Review: Zack Snyder's Watchmen - Bordering on Brilliant
by Alex Billington
March 4, 2009
Zack Snyder has done the impossible. He filmed the "unfilmmable." He's brought to life one of the greatest graphic novels ever written. How do I even begin to write about this and all of its glory? Is it faithful? Unquestionably so, but is that necessarily a good thing? I'm not here to criticize Watchmen, instead I want to talk about the experience and whether Snyder pulled it off. My gut reaction is that he did. And I'm saying that after having seen it two times already. It's not an easy pill to swallow, which is not only a testament to its faithfulness, but also to the gritty style that Snyder brought to the Watchmen world. I don't think I'm caught up in the hype, because even after two viewings, it's still just as brilliant.
There's so much contained within the Watchmen story, that it's quite a challenge to describe it in one sitting, but that's part of why it's such an incredible story. Watchmen is an ensemble film, about a group of masked vigilantes - Ozymandias, Rorschach, The Comedian, Nite Owl, Silk Spectre, and Dr. Manhattan - who have since retired. It begins in 1985, in an alternate reality where thanks to the creation of Dr. Manhattan, the United States has won the Vietnam War, President Nixon has been re-elected for a third term, and the Soviets are threatening to start a third world war and launch hundreds of nuclear bombs our way. And this only just the beginning. The underlying question that the world's smartest man, Adrian Veidt, wants to answer: In a world this chaotic, how do you achieve world peace and save humanity?
From the opening credits, where we're treated to a beautifully composed montage of scenes that not only show us what this alternate reality is like, but also give us a brief history of the first masked vigilantes, it's obvious that Zack Snyder has an immense understanding of the graphic novel. Even his choice to put the opening text of "Watchmen" on the sequence showing the original Minutemen from the 1940's being photographed, seems to allude to the fact that Snyder does "get it." So there's no point in questioning his understanding, it's just a matter of determining whether the elements of the story that he put into the film in the end were enough to be entertaining and have the same moral implications in the end. To put it up simply - I was both entertained and awe-struck.
I'm a movie guy, I always have been, always will be. I prefer movies to books and even graphic novels, so my reaction to Watchmen is less of a criticism on whether Snyder was able to take everything that was contained within the graphic novel and bring it to life on a screen, but instead, a reaction to his presentation of those ideas and whether they have the same weight when presented this way. And they certainly did. The feeling I was left with when it finally ended was unlike anything I've ever felt before. It's a journey, not unlike The Dark Knight, where we get to see the extensive progression of all of these characters, beyond just their introduction. Sure, The Comedian dies in the first scene, but over the course of the film, we understand why his death means so much more.
The biggest question is now whether or not being entirely faithful to the graphic novel was a good thing. Snyder could have easily chosen to take even more liberties than he already did in adapting certain parts of the graphic novel or completely change its structure in order to be more cinematic. However, here is the inherent problem - most moviegoers have, for the entire life, seen cinematic versions of stories that have been modified to work better seen through the lens of a camera. It's what we've all grown up watching and falling in love with, so seeing a story that was completely written to be printed in a book adapted exactly as it was conceived is a bit awkward at first, especially if you're not prepared for this going in. But at the same time, if Snyder would've change it at all, the film would've missed the mark completely on achieving the same levels of brilliance as the graphic novel.
Would anyone have wanted to see a Watchmen movie that was not faithful? Of course not, and I don't think Snyder changed so much that it could be called unfaithful, by any means. In fact, the only major change he made was to the ending, but his adjustment result in an even more profound look at society and humanity. As I said earlier, I'm not here to criticize how faithful Snyder was, but instead, look at whether what he presented was as powerful cinematically. And the ending that he did go with left me in more wonderment than even the way the graphic novel plays out. That kind of experience is something I cherish, especially because it's so rare to see a movie that actually has such an extreme level of interpretation to it.
I can't say Watchmen is flawless, but it comes quite close to achieving that impossibility. Snyder presents his vision of Alan Moore's story, that not only looks outstanding and is an unforgettable experience to watch, but is also just as epic and thought provoking as the graphic novel itself. Moviegoers must go in with at least a minor understanding of what they're stepping into, because it's such a unique and visceral world, it's hard to become wrapped up in it unless you know what to expect. That said, Watchmen does indeed border on the same brilliance that the graphic novel does and due to its absolute faithfulness and attention to detail, is an extraordinary adaptation unlike anything I've ever seen on the big screen.
