And before I say anything else, let me say: I enjoyed it.
However the movie is crap. Of course when I say movie, I mean something that stands alone from the graphic novel. If you’re not familiar with Watchmen as a comic, I cannot phantom how you’d enjoy the movie. The pacing is awful, the music is particularly jarring in places (and seemed a little out of era but I may be incorrect on that), plot is all over the shop and a little unbelievable and there seems to be a lot of random stuff that’s just there because (but makes sense if you’ve read the book). So much is lost translating to screen that you must be a fan of the book to understand it, IMHO.
As a fan of the book, there are good things and bad things about the movie. Things added, things left out, nods to the fans here and there and so on. In some places, I think they actually improved on the book, the ending, in my humble opinion, is better and makes more sense to me than the book. The action sequences are actually quite cool, I thought they’d bug me because they’d be out of place with the book when I saw snippets on the trailer, but they didn’t. Rorschach’s mask rocked too. Rorschach was the most interesting character on screen for me. The Comedian’s break-down also seemed to make more sense watching it on screen.
One of the things that bugged me big time though was the Mars sequence, the conversation between Laurie and Dr. Manhattan. In my memory of the book and I may have to re-read it now to check, but Dr. Manhattan didn’t use the term “miracle” (did he?) and he didn’t go back because he still loved Laurie. I remember it was because Laurie showed him that humans have as much more depth than a rock, essentially, and therefore worth saving. The movie version made it feel it was about the “miracle” of human life and “god” was mysteriously involved – religion replacing science. Don’t like that. Did anyone else get that?
And the sex felt… comical, in the funny sense, not the comic-book sense. Richard Nixon’s nose was funny, I had to suppress a snigger when he was on screen. Was his nose that big? And the music was annoying. It felt like they didn’t get the era too right, sure all the TVs were old, but it felt modern day and then they’d make allusions to the 70s but play music that was definitively 80s hits. The use of the German version of 99 red balloons was particularly jarring.
I think Alan Moore was right, you can’t make a movie from the Watchmen and this movie proved. Still, I enjoyed it and thats all that counts right?