I watched the Watchmen last night.

Yep. Who watches the Watchmen? That would be me.

After I got home, I wrote a nice long movie review full of spoilers.

Then I looked at it, and how long it was, and deleted it.

You can thank me now. Even after reading this very long, movie review. Thank me for deleting that other one.

Yeah, I spent about an hour writing that post, but in the end, it wasn’t worth posting it. I’m not outraged, I’m not horrified, I was just writing down my thoughts on what I liked or didn’t like about the movie.

And it got to be stupidly long, because I grew up with the graphic novel, and have over the years spent a lot of time thinking about some of the storytelling techniques used in the comic.

So I scrapped it, and wrote this new long ass post/review full of spoilers instead.

Why? Because I damn well grew up with Watchmen, I read the comics when they came out and I was in High School, I admired the way it broke new ground, and I admired the many, many layers of depth and meaning in the book. A large chunk of my mental capacity was spent thinking about Watchmen back in the eighties, God help me and my wasted youth.

I am intimately familiar with the story, and as a writer I feel I learned a great deal about how some characters can be developed, and how they can affect a reader from reading Watchmen.

For one thing, it showed me that you can have a character be written in a certain way that he is charismatic, interesting, occasionally funny, and makes the reader like him… and then show that, inside, he is a monster, an amoral killing machine without a conscience as we understand it, someone that is just despicable, has done terrible, monstrous things… and still have it be the same person we met at first, someone who, now that you know more about them, still seems to be a complete character. The character has a believable consistency to what they do. You know more about them, about how they think… and even though you can’t help but still like the way he’s portrayed, and feel a touch of sympathy for him as a person, you now know that inside, he’s a monster that deserves a bullet to the back of the head. 

You can also have a character that your reader will dislike, that they will see, and meet, and think “What a dirtbag. Oh, ugh… what a pompous asshole. Treats his friends like dirt. Abuses people right and left. What a jackass.” But in the end, you can win the reader over by showing them what has driven the person to be this way… how the one character you started out hating can be the one that becomes your favorite, because you know they would fight by your side no matter what, they would never betray you, never turn aside from evil, but would do whatever it takes to see justice done. That no matter how horrible they seem to act on the outside… what drives them is a thirst for vengeance against anyone that harms an innocent life, and that burning intensity has left no room for anything else inside them. They are worthy of pity, and fear, but not your hate.

There are a lot of rich characters, deep personalities in the comic book, and I learned a lot from it about the crafting of a story.

So I wrote a movie review based on my appreciation for the craft involved in the base material. Kinda worthless, since who cares about the graphic novel, it’s the movie I was supposed to talk about.

So here’s a real review.

 The action scenes are very well done, but short. There are more of them in the movie than in the comic, but the amount of dialogue in the movie is brutal. They did a good job of trying to be faithful to the dialogue of the source material… but it is just is too long, and too dry. What worked on the written page doesn’t work here.

Now, I said they did a good job of being faithful to the dialogue. That is true.

But they did a pretty poor job of being faithful to the highs and lows of the story, and matching them to the big screen.

First, the lows; most of the movie is pretty agreeable for most audiences, but I felt that, considering how drastically they changed major parts of the story for the film, they really screwed the viewers by leaving in some scenes of graphic, nasty violence. Hands cut off, heads struck multiple whacks by a cleaver, dripping body parts from the ceiling, that kind of thing. Just didn’t really fit the overall rest of the film. They were in the graphic novel (well, not the cleaver to the head)… but you’re making a film. Once you choose to change shit to be consistent with showing a film to an audience… be consistent. Those scenes were the epitomy of gratuitous violence, because they added nothing to the story but gore and violence.

Now, the very lows;

I posted the Hitler thing a few days ago mocking a frantic fanboy’s fury over the changed ending, and it’s funny, but really, it’s pretty true.

Because where they changed the story from the base material, where they just went in a totally different direction… it does NOT work for the better. It’s pretty bad.