Alex's Watchmen Rating: 9 out of 10
Happy to read your review Alex, I have very high hopes, and I;m glad to read that this movie will live to my expectations, and I cannot wait to see at midnight tomorrow in IMAX, can't wait to see what crazy games and contests your guys do as well!
Bo on Mar 4, 2009
Damn, I can't wait to see this tomorrow night! It sounds like it will be just as great as I thought it would turn out.
Daniel on Mar 4, 2009
#2 and I have yet to read Watchmen, but I suppose I should give it a go. I'd like to go in without having read it but ultimately it seems to be a poor choice. As of right now, I do not have high expectations for this movie, however the idea of the Watchmen does appeal to me, and for that reason alone I shall go so this movie.
Matthew on Mar 4, 2009
good to hear! can't wait to see it in a couple days!
-Peter- on Mar 4, 2009
The anticipatoion for the movie is eating me alive. I have my tickets for next friday, so, the moment is indeed, near. I read Watchmen during 2008, and the book, along with The Dark Knight movie, became - for me - the two more important pieces of popular culture during the year. The world of Watchmen is dark, violent, highly philosophical and as realistic as you can imagine, considering that it happens in a masked-heroes universe. It deals with the "what if's?" and it presents questions that leaves you wondering, pondering and thinking long after the reading is over. Let's hope the movie works in the same level and that Zack Snyder have taken it to a similar hights...
leiner on Mar 4, 2009
Thanks for the great review. I am seeing Watchmen tomorrow at midnight and can't wait. I have read the Graphic Novel and have been expecting greatness from this movie. Your review has supported my hope. I have been reading a lot of reviews of this movie and I really want to let you know how well I think you have done with this review. You seem to have answered more questions than most reviewers and have given good insight into how a casual moviegoer and an avid Watchmen fan will view this movie. It seems very unbiased and professional. Not to mention it is very well written and a wonderful read (unlike most blog sites). This is one of the best reviews I have read yet thanks for your time and effort.
Jordan on Mar 4, 2009
recon it will beat TDK's haul at the box office?
THE CRITIC on Mar 4, 2009
So I just read Ebert's review and that was fantastic. No offense to you Alex, but Ebert is one of my favorite writers period; his tops yours on my list of reviews so far.
Jordan on Mar 4, 2009
i will be at the IMAX in about 21 hours.
jake saunders on Mar 4, 2009
I have a strong suspicion that this will do well at first and then go out fast. I can't see many average joes really relating to it's characters nor grasping the complexities of it's ideas. Sure it'll be packed to the gills with fanboys and comic book afficianados and the like but they can only see it so many times. I probably won't see it right away, but eventually. I doubt it'll make me feel the same way the book did.
adrian on Mar 4, 2009
#10 on the contrary, what you will have is all the fanboys etc at the door the first week or so and after they have digested it, the normal masses will come through. Thinking it is as good as people saty, it will carry itself through word of mouth and so on.
L on Mar 4, 2009
GREAT REVIEW! Thanks for writing, seems like you really have your head on straight about this review, unlike so many other net reviewers. Nicely done.
Lincoln Smith on Mar 4, 2009
but the squid!?!?!?! although we shall see how the alternate ending plays out soon enough @#8 probably won't beat TDK haul as i don't think it has the same broad appeal (i'm assuming its rated R also)... I have asked a few people if they are excited for the movie and some said they only know of one coming out but do not know the awsomeness of the watchmen graphic novel
Janny on Mar 4, 2009
Saw it in Australia today... I've never read the graphic novel and I'm not a superhero fanboy...but I really enjoyed 'Watchmen'. It's a tad too long but otherwise flows quite nicely. It's gritty and engaging. The acting is very good but especially that of Jackie Earl Haley. I don't think it's going to have very broad appeal though. Anyone going expecting to see a Dark Knight or Spiderman type superhero film is going to be very disappointed. The whole 'deconstruction of the superhero' element will prevent it finding a mass audience is my prediction.
