***There are probably
I've spent a large portion of the day, at least larger than I should have, poking around and reading the thoughts other comic fans have about the movie. The opinions range from those who thought it was a (near) perfect movie to those who thought it was one of the most awful movies ever made.
I talked to one of my co-workers about the movie, too. He'd never read the book, but went and saw the movie this weekend and he isn't sure what to think about it. He liked it in the beginning, but about halfway though he thinks the movie went crazy. And he hated the end. (He also hated Dr. Manhattan's penis all over the place.) He told me he wants to like it, but he just can't.
Me? Well... it lived up to my expectations, but didn't exceed them.
That is to say, the movie looked really good. Zack Snyder makes films that are fun to look at. To me, his movies are spectacles more than they're anything else. Sometimes that's a good thing and sometimes it's bad. For Watchmen, it's sort of a mixed blessing.
Things look like they do in the comic, for the most part. The colors are bright and slick. The world is grimy. Watching (some of the) scene come to life directly out of the comic was fun. Rorschach's mask was amazing. (Although I found it distracting that the rate at which the "ink" flowed got faster when things were tense.)
The story, though, seemed shallow.
Let me put it this way, if I had seen this movie after the first time I read the book, I would have loved it. The movie nailed everything I liked about the book back then. It was dark and dirty. The heroes weren't perfect. Rorschach was a bad-ass. It was violent. When I first read the book, that's what I thought reading an adult comic meant.
I don't think quite that way anymore.
(I'm having a very hard time articulating. Sorry.)
The book was very much about the dark times it was written in, 1986-87. There's a sense of losing innocence to the book. A loss of wonder. A question of lies being (or becoming) truth. Being hurt by truth. Finding humanity that's been lost and losing humanity because of humanity.
That's just a few I can think of here at work. The book is dense. And the movie isn't. (Or at least it isn't as dense.) The movie softly touches a lot of the themes of the book, but it doesn't delve (because of time constraints or other reasons) into the themes like the comic does.
Comics can let readers linger over panels and pages. Comics allow time to reread the thoughts and spoken words of characters. Comics give readers the ability to control time. Watchmen comic thrives on readers being able to do what only comics allow. Watchmen movie just barrels through from one scene to the next forcing views to linger on the absurd slow motion moments in fight scenes (or when Silk Spectre's hair is flowing around her); forcing people to see the moments of Watchmen in set amount of time hurts the plot.
There's so much more to say, but I just don't have the ability to write it.
One thing, though, I really wish they'd had Captain Metropolis found the Crimebusters in the movie and not Ozymandias. Losing Captain Metropolis made the team lose its link to the past. There was no direct juxtaposition of the old and new, which only makes the failure of the team to come together even sadder and gives Ozymandias a huge step toward his ultimate end.