They did two major things to change the original story, and there was absolutely no need for it. And what’s worse, the changes they made hurt the story quite badly, and left me walking out of the theater thinking “That was pretty crappy and showed a pathetic lack of imagination.”

The first is simply that they changed the nature of what Adrian Veidt and Dr Manhatten were working on, so that the two of them were working together on a source of infinitely renewable free energy to replace fossil fuels, creating a machine that could duplicate the power of Dr Manhatten himself, duplicate the way he could create energy apparently from out of nothing at all, by changing the molecular structure of reality. 

This change in the story was a necessary change to make their new ending work… but it also gave them an opportunity to include a brand new scene… where Adrian Veidt is faced by a group of ’captains of industry’ involved with exploiting fossil fuels, coal and natural gas as energy sources, and even naming Lee Iacocca by name, and portray them all as a group of smarmy evil men willing to do anything to retain their greedy, evil profits at the expense of a planet in dire peril of disaster.  After the fat cats gave ther smarmy threats and insinuations, it gives Veidt a chance to lecture uninterrupted about how evil and mean they are, how shortsighted they are, and how free energy is the way of freedom and peace and love. In fact, it allows him to describe how, if it weren’t for exploitive oil companies and car manufacturers, there would be no war today.

The fact that the actor they got to play Veidt looks like a typical whining yuppie that could be broken in two by a stiff wind, and boy oh boy, I was really impressed. What a crock of shit.

Yay. Yeah, that fit in the movie like a turd in church.

But the big failure that stunk up the movie was the damned changed ending.

Seriously.

Yeah, the ending they used was just lame. The whole point of the movie was that the Comedian stumbled on something so big, so scary, so terrifyingly over the top, such a huge practical joke on the whole world, that he snaps. And he can’t keep his mouth shut after he snaps, this amoral man who kills kids and pregnant women, who assassinated Kennedy himself, it’s so big that HE snaps, and has to be killed to shut his ass up.

The original ending, in my opinion, fit the bill. Sure. It was a whopper of a big huge lie to make the entire world choke on, and I could see the Comedian seeing that huge-ass thing under the tarpaulin, read about the cloned psychic brain, the whole mindfuck of Dr Manhatten, and snapping a little. Even after everything he had done… because this was something bigger, more audacious, than nearly any mortal mind could conceive of not just planning, but DOING and getting away with.

What they did instead… it’s like the deballing of the graphic novel, and it has no integrity at all. They take out something that made sense, that had it’s own crazy logic… and replaced it with something that doesn’t even work in what little connection to reality the story had.

The graphic novel was always partly about a character study of diffferent personality types, and how they would react to different stimula. You learn more about these people over time, and see how their actions are shaped by their experiences, and by their own inner nature.

And then the movie changes the ending into something that is ignorant of even the most basic understanding of human behavior.

Dr Manhatten is the only superpowered individual on earth. We are shown that, from the moment he came into being, in the era of Vietnam, the US government had total control over him. He lived in a military facility. He obeyed military directives. For over 30 years, he was the threat of nuclear force that kept the Soviet Union at bay.

In reaction, the Soviets worked feverishly to stockpile a nuclear arsenal that could overwhelm even Dr Manhatten’s ability to stop them all, forcing America to retain the balance and not push the Soviets too far. America had bullied the Soviets previously, in Vietnam, and won. But now, now mutually assured destruction and a world on the brink of WWIII has things tense, balanced, and the slightest misunderstanding or pecker waving could see everything go up in smoke.

So to make the world one peaceful place full of joy and love, we are led to believe that first, Dr Manhatten is encouraged to leave earth forever, so America now has no nuclear deterrance to remain at a comparable level with the Soviets. Next, we are shown that America is at Defcon 1, and is fueling it’s bombers and arming it’s bombs to go to war in a pre-emptive strike, in response to the Soviet war machine posturing in Afghanistan, taunting the US to see if Dr Manhatten has really gone.

So the Soviets are shown explicitly not believing that Manhatten is gone… and everyone knows America has controlled Manhatten for his entire existence, and used him to wage war in the past, blowing people up and tanks up.