Derek on Mar 4, 2009
Great review Alex! I'm looking forward to this at the midnight show, LIVE with the Film Feed! When anyone goes to see Watchmen, be sure to contact the Film Feed at email@example.com or (310) 668-1982 with your own opinions!
Will Schiffelbein on Mar 4, 2009
Great review Alex. I've been following your website for almost a year now and it's always the first thing I check every morning. It's nice having someone give you updates on the biggest things on Watchmen, especially when I am as obsessed with it as I am. It's also great having someone review the film who has seen the movie twice and has a great deal of understanding as to what Watchmen is. Follow me on Twitter - Rorschach90
Rorschach90Apollo on Mar 4, 2009
You lucky bastard Alex. I am seeing it tomorrow night in IMAX.
Film-Book dot Com on Mar 4, 2009
The critic I can say imo it won't beat out TDK for 1 simple reason its rated R and TDK was pg-13. I do however think that it will make a lot of money because it is has a record already for opening on so many screens which is a good thing. More screenings = more money.
kindbuddy on Mar 4, 2009
I caught a screening of the film Monday night and I must say I absolutely agree with this review. Now I can't wait to see it at the IMAX! I think Zack Snyder did a wonderful job bringing Watchmen to life on the big screen; staying true to the original material while also creating something which mainstream audiences can still enjoy. As with all adaptations, he had to make sacrifices. And in the case of Watchmen, that means you're going to lose a lot of the overall socio-political commentary and character development no matter what you decide to cut. Mainstream audiences are largely going to expect Watchmen to simply be 'another superhero movie', and so it's important to make sure there are enough quality action sequences with crazy special effects (sex helps too) to keep their attention. The cast choices are really good (I was particularly impressed with Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach) and the script follows the comic very closely (fans of the graphic novel will certainly be remembering and anticipating lines). Ultimately, Snyder does a wonderful job marrying the action, romance, and impressive visuals mainstream crowds will expect with a darker, deeper storyline than they are used to in a film with superheroes. Even so, I would still recommend reading the original material before seeing the film in order to have a much better appreciation for the story.
Dark Fist on Mar 4, 2009
I love the fact that in spite of all the reviews, I still have no idea what I'm really in for when I see it on Friday. As a long, long time fan (my bro has the original prints of most of the issues, and we both read them at that time - *I was like 9 yrs. old and read the full collection when I was 13 or so) I've chosen not to re-read it until I see it on-screen, then to read it again before at least a 2nd viewing. I guess the gamble is - having faithfully adapted it, he's guaranteeing fans will see it at least once. But having done so, the broader appeal will still be a challenge to sell to the masses. To anybody having trouble selling to non-fan friends, just tell them: -It's an epic murder mystery -It's a parable for the '80s (which is oh so stylish these days) -It's the hottest thing on the block. -It's by the guy who did 300. That'll bring a good helping of people in, I'm sure!
Django on Mar 4, 2009
#20 add to your list - Comic book was written by the guy who wrote V for Vendetta, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (Sean Connery), From Hell (Johnny Depp), developed the character John Constantine (the one sorta played by Keanu) and most impressively wrote The Killing Joke which was the major source of The Dark Knight's portrayal of the Joker. That usually hooks people.
Stevo on Mar 4, 2009
I just saw this tonight as part of an employee screening, and I have to say I agree with nearly everything, Alex, except for one thing: This movie deserves a 10, not a 9. I, unfortunately, hadn't heard much of Watchmen until this movie was announced, and even then I wasn't terribly interested. I'm not a huge fan of Batman (or many DC characters, to be honest), and the aftermath of TDK put kind of a bitter taste in my mouth, so hearing so much hype about "2009's Dark Knight" kind of turned me off. However, as the release date drew closer, I got more and more interested as co-workers kept talking about Watchmen. Eventually, I knew I had to read the graphic novel to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn't able to get a hold of it (due to it being sold out nearly everywhere thanks to the buzz of the film), and all my co-workers and friends who owned it were either reading it themselves or had already lent it to someone else in my position. So, as of the time of this message, I have still not read Watchmen. I have, however, seen the film. And I was blown away. I get that it's a movie and liberties were taken, but just from heresay from the people I saw it with tonight, most said it actually conveyed the message BETTER in the movie form. I just can't bring myself to believe that, so now I am on a mission to find the Watchmen graphic novel and see for myself. I don't want to read it online on some comic book site. I've done that before and it's just not the same as holding that book in your hand. Anyone who was on the fence about seeing this movie needs to go see it. Now. Or, at least at your nearest midnight screening tomorrow. You will absolutely not be disappointed.
