Explosions or Aliens?

Something that I found very interesting about Watchmen, the book was the ending. Watchmen, the movie, is one of my favorite movies, so it’s to be expected that the ending of the novel surprised me. I knew it had a different ending, but I didn’t know what it was.

The movie ends with Adrian tricking the world into believing that Dr. Manhattan destroyed specific global cities in order to reunite the world against a common evil rather than destroy each other with nuclear war. It works, and the world is saved.

Compare to the book: Dr. Manhattan and Adrian are working together, and unite the world by making them believe the aliens are coming.

end of Watchmen, the movie


end of Watchmen, the novel

Why makes the two so different?

Part of me thinks that it was just for production value, and that the intense violence sells better. But compare the picture of the end of the movie to the end of the book. The book is far more gruesome. So, which ending is more believable? Which one would have worked?

I personally think that the movie ending was more plausible. The world was already on the brink of war, and everyone expected explosions to start at the drop of a hat. But an alien? Maybe people were willing to believe anything at that point, but the random appearance of an alien at such an opportune time seems really far-fetched to me. The people of the world were already turning against Dr. Manhattan, as could be seen by his disastrous interview. I think that the people were ready and willing to believe that he had so distanced himself from humanity that he was willing to kill millions.

Watchmen is still one of my favorite movies, and it’s now one of my favorite books. They both have so many things to offer, and they combine to create an incredible story.