America is shown as being ready to launch a nuclear attack at any moment… a fact which anyone that has a clue knows the Soviets would be aware of.

And we are supposed to believe that the Soviet response to having some of their cities blown up by a massive explosion with Dr Manhatten’s energy signature… would be to say “Oh, you Americans had some of your cities blow up too, is all big mistake, Manhatten is actually fighting all of us at once for no reason, he must be crazy and is acting independantly against everyone on Earth, is not some American trick, so we all big friends now.”

Really.

And better still… this lame ass plot is supposed to be over the top crazy enough to make the Comedian crack?

Just… “Bitch, please.”

And there’s my real movie review. Taking the movie as a movie… they took an ending that, even if goofy, at least made sense… and left you walking out of the theater thinking, “Boy, that was a pretty stupid ending. In what universe is that supposed to make sense? The Soviets would have pushed the button about three seconds after their first city blew up. Dumbasses.”

Edit: After reading PlasticRats comment, aside from the fact that Alan Moore was the writer of Watchmen and not Frank Miller, I pretty much think you’re dead on. In fact, you nailed the reason I even felt any desire to write anything about it… that they did such a great job in all other respects, the acting, costuming, the attention to detail. It all showed a fine appreciation for, and respect for, the original material. Frankly, the movie showed far more love and care than I personally needed. I’m cool with reinterpretations… Batman Begins, Spiderman, Iron Man, Hellboy… none of them really went panel by panel with an original comic. Sin City did, and I thought it was done real well, but it’s the rarity in comic book movie adaptations.

So to me, in a case where clearly they did their absolute bestest in following the comic book, right down to Silk Spectre’s fugly costume… somebody, somewhere, had to come up with the idea that the tentacled squid was a bad idea, and Dr Manhatten energy bombs was a better idea. And many other people had to agree.

And again, as PlasticRat points out… Why? I guess it was a cool movie in many regards, I thought they did a great job of dealing with Rorshach, Nite Owl was handled extremely well, Silk Spectre was given a very strong consistent thread… to me, it’s just the changing of the ending that drops me. Because to me, it’s not that it’s different… it’s that it just doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t feel like it would work.

Ah well. I still have Death Race to watch on DVD, I’ve got Resident Evil: Apocalypse for right after. Maybe after I watch those, I’ll come to appreciate the fine acting and special effects in Watchmen a lot more.

21 Responses to “A funny thing happened on the way to the Watchmen review”
  1. Grezzk says:

    Umm…

    You said, up above: “[in my first draft] I wrote a movie review based on my appreciation for the craft involved in the base material. Kinda worthless, since who cares about the graphic novel, it’s the movie I was supposed to talk about.”

    … which I happen to entirely agree with.

    Except you then wrote a movie review based on your appreciation of the base material, anyway.

    No offense intended; everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but when your main complaint is about the movie is that the Comedian you know from the reading of the book wouldn’t crack after finding out what he found out in the movie, obviously, you’re not separating the two things, right?

    I see your point about it, but I think if you just look at only the movie, the plot works fine. We know the Comedian of the movie would crack after what he finds out in the movie because… well… he does. We see it happen. Given only that version of the guy, it works just fine.

    That’s my personal opinion. I understand yours as well; I just don’t think it’s based solely on the movie you saw.

    All due respect? I don’t think it COULD be solely based on the movie. Not with the history you have with the book.

  2. PlasticRat says:

    I went to see this movie with a group of friends who all loved the graphic novel. We knew that Hollywood had pissed all over it already, but some folks had said the movie really isn’t that bad and well… there really just wasn’t anything else on.

    When we walked out at the end of the movie, it looked like a funeral. We all kinda found our way downstairs to a Starbucks and sort of avoided the subject. Seriously, we’re a group of couples, in our 30s, wives, husbands… not your typical fanboys. The thing we all shared was a love for the Watchmen novel, and all of us were just miserable. We sat around and then the subject broke, and the invective flew. It wasn’t so much the spittle shrieks of an enraged fanboy, rather a tired anger that comes from seeing Hollywood piss all over the classics you enjoyed as a kid, for no apparent reason.