RC on Mar 5, 2009
Alex, I am a avid reader of your site, and this is the first time I have posted anything. Maybe I just do not like Zach Snyder's style, but I must disagree with your high marks. Granted I have only seen the film once (I am in France, and saw it on Tuesday night), and I plan on seeing it again in the next week. The problem with the movie was that he is so faithful (which he HAS to be), that I feel some parts got cheaply added in. Also he uses an over the top stylization and soundtrack which sometimes detracts from the mood of the film. During my viewing, the movie got laughs when it shouldn't have. With all things considered, I think Snyder has done the impossible, but at the same time has left his footprint on something that did not need it. I think a little more serious tone was necessary, and a little less of the style we saw in 300. I give him credit, but I can faithfully say I was disappointed. -Hassan
Hassan on Mar 5, 2009
i will check it out
Darrin on Mar 5, 2009
I'm excited and nervous for this all at once. It's like waiting to see if your SAT's are good enough to get into the school you want to attend. My hopes are so high, and at the same time I know that there are things about Watchmen that I love that I don't think can work on film. I'm also a little worried about the context. When Watchmen came out in the 80's so many of the things that happened in the comic were relevant topics at the time that even though it was an alternate 1985, it was sort of real. Or at least as real as a story about superheros can be. I don't know how you express that to an audience today watching a movie about the 80's. Regardless I can hardly wait until tomorrow.
Chickenbone Robinson on Mar 5, 2009
WOW, simply amazing. I loved the little in-jokes running through every scene, the little things that those who read the novel could pick-out. Ending was brilliant, they didn't need the squid at all.
Pebbles on Mar 5, 2009
-Alex So an ending where billions of people are murdered leaves you in wonderment? And how is the new ending more profound? You throw out vague statements like that and then do not explain yourself...
Nick on Mar 5, 2009
You don't think you're caught up in the hype, Alex? Sorry, but that's hard to believe when you're throwing around words like "brilliant" in relation to Zach Snyder. Snyder is a stylist, nothing more. He might get the mood and the look right, but I'm prepared to experience Watchman as a completely hollow re-telling with no flicker of a soul. I plan on seeing Watchmen like everyone else this weekend and if it's good, I'm also prepared to eat crow. But my expectations are low. Critical response so far has been polarizing. I sincerely doubt this movie will last longer than a few weeks at the box office. Watchmen is not the end all/be all of comic book movies.
Tom Brazelton on Mar 5, 2009
You Alex Billington, caught up in the hype?! You - never. Dude, you're a hype machine!
Zombie Chuck on Mar 5, 2009
how's that kool-aid taste? just kidding...sort of. Me and Alan Moore are going to sit this one out.
hawk on Mar 5, 2009
sucks for you little birdy aka "hawk". i have to say you've really missed out due to your own stubborn stupidity. =/
Nick S. on Mar 5, 2009
I love this movie. I saw it last saturday here at a free preview screening on Camp Pendleton. it was amazing. i want to see it in IMAX now
Chris on Mar 5, 2009
Still not better than the Dark Night. From What I've heard.
Josh on Mar 5, 2009
I already have my tickets bought for tomorrow and am very excited. Just hope my friends who have not read the book will enjoy it.
Craig on Mar 5, 2009
I am seeing it on IMAX Friday. Can not wait.
Ryan on Mar 5, 2009
You can't have an opinion until you see it, period. Why pretend to know what you are talking about? This film was fantastic, bordering on amazing. It was different to anything I have ever seen on screen and had me interested, invested and entertained throughout. Just see it and enjoy.
Ben on Mar 5, 2009
Saw the screener and even though it was not at an IMAX, it was simply amazing! I went with 3 Watchmen "Virgins" and they were blown away. There were some 10 year olds there and I really thought they did not belong considering the situation. All I can say is NO ONE will be dissapointed.
