first off, i've been super excited about this film for a while now. and i knew that i was going to love it. even if it were a bigger piece of crap than waterworld, i was going to love it. and it came nowhere close to waterworld, overall it was great, i don't feel cheated out of my money, i'll probably see it again before it leaves theaters. however, i have some issues.
I. zack snyder took the comic a bit too literally. what? yes. don't get me wrong, i loved seeing some of the sequences from the comic brought to life on the screen. and i know he wanted to do right by the fans. however, there are things that work well in a comic that don't work so well in film. namely, the watchmen comic had so much stuff going on in the background that you could digest on your own time, that couldn't be properly represented in the film. also, the frame-by-frame interpretation to the movie also caused...
II. weird pacing. did the movie seem a little off? did anyone miss the massive the build up to the quasi-end (as i like to call it). the pacing was mad weird. again, it works great for a comic, but not as great for a film.
III. interesting choices in what to include but what to cut out. let me get this out there: i don't hate the fact that dr. manhattan's cock is hanging out for a lot of the movie. i'm okay with that. however, i don't get why the ending was changed to be more acceptable for a mass audience but then there's dick all over the place. some fans are really pissed off about the end, but i can't think of anyone who'd be pissed off if they threw speedos on manhattan for the whole movie.
also, the random old guy and the random black kid hugging when everything goes to hell. fans will know that this is the newsstand guy and the kid who was reading the black freighter, but there's still no context there. as a fan, i can't see why they included that part of the scene but no interaction between them. technically, i guess it's okay but knowing who they both were made me feel like i was missing something. the non-fan who i was with in seeing this also thought this part was a bit weird.
finally, bubastis makes no sense. i can't see why they cut out the squid but not bubastis because the whole thing behind bubastis was that she was one of veidt's genetic experiments, which is also the explanation behind the squid. without the squid they never mentioned his genetic experiments. and without that, bubastis is now a weird looking CGI lynx that has no context and serves no purpose, except to block dr manhattan at one point (which isn't really convincing). as a fan, i wondered where this came from and why is this the first time seeing her. the non-fan with me got confused and was like "what the hell was that cat thing?"
i kind of wished they'd gone more into the new frontiersman too. i understand they probably cut it for time, but the end of the end felt a little incomplete because no one knows what this shitty little paper is, and the fact that they're publishing rorschach's journal feels insignificant even though it's a major "wtf" moment.
IV. smooth move trying to hide blake's killer, exlax. come one now. even the non-fan saw this. the fight itself looked great, but they sacrificed one of the main elements of the mystery that drives the plot. they could've probably cut the length and made some of the shots tighter, and maybe made it not-so-well lit.
V. miscellaneous. the fire scene came off as cheesy and over the top. again, good in the comic, weird in the movie. a sloppy cut between nite owl and rorschach in the bar and laurie and manhattan on mars. it's really abrupt and weird. not entirely happy with malin akerman's performance at times (laurie jupiter). nixon had a very obvious prosthetic nose and chin. it didn't move at all in his close ups. that's something that probably would've been an easy fix in post... although it's kind of fitting for nixon...
and now, some good things.
I. rorschach and the comedian. jackie haley and jeffrey morgan were dead on. i can't even imagine a better rorschach. the non-fan thought it was unnecessary for the comedian to shoot the vietnamese lady, but that was one of the things that made him an asshole. i thought it was okay to leave it in.
II. goodies for the fans. zack snyder tried really hard to include as much of the watchmen universe as possible, for the fans. stuff like the gunga diner and electric car chargers. although he didn't go into the dynamic between the newsstand guy and the black freighter kid, he still made an effort to include the newsstand in some of the shots. maybe this is why they also left in bubastis, but it was still weird.
III. the flashbacks. this is the part i thought they'd have the most trouble with, but they pulled it off beautifully, and in a way that didn't contribute too much to the already weird pacing. i especially loved...
IV. the open. they managed to squeeze in some of the smaller flashbacks and elements from "under the hood", and gave a lot of foreshadowing.
V. fight scenes (other than blake's death). these actors aren't really kung fu masters, i knew there would be some jerky effects to make it look more real, and it ended up looking completely bad ass. i was satisfied.
i have to start doing actual work in a few minutes, so i have to wrap this up. overall, i loved the movie. but i can see where some people would hate it. i'm not going to argue with people who are just looking for a good action flick, because the trailers are a little misleading. and i'm going to warn people of the cock when i go to recommend the film. i'm also going to recommend that they read the book at some point. i think the film is a better companion than an adaptation.