    Everything you said was pretty much said by us over coffee. We tried to see the good points, but in the end, it came down to one thing. Why mess with it? Why? You’re handed a story on a plate that we KNOW works. It’s worked for years. It fits. People have loved that comic. Why change it? Why do directors have this overwhelming desire to do this?

    Not sure if it’s true, but I heard Frank Miller asked not to have his name associated with the movie. Still looking for more information on this.

    Personally, I think if the movie, the acting, the special effects had sucked utterly, I would have been able to swallow it more. In this case, it was a bit like going: “Look guys, see here, we’ve got the special effects technology to pull this off. We’ve GOT the cast that can pull it off. We actually can faithfully remake the comic and bring it to life. Except… yanno what? Screw you guys, because we’re not going to. LOL in your face bitches!”

    Seriously, I give up on Hollywood.

  3. MMorecowbell says:

    I *love* the graphic novel. Had to say that and get it out of the way. I saw the movie on Saturday with my wife who has not read the book. While I agree with many of your points I went into it knowing that things had to be changed for the big screen. Taken at it’s face, the book would have translated into a movie miniseries at best, there was fat that needed to be trimmed for a box office outting. The newstand, kinda sad it was gone, but it wasn’t crucial to the story. The Black Freighter made me sad, but I also went knowing that it is coming out on DVD by itself and later with the movie, problem solved. Again, that wasn’t relevant to the main storyline of the book/film. The ending; well, if you boil it down to it’s core: what Veidt was actually trying to achieve, a world unified in the face of some great horror they could not foresee, it did exactly that. Whether its aliens or man-become-god, is that critical? Not to my mind. By the way, you mention the Doc and Veidt working together to achieve free energy, this was in the book, Doc mentions that he could just make lithium creating a revolution of electric vehicles, Veidt was also working with him to replicate his teleportation. Changed from the source? Yes, but not “new”, more of a stretching of the original material.

    I definitely felt the lack of material in some spots, things that didn’t make as much sense due to something being removed. I’m looking forward to the directors cut DVD as all in all I found it to be very good. Now to convince my wife to read it…

  4. Bo says:

    I’ll read this post after I go see the movie I think… :-)

  5. Leah says:

    you just descrbed perfectly what my husband was feeling as he was raging on a way home from the movie theater. personaly – I liked the movie. I wasnt terribly impressed with it and I felt like creators payed far too much attention to gratuitous violence and sex, and not enough to the story. there were parts that were vague if you were not familiar with the novel (hell, I found myself scouring wowwiki, just to figure out who were those original minutemen and why did they die and why was it important as well as why were tales of the black freighter so important to the story, because other then commercial before the movie, they are not exactly focused on in a film – among other things)

    I have to give the movie its due though. Because the last time I held the novel in my hands was at the urging of my darling spouse and I barely skimmed it, not giving it the attention it deserves. and thanks to the movie – I’m going to pick it up and read it again. this time really reading it, instead of skimming.

  6. Leah says:

    blah – not wowwikki – wikipedia :P

  7. Juggy says:

    You sir are dead on with that review.

  8. Mannyac says:

    I read the series many years ago. I definitely don’t think I would qualify as a “fan boy”
    Honestly after the first 20 minutes or so I found myself checking my watch to see how much of this looooooonnnnggggg-ass movie was left.
    The thing that the successful comic (ok ok graphic novel) to movie conversions do is make them relevant. They gave the audience a reason to be engaged. Watchmen never even got close to making me care what happened.

    It wasn’t terrible but after I left the theater, I did regret not just waiting for the DVD.

    jmho

  9. Suicidal Zebra says:

    No Watchmen review post can be complete without Happy Harry’s own radical interpretation of the graphic novel: Saturday Morning Watchmen.

