I am so delighted to have finally seen a great adaptation of a graphic novel into a movie. My giddiness coming out of the theater was even palpable.

“Watchmen” has to be one of the best films I’ve seen in the last two semesters. Based on the graphic novel written by legend Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons, “Watchmen” tells the story of an alternative 1986. President Nixon is in his sixth term and superheroes are outlawed.

In the past, superheroes were idolized by the American public, but times have changed, and only two Watchmen are allowed because they work for the government.

The movie begins with a grisly murder, and Rorschach, a vigilante still in mask and very sought by the authorities, is determined that someone is killing former masked avengers. He
seeks out former colleagues, and we get a glimpse into the real, imperfect lives of superheroes.

At the same time, Russia is threatening nuclear was on the U.S., and the doomsday clock is at five minutes to midnight. Americans are convinced they’re safe because of the presence of Dr. Manhattan, one of the two allowed superheroes. Dr. Manhattan has the ability to break down anything while at the same time he can see everything that has happened and will happen to him in his own life. His skin is a fluorescent blue, and he is unclothed most of the time. His appearance and abilities are the result of an accident many years before the story.

When this story was written in 1986, Moore wanted to challenge the idea of the superhero archetype, and question what type of people would put on a mask. None of the Watchmen, save for Dr. Manhattan, have any super powers. Each of the lives you get a glimpse into are warped, diluted, and imperfect.  This is not a story for the faint of heart.

I loved the graphic novel upon finishing it this week, and I wasn’t disappointed with the movie. To those out there hesitant to read it due to what normally happens to graphic novel adaptations, fear not. The changes are only minor, and the biggest change is allowable given time constraints.

I was worried about it from the get go because of what was done to “V for Vendetta,” which is another Moore graphic novel that I feel got slaughtered on screen.

To those who haven’t read the graphic novel, prepare for a heavy film. There are multiple story lines going on at once, and it does challenge what you think about government, super heroes, and human life. That said, I believe they did a great job of flowing it together for people who haven’t read the book.

Another warning: there is graphic violence, full frontal male nudity, and sex. If this bothers you, then this isn’t your film. A man gets hot grease thrown over his whole body, a man’s arms get sawed off, Dr. Manhattan is naked 95 percent of the time, and well sex.

Overall, I am immensely pleased and I give “Watchmen” an A+. If you want to think a little, give this one a shot, and please pick up a copy of the graphic novel. It’s worth the money.