Out of Watch Puns…

So… Watchmen. I’m going to divide this review into two sections. Ready?

Non Fans : Read the book… or else you’re doomed.

Fans : Chances are you’re going to be satisfied with this movie. There are a few little nitpicky things of course, but if you really like the graphic novel, you’ll probably be swept along for the ride and you’ll be too busy marveling (DC-ing, sorry) to really notice any problems.

I was prepared for some serious cuts to the story, but Zack Snyder did an excellent job at keeping it all in, as well as throwing in plenty of cute little details for the things he couldn’t cover. Basically, this movie bitch slaps Terry Gilliam for declaring the story “unfilmable”.

Obviously the story of the Watchmen succeeds or fails with the main bunch of characters. The cast all worked well for me. I’ve heard a couple complaints about the old Silk Spectre, which they changed the vibe of a little, but I thought she was great. The Comedian was particularly excellent. The one character they probably cut the most out of was Dr. Manhattan, but don’t you worry, he still gets plenty of screen time.

The action sequences were incredible, as you’d expect. Let me say a little more about that though. Obviously, they punch up a few scenes from the graphic novel a fair bit in order to make things a little more action packed. The fight scenes in this movie absolutely DESTROY the fight scenes that you would see in any other comic book film. Nobody seems to notice how weak the combat scenes are in Nolan’s Batman films. As you’ve probably heard, the fight scenes Watchmen have plenty of gore and plenty of slow motion, but at least you can see what’s going on. Plus, they actually have people on screen, not just two CG monsters/robots fighting.

Now let’s talk about the ending. Perhaps you’ve heard that the ending is different. Without getting into spoilers… the ending is still very similar to the comic. The dilemma is the same, the outcome is the same, it’s just the details of the evil plot that are slightly different. It totally works… some would say it even works better.

I’ve heard a couple complaints about the soundtrack. While I question none of the songs themselves, I do wonder about the timing of a few of them. I didn’t think this was a major problem, but it’s come up several times based on several people that I’ve spoken to. Considering how well the soundtrack worked in the two trailers, this is a bit of an unexpected stumble for Snyder. That being said, it has some truly awesome soundtrack moments as well… which I won’t ruin here.

In short… it rules. Go see it. Then get the director’s cut DVD…. and the Black Freighter. Also, check out the Terminator 4 trailer… I still don’t know what to think of it, but this trailer made it look better than the last one…


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March 2009
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