    Putting aside my Youtube whoring for a moment, I have to say that I found the film pretty engaging. I agree that the Soviets thinking ‘Oh, this isn’t an American plot. Hold the Missiles!’ was pretty unlikely and ‘Nooooooooo!’ was more Revenge of the Sith than Dark Knight, but as a movie it seemed to work. However, I’ve never read the graphic novels.

    When my brothers’ fanboy girlfriend mentioned the ending of the comic book I agreed that conceptually it was better as the Viedt-created threat would appear much more obviously independent than Manhattan, but visually there was too much chance the film would descend into monster-movie farce. The Comedian’s break from the Viedt’s inner circle has believability because your average movie-goers is quite used to even the most amoral characters gaining some form of redemption. From the films narrative my interpretation was that there were some things even a bastard like Blake wouldn’t countenance, though granted that was a big departure from the comic.

    All the above aside I won’t be buying the DvD, yet nor will I be buying the vastly superior Dark Knight. Both films are good, even great, but I won’t enjoy a repeat performance for the same reasons that I haven’t bought Automatic for the People: they’re all so damn bleak.

  10. Artorin says:

    Since the above posters all have read the graphic novel I’m going to put a different view into the mix. I never read the graphic novel before, but I saw the movie last night and I have to say I really enjoyed it. Not being familiar with the back stories and plot lines made every twist and indepth character development so much more engaging. Had the movie showed more action and less dialogue then those of us who have never read the graphic novel would be sitting there scratching our heads going wtf?

    As it was the development of the characters was incredible and kind of what you explained above as someone you first loved you end up hating and vice versa was unique especially in movies. I also agree that while some of the violence and gore was a bit over the top and didn’t really fit in with the flow of the movie it still made you pause and think. I squirmed a little in the seat when the guy’s arms were cut off in the prison because I really wasn’t expecting it. The ending albiet slightly unrealistic was still extremely thought provoking. Was a peace built on a lie worth the lives of millions of innocent people? How do you live with that kind of secret?

    I’ve come to realize that when it comes to different forms of media you cannot have the same expectations of both. Often times which is better is simply a matter of which one you absorb first. For example The Chronicls of Narnia series my first exposure was actually a broadcast radio program. I never really got into that, years later the recent Lions witch and the wardrobe movie came out and I saw it and was extremely intrigued. I read that book and the rest of the series however that particular book was my least favorite because it wasn’t as good as the movie to me. Recently with Prince Caspien’s release I had the exact opposite emotions. Having read the book first I found the movie to be a betrayal of what I knew and was dismayed when I was watching it in theaters.

    The director was the same, the cast was the same, the visual affects were the same so what was the difference? I had expectations going into see Prince Caspien where as I had none seeing the first movie. When you go into a movie or anyother media with specific expectations you will allways be disappointed, because some things cannot translate across media’s and also because we as humans see things differently.

  11. Pookie says:

    I will have to respectfully disagree. The ending worked great in the 1980s, but it wouldn’t hold water today. Its my personal feeling that in the comic the psychic horror, wasn’t explained well. There were too many holes with the psychic powers angle to start with. But the beast was genetically based on animals from earth. We have advanced genetics to the point if there was a shred of material left the world’s scientists and military would be all over it deep ingrained fear or not. And that is where the space alien threat charade falls apart. Also I think the movie set up well enough the public’s ability to believe Dr. Manhattan did it. If the world is watching for nuclear disaster are you going to lauch a nuke if your enemy is hit at the exact same time? Or being on guard are you going to assume there is another ‘other’ threat? Besides our logic doesn’t apply to either the movies or the comics and some suspension of disbelief is needed.

    But thats my take on it. I don’t think even a 4 hr movie could contain the entirity of the story and somethings had to be changed. The ending for the movie at least still makes sense. Its a departure and change, yes, but at least it fits.Besides you’d have to add in the missing artists and scientists that Rorsch was investigating for the other story to work and again not enough time in a movie to do it all.

