Like I said, this mini-review shouldn’t have any major spoilers, but if you’re super concerned about spoilers anyway I’d suggest not reading any further. OK, now let’s get on with it. I’m also going to assume you’ve read the book, because if you haven’t this post will make even less sense.
I loved the comic book, so it was very cool to see the pages brought to life (and I’m talking word-for-word, shot-for-shot in most cases). They had to take out the Tales of the Black Freighter unfortunately, but they’re releasing that as a supplemental animated short. The only time the film diverges from the main storyline of the graphic novel is at the very end. Now this is the part where I’m a little worried that crazy fans of the original will try to lynch me… The ending in the movie made a lot more sense in the context of the plot than the ending in the comic. If Zach Snyder was going to change anything in this film, altering the ending as he did was absolutely his smartest move. He made it palatable to movie-going audiences, while also staying true to the spirit of the book.
The casting choices were great, I thought, although I found the Nite Owl II to be a little over-sincere and sappy. That’s exactly how he feels in the book, so I guess it’s just a tad more frustrating to actually watch him be that awkward in person. Everyone else was spot on, especially Rorschach. People were actually cheering for him in the horrific jailhouse scene, which shows both how well-written this character is (and how convincingly he was acted).
The worst (read: most intensely uncomfortable thing I’ve had to sit through in a long time) part of the film was the love scene. The third one. It went on for so long, and was so gratuitous, that people were laughing uncomfortably and squirming in their seats. A couple shots to illustrate the point is one thing, but this went on a good 3 minutes too long. It seemed like an eternity.
So, those are my main points without trying to go into it too much. I loved the film, and I definitely suggest seeing it, especially if you’ve read the original. If you haven’t, the story might be a little harder to follow, but you’ll probably still enjoy the film from a action/visual effects perspective (and for some of the great lines).
If you’ve had a chance to see it, let me know your thoughts in the comments! I’m especially curious to know how the really diehard fans of the book are reacting to the movie.
Image from Saturday Morning Watchmen on Newgrounds.