So first off I want to say how awesome an action film this was. There are things in Watchmen I have never before seen in cinema. The x-rated violence, numerous fight scenes, blood and gore, sex and other adult material was a site to behold. A lot more adult than I would have previously expected after reading the graphic novel. Now notice how in the first line I called this film an 'action fim'. It was an action film of sorts. It was intended with no accident to match the action with the serious plot and character structure, in 'homage' to the novel. And whilst a newcomer might see Watchmen as a slick all-action slash character driven plot it would not be surprising if the hardcore comic fan came away a bit dismayed.
This film on the face of it has more in depth plot than any of your Godfather's or Citizen Kane's. But what Watchmen failed to do that other epics did was create spectacular character driven plots and vibrant nuances. And whilst most viewers new to the Watchmen might be struck dumb by it's complex and sometimes incoherent plot it would never be enough for fans of the novel. What it did was plaster massive dobs of visuals onto screen whilst forgetting what the graphic novel was in essence. Emotional and psychological pain and suffering and questions about the self and society. When the novel came out it brought for the first time the superman into the real world. It used man's strength' and weaknesses to further the story along. The film tried so hard to do this but failed. Massive amounts of important dialogue were shunned away for other less transient visually arresting scenes.
Where was half of Veidt's story? What about the whole reason behind the Comedian's downfall and murder. You know, him glimpsing the island and Veidt's colossal plan. Where was the island for that matter. Did I miss this part? Would it not be possible to even see a bit of Veidt's masterplan in progress, instead of being lumped with a whole lot of confusion at the very end. How would the film adapt to time shifts between chapters. Well it did it actually, badly. Rorschach went to jail and in the next instant NiteOwl and Laurie are up in the sky planning on freeing him. Hold on! How did they find out. When did they find out. The novel achieved this and is the only medium that can achieve this through further character dialogue and its inbetween chapter references via newspapers and police reports.
Now I know the novel is an absolute epic of a story and everyone knew large portions of the book were never going to be in the film. The news stand guy, Rorschach's maskless identity, the Minutemens back stories, even the Tales of the Black Freighter were never going to be in it. But major plot lines void of dialogue is unforgiveable. Where was the whole connection between Nova Express, Veidt, his umbrella companies and the missing scientists. Even the ending sucked a load. It was too happy. As far as I could tell there was no hidden identity taken on by Laurie and Dan. And Sally Jupiter was gleeful and smiling, not like the novel were you last see her in the retirement home crying and kissing over a photo of the Comedian. That really fucked me off. If this film spent even a little less time on the visuals and more time on continuity and correct structure it would have been a masterpiece. Or even adding just another fifteen minutes on.
So alas, forgive me Alan Moore, you warned me. My nerdy appetite gave in and I just had to indulge. Will I learn for the next time. Probably not. Now in saying all this it was still a great movie, if but for it's seemingly major flaws. It was visually absolutely stunning and completely in-keeping with the mood and feel of the novel. What more could you expect from the "visionary director of 300". But what also would you have expected from Hollywood's constant raping of the comic book world. Now when the dvd comes out I shall indeed be first in line and will watch it again, and again and again. And if I still don't get what Zack Snyder was trying to do, well then I'll sell it at a used dvd shop for £3 and start reading another comic waiting to be physically gang fucked into movie oblivion, figuratively speaking of course. Oh and Pablo if you thought Zacky boys 300 seemed kinda gay, well you ain't seen nothing yet. Penis in your face all the time.
But you do get to see these puppies.