    As for Alan Moore not having his name associated with this movie, he doesn’t want his name associated with any movie derrived from his work ever. He has stated in many interviews that he would prefer they stay comics. Which as a lot to do with his belief in the medium standing on its own and his experiences with people (*cough* DC) stealing his work and doing whatever they want with it.

  12. Boojah says:

    I, like BBB, had a long post typed out, and then it got lost.

    I am a huge fan of the comic, grew up with it. For the same reasons as Pookie, I expected the ending to change, and I’m not that dissapointed with the ending. It’s not great, but it did hold together the thread through the “event”, which was important.

    I left a little disappointed, only because the books were so great. Then I refelcted back on it.. and it was great. It captured most of the characters, the tone, the story, visually it was awesome, the soundtrack was perfect….

    Just for Rorshach’s story alone, it was a great movie. The violence fit perfectly with how awesomely they did his story and character. I mean, just Rorshach was worth going. And they got the Comedian right on.. Dr. Manhatten they got mostly right even, which I thought we be really tough. Only thing is, he was a tad too emotional except for the part where he’s really supposed to be, and then he wasn’t enough, IMO.

    They didn’t get Viedt down well, disapointing. But still, compared to most of the drek they put out, this was a great movie.

  13. Boojah says:

    BTW – As I was watching, I was thinking, “this would have been even better as an HBO miniseries”!

  14. Ghostwheel says:

    I held back in my comments on the Hitler vid, because I didn’t want to add any spoilers, but I agree. You’re bang on. While it was really neat to see the attention they’d paid to detail on certain things, like the dialogue and settings (except for Antarctica), it was disappointing to see the film maker pushing his interpretation in several places. You mentioned the scene with Adrian and the captains of industry. The other one that irked me was when Rorschach and Dr. Manhattan have their moment at the end, and Dan yells “NOOOO!!!” and gets all emotional.

    I really cringed when the Comedian showed up in Moloch’s room and didn’t mention the island at all, because at that point we really find out that the ending would be changed I’d made my husband read the graphic novel the week before we went to see the movie, so he’d know what was going on, and he was really disappointed in that.

    I’m glad they kept Bubastes in the film, but it doesn’t really make sense unless you know what Adrian was doing. I agree… Adrian was *completely* wrong. The rest of the movie was well cast (I’m glad they didn’t pretty Rorschach up for the camera), but I kept thinking that the scrawny guy playing Adrian must be related to the film maker or casting director somehow.

  15. Yggdrasil says:

    Actually, I’ll buy the premise that was put forward for the ending. It really wasn’t bad at all, to me.

    My only quibbles are with small things that seemed more like they just didn’t have time to properly explore. The portrayal of The Comedian in the movie left you wondering why anyone ever had anything to do with him.

    The scene where Dr. Manhattan discusses “miracles” wasn’t the crowning moment of awesomeness that it should have been, in my mind. Huge point in the comic became a blink and you missed it.

    Veidt’s presence in the world was too understated, as was his power (until the end, making it seem kind of like an “ass-pull” at that point).

    There are more, but these are what spring to mind.

    Too much emphasis on the sex and violence of the comics, not enough on the things that really made the comic revolutionary. Still a very good movie overall.

  16. bigbearbutt says:

    I will say, it’s nice to see so many people who went in fresh to the movie, that came away having enjoyed it a great deal.

    I certainly wasn’t intending to drive folks away from seeing it. My hope was to have folks see where I said ‘spoilers’, and go watch the movie, and then come back and give me their take on it.

    I’m just too close to the source material to be objective about it, and I’m glad that it stands well on it’s own.

  17. conundrum says:

    I have to say that I agree with BBB to a point. I had been told that the movie was changed to use bombs instead of psychic squid but that it ultimately made sense, something which I could scarcely wrap my mind around. Watching the movie I was not entirely convinced.

    In the book there is not huge structural damage, just lots of dead bodies including a weird alien looking one in the middle of the chaos. It is pretty obvious where the governments should put the blame, and even if someone were brought in to investigate what are the chances that the smartest man in the world would not be in charge? Everyone else who knew was dead. That holds water for me.

