Saw The Watchmen on Friday and since it was so long and I went to a late show I am just recovering this morning. I have to say I really liked the movie. It was a nearly perfect translation of the Graphic Novel yet improved on a lot of the things I didn't like from the book.
- The characters and the actors they tagged for them. I have not seen more perfect casting since J.K. Simmons played J. Jonah Jameson in the Spider-Man films. All of the characters were spot on from the book. Of note were Night Owl, Veidt and especially Rorschach! Silk Spectre (jr.) seemed a little of, but I realized it was due to the fact that Zack Snyder added weight to her character. Reading through the book again I noticed she (and her mom) were a little shallow, in this film they were as important as the males.
- The effects and environments were stellar. Much more real feeling then 300 or Sin City where you could tell they were not really in the scenes. All of the set pieces, especially Night Owl's lair, were amazing and seemed to be picture perfect representations.
- The action scenes in the film blew me away. In the book the Watchmen (except for Dr. Manhattan and sort of Ozymandias) were regular people who decided to fight crime. In the movie they are faster, stronger and more resilient then normal people (so it seems). As a result the fights were dynamic, incredibly well choreographed and exciting to watch. The scenes near the end were just amazing.
- The pacing and edits were great as well. All of the things that stuttered the book were removed (Hollis extended stuff, all of issue 11, the comic the boy by the newstand was reading, extended psychiatric sessions, etc...). To me this is a rare movie that compressed a large volume into the parts you needed to see.
- The score was awful, the choice of songs (except for 1 or 2) were horribly chosen, too load and blatantly overdone in their use.
- Probably too niche for a mass market. A lot of the subtleties that were obvious if you read the book would be confusing for layman.
By far the best part of the film is the perfectly cast Rorschach, every scene he was in was amazing and he WAS the character. Zach Snyder should be proud of this film, I am sure Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons are as well.