Tim "Cloverfield" on Mar 5, 2009
I like this review better http://www.mcnblogs.com/thehotblog/archives/2009/03/the_watchmen_re.html
ramez on Mar 5, 2009
Well, a real director would've been nice. It does feel very hollow; indeed, adapting something like "Watchmen" panel by panel for screen kind of defeats its purpose, in the first place, but that's not even my true criticism. Even that could have been a valid approach, properly executed, but - from most of the footage I've seen - it looks like the rest of Snyder's work: hollow, stagey, terribly acted (very terribly), and completely artificial, among the many other things I could hurl at it. And, this is something a lot of other reviews have touched on, as well - in trying to hew so close to the page, Snyder has missed the real point of the graphic novel. Maybe I'll enjoy it, come tomorrow. But, probably not, given the extent that we've seen of this already, and the director's previous work. But, it's not really surprising you'd enjoy it, I mean. Also, meaninglessly inserted action scenes, yay!
Rapiez on Mar 5, 2009
Seriously all those who do not like the movie listen up... This movie could have been so butchered by mainstream studios. It wasn't. Think of the many name actors and directors whom, if attached, would have DESTROYED this film. They didn't. Don't be sad that it didn't come out exactly as you wished. It came out. Its freakin great. I have seen the movie. I am going to line up tonight and see it again. When was the last time you lined up for a movie? The release of this film is like a big budget TAXI DRIVER. Yeah I said it...TAXI DRIVER!!! Finally STUDIOS will once again realize that ADULTS want to see ADULT MOVIES! So to all the negative wankers out there seriously I say this... You have no idea how lucky you are that these minor complaints are all we have to complain about. Like Dr. Manhattan explains to Silk Spectre...the miracle of the situation regarding her birth is that she is the outcome!!!! Do you not get the analogy!!!! The fact that out of the rape of the comic to the hollywood studio system to the movie theatre industry and finally to the viewer is amazing in the fact that it still managed to produce this brilliant offspring! nuff said. PS - if you don't understand what I'm saying or you want to try to punch holes in it go ahead because like Ozymandius I have simply tried to divert you from topics of real importance. while I take your seat at tonights midnight screening.
Game_Over on Mar 5, 2009
You're not convincing me of the film's quality, man. Sure, a lot of terrible directors could've gotten ahold of it - but, you know who else could've gotten ahold of it? An actual director - Terry Gilliam, George Miller, and on and on; someone who would find the cinematic equivalent of the comic page, rather than copying and pasting it, pat for pat. And, that especially applies to Watchmen, which was a comic "about comics." Doing it this way doesn't really show any talent - not the approach itself, but Snyder's execution; there's no real creativity or directorial talent on display, here. And even then, the abbreviations that have been made seem to have been to the detriment of the entire point of the graphic novel; where the graphic novel was 'gritty,' and fraught with verisimilitude, this has Silk Spectre kicking people through walls. Sigh.
Gunny on Mar 5, 2009
Just saw it tonight (thurs) at 12. Spoilers possible if you havn't seen it. After having read the novel a couple times, going into the movie I knew what to expect, especially after seeing so much of the look and feel of the movie online. I do have to say the first half was done brilliantly. But the last half fell short. I really did not like the ending at all. It seemed too rushed. I came out of the movie disappointed but wanting to see it for a second time. It was very faithful to the novel, but knowing so much about it already, being able to tell what was changed or what wasn't included kind of in a way ruined it for me because I was so excited to see certain parts of the book in the movie, only to find them absent. I guess if he did include these things then it would have been way too long for people to sit through. I'm excited to see what the ultra extended version is like. On a side note. Malin Akerman was so sexy in it
Dan W on Mar 6, 2009
Just got home from seeing it. I really did like it, I thought it was very polished and very accurate. I just don't see why the Squid couldn't have been included. There was so much detail and extra things going on in the film, I just don't see why the Squid story line couldn't have been added in there while taking out a few of the drawn out fight scenes and cheesy sex scenes. Otherwise, I liked it.
