I saw the Watchmen at midnight. (all the agents…)
I had seen all the trailers and videos, I had read several articles and interviews. I thought the movie would hold no surprises for me. But what surprised me was how well the "unfilmable movie" was made.
This movie is a love letter to the source material and anyone who has enjoyed the comic should go and see it RIGHT AWAY. The level of detail in this film is amazing and will hold up over several viewings. There are bits of "business" that I thought might not be in the movie and yet they showed up – sometimes in the form of an unfinished line of dialogue or a small action by the character. (for example, look at the folders on Viedt’s computer that reference a "throw away" line of Rorscharch’s from the comic)
The first three books of the comic are FIERCELY reinacted down to the cover images – it was breathtaking to see something that have lived on the page with me for so long come so accurately to life. The story "changes" (more like scene changes in some cases) are logical ones – they either force the intensity of a scene or tie something up neater as they don’t have the luxury of time and space that the original comic did.
All the things the fan-based critics were worried about (Nite-Owl’s costume, the "SQUID") didn’t bother me once I saw them in action (a phenomena that echoed what happened to me on "Dark Knight") – in fact I thought I was amazed at how little the removal of the squid didn’t affect the ending of the movie. The characters reactions were still in character and there’s really only one change to "tweak" the ending that makes a character look more noble then they end up in the book.
There are a few nit-picks – such as the "Dawn of the Dead" level of violence – which I chalk up to the "maturity" of modern audiences – one act of violence in particular struck me as odd and out of character but as it was a precursor to another act late in the film, I could understand the necessity to make it clear to the audience that this character would kill if it were necessary.
The acting was very well cast and performed – there were moments where I would have liked to see a little further emotion
(or a little more deadening in Rorsharch’s case) from the actors but it didn’t ruin the film for me.
My only concern is that Watchmen is so accurate to the source material and so well done that it will have the same affect it did on
comic books back in the late 80′s – create tons of poorly executed knock-offs that will start a "dark age" of comic book movies.
Even if you’re not a fanboy, go see it. It is breathtaking.