<NOTE: after reading my first posted result, I did some revisions & additions. it's my hope that they help clarify the article>
Soooooo. Watchmen: The End is Nigh. Up for 1600 MS Points on Xbox Live. What are my thoughts on it?
First--forgive me for going into "cranky old man" mode, but I have yet to get this off my chest in any form, and this seems as good a place to do so as any.
Second--a disclaimer, so no one feels the need to think they're being hoodwinked: this is not a review of the game
I consider Watchmen (the movie) to be a viable endeavour, as it provides an alternate means of expressing the story told in Watchmen (the graphic novel) and a means of bringing it to people who would have otherwise not experienced this incredible story.
However, the idea of "merchandising" Watchmen is COMLETELY antithetical to the work’s central intent.
In the story, there is a small section illustrating this same kind of commodification of its "superheroes". This illustration, in contrast to the presentation of the relentless and often ugly truths behind the actual characters being commodified, is almost naked in its meaning--i.e, satirical commentary on the commercialization of people whose actions & intents have no business being held up as something to be bought & sold.
It seemed fitting that this lesson would have filtered into reality when the graphic novel was interpreted into a movie. It strikes me as appropriate for the movie to have little to no merchandising...unless said merchandising is being done in some ironic, postmodern metatextual way.
Unfortunately, I somehow doubt that "postmodern metatextual irony" is the angle the powers-that-be are taking. Watchmen T-shirts? Posters? Action figures? And finally, a video game? all of which appears to be the exact same soulless grab for cash that the story lampooned?
Does this idea “offend” me? No. Outside of this post, I will certainly not rant & rave about the issue of "commercializing the ANTI-COMMERCIAL"--there are far better fanboys than me who are no doubt willing to take up that flag.
I have, however, decided that I will NOT be getting any of the attendant movie swag. to do so is to miss the point of the story...it's akin to watching Trainspotting, then deciding that shooting heroin is a great idea.
So no action figures. No posters. no T-shirts.
And no video game.