Farris on Mar 6, 2009
Just got back from seeing it as well. Dan W and Farris are both spot on; the first half of the movie is so great that I could see every single panel of the GN in every scene, but the second half almost seems like it was tacked on as an afterthought, and I didn't much care for some bits being added in and others taken away. And the ending! The fight scene with Adrian is terrible, and cheesy to the max. It deviates so sharply from the comic that you almost can't recognize what movie you came in to watch in the first place. And you can't convince me that this ending was any better than if Snyder had left the squid in. The squid made sense by uniting the world against an alien, instead of a man-turned-godlike being. Overall the film is good, but it could have been GREAT. Hopefully when the full version is out on DVD it will be much more fleshed out.
Daniel on Mar 6, 2009
Pedro Lopes on Mar 6, 2009
Amazing film, simply superb
Movieraider321 on Mar 6, 2009
There were a whopping 22 people at our midnight screening. A couple of them liked it. Our staff screening two nights ago was better attended - but nobody there loved it... a couple of fans liked it but then a few others walked out in disgust. I thought it was okay...not as bad as i thought it might be. I don't know if making a movie geared towards people who read a graphic novel is such a good idea... I doubt they'll make their money back. I don't get why people say that if you haven't read the book you won't understand it. There's probably some subtleties I didn't grasp but I understood the movie no problem. The ending is pretty dull, however. I may watch it one more time but I won't buy the Blu-Ray.
Mat on Mar 6, 2009
anyone seen this... http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/485797 class
zedzero on Mar 6, 2009
#49. HA! That was well done. All I can think of is the Toxic Avenger Saturday morning cartoon show.
Syphous on Mar 6, 2009
Wrong ALEX! No way that is a correct statement - "if you're not a fan of the graphic novel or aren't familiar with it at all, you're NOT going to like it. " Wrong, Wrong Wrong. I went with 6 folks last night at Midnight that had never read the novel and they were all amazed and LOVED IT! Perhaps their intellect dictates they can perceive an amazing piece of work. As film fans, we all rated this a must see. Gunny, you could not be more wrong as well.
D-9 on Mar 6, 2009
I also went with a few friends who had not read the graphic novel and they loved it, while I read it and did not like this film at all. It felt completely unnecessary, and a total waste of time. I went to see an artist's take on the world of Watchmen, and what I got was an exact replica set to the screen, which just felt pointless. Snyder has failed be yet agian.
FritzHatesAlex on Mar 6, 2009
I can't believe people are on Zack Snyder for doing a "replica set to screen" what did you want? You make it sound like replicating a comic to screen is just a simple thing to do. Did you ever think that as an artist he was trying do as true a conversion to a different medium as he could?
melvis316 on Mar 6, 2009
Alright first off, I never read the book so I dont know if my comment really counts at all. Oh who am I kidding of course it does. So I thought this was a good movie. I loved the story behind the movie. For the movie itself.....good not great (wouldn't call it a masterpiece). I have a feeling I may like the book more than the movie.
Mike on Mar 6, 2009
I just watched this movie, and I regret to inform you all that its acceptable. and by "I regret" I mean "i'd love" and by "acceptable" I mean "mind blowing"
Steve Rock on Mar 6, 2009
great movie, hard to digest though, not for everyone.
fgndfn on Mar 7, 2009
In response to Alex's comment at #39 I didn't know a thing about Watchmen when I went to see it, and although I got a little bit bored during the flashbacks I came out of the cinema ABSOLUTLY LOVING it. I'm planning to go see it again this week for a second time ^^
Noddy on Mar 7, 2009
big bloody dissapointment...... irrelevant political jargon coupled with confusing flashbacks makes for a near three hours of fallen costumed soap opera stars. no wonder this was released in march and not the summer time. please let there be no sequel. i will say the graphics were stunning, and what little percentage of the movie actually contained fight scenes were clever and original. But when i go see a comic book movie, i don't wanna feel like i'm screening the reader. come on Transformers two! don't let me down!
kellen on Mar 8, 2009
I'm in the middle on this one. Never read the book. Saw it, liked it for the most part but wasn't blown away by the fanboy hype machine. I was interested throughout, never got bored and was really into the 'what if' scenario of a different 1985 with heroes I'd never heard of. That said, I think this movie was made for the purists the same way rudy & remember the titans was made for sports fans. My opinion is that it's not as transcending as TDK but a step beyond Sin City and (dare I say) 300 in terms of an adult-themed graphic novel with some real character development. The finished product was really cool.
joe moms on Mar 8, 2009
I thought the film was great.But I thought the ending did'nt make sense. The only way to unite the world was to make it believe there was an outside threat.If they believe it was Dr.Manhattan who was responsible and he is the "AMERICAN SUPERMAN" then would'nt the rest of the world be a little leery of the United States.Thoughts.
