'Watchmen' is truly a beautiful thing to behold, with Zack Snyder really outdoing himself. It's easily his best movie to date, with a complex yet fluent narrative, great performances and an different (but awesome) soundtrack. Although its running time is far too long, the last 30 minutes are touch-and-go, and the movie has to deal with arguably too many plot points, Watchmen succeeds as both an adaptation of the graphic novel and as a movie in its own right. Definitely underrated.
Although it can never fully convey the depth of the source material's world it comes darn close with an impressive attention to detail in constructing its alternate history. But it's not just surface appearances; it perfectly captures the feel of it and never shies away from the deeper aspects of its social commentary and deconstruction of the superhero. As a result we get a superhero film that explores humanity by showing the loss of it, both in the Watchmen and the cold war world.
I've personally never read the famous comic, but judging from all the heat, I can only imagine it's at least a bit good. The novel pretty much started this thing of making serious comics that attack serious issues and focus on character depth, and storytelling, instead of the usual thing, where the hero fights the bad guy and saves the day. But only from this film's plot, that's based on the novel, of course, it's noticeable how great this movie could've been, due to its amazing source material. I think that in the hands of better writers and director, this film could've been much, much better.
So what's so wrong with it, well, where to start. The writing, god, it is jut too bad, not saying it is HORRIBLE, but it's pretty bad, not going to specify certain lines from the movie, but if you watch and listen to the dialogues you'll notice, believe me. So much exposition dune through narration and constant, never-ending flashbacks, accompanied by poorly-developed characters (with expectations) are all part of the film's poor written script. The visuals and direction are as Zacsnyderish as you can think, with non-stop slow mo, that does work at times, but for most of it, simply unnecessary. Some useless scenes too, that go nowhere and that did not need to be in the film, and of course the dark-toned looks, pretty much what you'd expect from the "300" director.
Another thing is, I understand that Snyder tried to stay as faithful as he could to the comic (as said, I have not read the novel, tho I've heard that the film is a fine adaptation, in terms of staying true to the comic), but damn, did it have to be every single detail. Much like his recent disaster "Batman v. Superman", "Watchmen" suffers from Snyder's dedication to trying and do the best adaptation ever, instead of trying and improve the material, so it would fit better onto the big screen. I could list the problems. The runtime, 163 minutes, that is way too long, for such film, the amount of (as said before) unnecessary scenes that could've been cut out of the film to give more space for character development, or you now just to reduce the film's runtime. But I still have to recognize Snyder, in light of all these problems with adapting the comic onto the screen, I've got to give the man some credit, he did an adaptation that the hardcore fans probably loved, and still managed to sustain a solid picture for the usual movie-goers.
So what are the goods? Well even do I've seen my share of it, and he sometimes exaggerates with some aspects of it, Snyder's visuals are truly beautiful when used correctly, they truly are, but the best thing in the movie, for me, was Jackie Earle Haley's performance as Rorschach (A.K.A Walter Kovacs), the man is a spectacle. Differently from some of his fellow actors (badly miscast) in the movie, Haley is in his top game here, his best scenes being the ones without the mask, as the actor is able to express and act much more, then when inside Rorschach's face. As said before with this impeccable source material, the story and plot overall are great and pretty entertaining, and for me, that's what saved the film.
"Watchmen" has many, many problems, but it has its qualities, I'll say the movie should be a treat for the fans of the novel, as for the ones that aren't familiar with the material, it all may seem a bit weird or kinda long, I think it varies from person to person when it comes to "Watchmen". 3/5.
Bringing Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons' masterful graphic novel to the screen was no small task, but this ambitious yet faithful adaptation realized my wildest reveries. This epic morality play about superheroes (and the humans within them) positions a juvenile genre into deeper waters. The nominal ensemble was cast with considerable risk for some truly rewarding performances. WATCHMEN stands alongside and recalls some of my favorite visions in modern cinema. It matches the multicolored and musically-charged New York City of ACROSS THE UNIVERSE and the pulpy violence showcased in SIN CITY. The film even manages to make sense of the book's final chapter leaving me to wonder how else it could have improved with more variation.