the fans, because it’ll help let the people who pay for these movies know what we’d like to see. Because if it drops off the radar after the first weekend, they will never allow a film like this to be made again. … You’ll be thinking about this film, down the road. It’ll nag at you. How it was rough and beautiful. How it went where it wanted to go, and you just hung on. How it was thoughtful and hateful and bleak and hilarious. And for Jackie Earle Haley.

Yes, do it for Jackie Earle Haley.