Gerald on Mar 9, 2009
agree with above (60). the ending does not make sense. but more so, they totally ruined Rorschach and his backstory. he is not seen as ruthless compared to other characters when they too break bones and split heads in fight scenes that were far from spectacular in the book. and the music. can anyone stand that soundtrack? really? in my honest opinion, while the movie is beautiful and has some great straight from the panel shots, it is a mockery. a complete mockery of what Watchmen truly is and the message it brings to the table. if you are a fan of the novel, you should see this too. think on the music, on the emphasized sex and gore that did not appear mainstage in the comic, and the lack of contrast between the powers of the different characters. they weren't the old fogies the novel had, they all had superhuman strength. that is not Watchmen. the meaning is lost because of this Hollywood mockery. yes, it could have been worse, but it could have been much more sincere. Zack Snyder, I commend your eye for visual details and imagery, but in all other regards I believe you are quite lacking. There is nothing 'visionary' about the work you have created thus far. Only pretty.
dave13 on Mar 11, 2009
it was amazing, love the movie i am in awe 🙂
lalafrog2003 on Mar 12, 2009
The movie was great. best movie i've seen this year
Marv on Mar 12, 2009
I saw it yesterday overhere in the Netherlands and must say:what a amazing movie!!! The runningtime of the pic was 3 ours and loved every second of it! Sometimes it did kick butt and sometimes it was very erotic and bloody! The comedian stole the show and the flashbacks where perfect timed to 'get' the story of you didn't read the comicbook!(and i didn't). Zack Snyder did a awesome job and for me it was just as entertaining as tdk!
avi on Mar 13, 2009
this movie was awesome. everything about it.
Kristen on Mar 14, 2009
So Zach Snyder is the one that directed 300, good movie. I just got done watching watchmen...what the fuck.
Page on Mar 14, 2009
I kept thinking that the guy who played the Comedian was Javier Bardem (I found out later that it's actually Jeffrey Dean Morgan), but the two actors definitely look alike
coffee on Mar 14, 2009
I loved Watchman. It was way better than I expected it to be. I am so proud. I will be going to see it a second time within the week that is a definite fact...
Amy on Mar 15, 2009
I think that the film was phenomenal. It was a movie and I expected a movie to come out of the screen. I think that the medium dictated the limitations. The graphic novel wouldn't have had the sex and fight scenes in the movie because it wouldn't be effective in that medium. The story being so multi-layered and complex could not be easily swallowed no matter length of time of the movie. I really commend Snyder for trying so hard on this movie. He really wanted to do this the way he wanted to and I think that's what a director should do. This was his vision and Warner Bros. thought his vision would work. Let's not forget that no other studio wanted to make this movie and that WB took the risk for it. Even though it's not the Watchmen we all wanted, we got something that has the essence of Watchmen. It's not the graphic novel, it's a movie of Watchmen. How many Batman movies did it take to create The Dark Knight? There were so many directors (w/ diff. visions) of Batman before we got Nolan. This might be the case for Watchmen. All in all, it was a FANTASTIC movie, IMHO. I wanted to see what a Watchmen movie would be like and currently, this is THE Watchmen movie I love.
gene on Mar 15, 2009
I am sorry, but Watchman was not a great movie. It was a cool adaptation b/c it was so literal in its translation, but with a non-character driven director at the helm, it had no chance of success. I would give it a 6/10 for being a cool story, but the acting was worse than the latest Star Wars movies. They might as well had Lucas direct it, they would have had the same result. Without good acting, the audience is not going to get into the movie's universe and its characters. It showed in its estimated 70% drop in sales this past weekend. Hollywood needs to comprehend this before it goes back to the comic well. Look at the successful (and good comic adaptation: TDK, Spiderman 1&2, and Batman Begins); they were great & did well at the box office non-comic people got into the movies b/c they could relate to the characters. It would have been great if they would have had Nolan or Fincher directing, both who understand the importance of developing a story's characters.
blester on Mar 15, 2009
Jake on Mar 19, 2009
Watchmen is without a doubt the WORST movie I have ever seen. My boyfriend and I walked out of the cinema about an hour into the movie. Two other couples had already left before us and someone else got up to leave at the same time as us. Had there been someone at the cash desk I think we would have asked for our money back. I read the other reviews convinced we're talking about different films... Watchmen was RUBBISH!
