Watchmen (the movie) is really quite bad.
The scripting lifts lines from the comic book directly without heeding the fact that comic book dialogue is inherently melodramatic (and Watchmen was no exception) and that you need a lighter touch when working in live-action film. Of course, this probably could have been dealt with had not every direct line-lift been obviously put forward as being Really Serious. The dialogue they added is by and large charmless. (Worst bit: changing Ozymandias’ “What do you think I am? A Republic serial villain?” to “comic book villain,” to get a meta-humorous laugh, which is just what you want at the dramatic climax of your movie.)
The performances are at best a mixed bag. Jackie Earle Haley’s Rorshach is probably the standout – at the screening I attended his “you’re locked in here with me” got the sole spontaneous cheer, and he managed to make Rorshach’s “Rorshach voice” seem unforced and realistic. Billy Crudup’s Dr. Manhattan is eerie and entertaining, and Patrick Wilson’s Nite Owl is passable to decent. Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Comedian is an actor in search of good direction who doesn’t get it. Matthew Goode’s Ozymandias is just too joyfully evil for the turn to surprise a newcomer or satisfy someone already familiar with the story, and Malin Akerman’s Silk Spectre is terrible, one of the worst performances I have seen in years; she absolutely wrecks every scene she’s in and given how many important scenes have Silk Spectre in them, that’s a lot of the most important parts of the movie.
But even when the actors are good, the dialogue is just terrible, be it Moore’s or no. Haley and Crudup can get away with it because of their characters, but some of the dreck the other characters get is just… ugh. The controversial “plot changes” are barely a blip, and frankly the new bits of storyline work just as well.
The action scenes are all at least decent, with points that are excellent, but… raise your hand if your favorite bit from Watchmen is an action sequence? Right. That’s what I thought.
Overblown, overlong crap, cutting out the guts of the story and barely coherent at points because of it. For example, the part where Ozymandias catches the bullet is left in, but you don’t get Laurie scavenging the gun or Adrian explaining his plan to catch the bullet to set it up. Similarly, Comedian’s insult to Hooded Justice when the rape is interrupted is left in, but without the context later provided in the Mars sequence, it loses all its punch unless you already know the story.
Massive disappointing, but at least we can remember this the next time Kevin Smith or Wil Wheaton tell us something is really awesome. Because this? Was not even close.
Top comment: LIES
IT WAS THE BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE — Queen Anthai