Lucy on Mar 24, 2009
I dont think watchmen was bad. But, it was boring. I actually slept within 30 minutes into the movie. Is tayed because i wanted to understand and give it a chance. But, it wasnt for me. I honestly rather read the graphic novel then see the movie. One thing i honestly hated was the slow motion. Synder has a thing for slow motion that it puts me to sleep because it seemed like in every scene it was slow motion. Another thing that bother me and i know it bother a lot of people is why did they have to have dr. manhatthan naked? thats... just weird. Sure.. the movie had underlying themes that we can come to question in our society past and present. But, the movie wasnt going to be a success because its not entertaining. Im sure even with PG 13 rating it still wouldnt had done great. And, i laugh at those that basically thought this movie was going to beat TDK. THE ONLY WAY YOU CAN ENJOY THIS MOVIE IS IF YOU GO INTO IT WITH AN OPEN MIND AND LET THE MOVIE TAKE CONTROL OVER YOU! THE MOVIE ISNT BAD PEOPLE! ITS JUST THAT SOME THINGS JUST DONT FIT INTO TODAYS SOCIETY VIEWS AND WHO THE HELL WANTS TO SEE SLOW MOTION IN EVERY SCENCE AND A BLUE MANS DICK. By.. the way.. this is off subject... But i saw DB evolution and this movie WATCHMEN IS MUCH MORE WORTH SEEING THEN THAT TRASH THAT IS CALLED DB THAT INSULTS PEOPLES INTELLIGENCE EVEN WITHOUT A PREEXISTENT KNOWLEDGE OF DRAGONBALL. JUST HORRIBLE... I RATHER WATCH WATCHMEN AGAIN AND HOPEFULLY ENJOY THE SECOND TIME AROUND
LC on Mar 24, 2009
Does anybody knows, when this movie comes to Germany? Regards, Jerma
Jerma on Apr 9, 2009
Blue Ray Disc will be available in August 2009 in Germany. I thought it is impossible to do a movie from watchmen. But Zack Snyder managed to do this. Great Work!
Morice on Jun 29, 2009
Well I finally go to see Watchmen. Reading all the wannabe critics didnt stop me from wanting to see it. Long before people declared that Watchmen was a great graphic comic book---------I owned all of the original comics, and I later bought the softback copy that had them all in it. I never dwelled on how perfect or wierd it was. I just enjoyed the graphics and the characters. A lot of the people writing about the movie were kids when all of the Cold War stuff was going on! I thought the movie was brilliant and well photographed. No it wasnt perfect but it reminded me perfectly of the comics. My comics have been in trunks for the past 25 years---------so that should tell people something about how long it has taken for anyone to even attempt the task of bringing it to the movies. Once again-----------its a movie people! You dont have to understand it or disect it-----just go and enjoy it. If you didnt like the characters-------you havent seen or read the comics. If you walked out you wasted your time and money. Check on what you are going to see before you go! It might help. Look at the economy---------dont waste your money. Movies are for escapism and entertainment--chill out. randy
randy on Aug 25, 2009
I saw the movie and it was great. Your write up was a great lead in for actually watching it in person.
James Camrin on Nov 27, 2009
i watched it on new years eve after my boyfriend pushed so hard for this one;) always didn`t want to watch it, but after reading your review i tried to give a shot - and although i normally do not like these kind of films and enjoyed it and my boyfreind loved it
Tiffany on Jan 3, 2010
a dissapointment, half way through i was begging for the movie to end. the comic book was brilliant and amazing, yet the movie was terrible. i give it 5/10
guh on Jan 4, 2010
just watched it because of your review. thx
Burton on Jan 30, 2010
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