    A giant bomb going off and them being able to tell that it was not a nuclear weapon due to its energy signature though? Really? I am guessing since getting close enough to use their tricorders would be dangerous due to the radiation they would expect to be there thinking that they were nuclear so they must have scanned from their starships. Seriously, not only could they magically tell that these were not nuclear weapons but that they were Dr. Manhatten fast enough to keep Nixon from hitting the retaliation button just did not make sense to me. That would have to mean that they knew, more or less instantaneously, that it was not a nuclear weapon. Perhaps they would have that kind of tech having worked with Dr. Manhatten for so long, but it just did not jive with the world as I thought it was supposed to be.

    On a side not, when all the buildings being rebuilt had Veidt written on them, did anyone else feel like it was making it appear as though getting the rebuilding contracts and reforming the world in his image was the reason Veidt did it? I know in the book that was not the case, but then again in the book he was not a flat out villain like he was in the movie.

    The difference for me was, none of this ruined the movie for me. The music nearly ruined the movie for me, but overall I still found it good. Not great by any means, I will not pick up the DVD, but I do not regret seeing it and it does not tarnish my love of Moore’s second greatest achievement (League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is just better in my opinion). It could have been a LOT worse, especially with Snyder at the helm. But I think that he has finally made a movie that gets a passing grade.

  18. Pookie says:

    But B3 it says a lot that you know you are too close to be objective. I think its the same with anything we love or that moved us especially when we are young. I always cringe when I see someone make a bad B flick out of Lovecraft’s stories. He was the first author to really get me enough I wouldn’t read it at night alone.

  19. Samodean says:

    Instead of posting an essay in comments, here.

  20. Folstar says:

    The change to the ending was totally acceptable in my opinion. Think how much more content/dialogue would have been lost/rushed if they had included the 15-20 minutes of screen time necessary to make the island/alien/psychic thing even remotely understandable to any viewer who hadn’t read the books.

    Also I have to disagree with the assertion the Russians would have launched their missiles 3 seconds after their city blew up- why launch nukes if it appears Dr. Manhattan has returned? Isn’t he the whole reason they didn’t launch a long time ago? As for the “how could they tell it was Manhattan and not a nuke” rant lets suspend disbelief and/or use our imaginations and just guess their was no mushroom cloud + city gone = not a nuke.

    I do agree the graphic violence could have been toned waaaaay down. A few broken bones in the gang fight, Rorschach simply burning the building down (and leaving out the ‘here, have a saw’ part because people will think of Saw), and slightly less gruesome remains from the exploded people would have detracted from the story less and probably won the movie more supporters.

  21. cp says:

    While the squid might’ve been hard to pull off in a movie, I’m thinking an alien invasion hoax of SOME kind would have been far better than the ending we saw in the movie.

    Let me explain: During the scene where Veidt has the meeting with the heads of the auto industry (you know, the scene where Lee Iacocca gets capped), Adrian explains his belief that war is propagated due to the lack of renewable cheap/free energy sources. OK, I’ll buy that….I can only think of two reasons people go to war: 1) religious fanaticism and 2) coveting another countries’ resources. But if Veidt DOES have the energy tech available to him, even if it’s not quite perfected, doesn’t it make more sense to start rolling out that technology to stem the tides of war? Rather than option b) murdering millions of innocents. Veidt was never an overly violent man during his time as a crime-fighter (unlike Rorshach), and I think, given his character, he would have used the Dr. Manhattan gambit ONLY as a last resort. Lets face it, if that thing could produce enough energy to wipe out that many cities, it surely could be used to simply provide power to those cities and more.

    I suppose they changed the ending from the original ‘Alien Invasion’ hoax to simplify the plot, and keep running time shorter. After all, they would have had to build up the whole thing about the missing writers and artists, etc. But for my money, I would have preferred a 4 hour Watchmen movie that kept the original ending from the graphic novel.

    That said, all in all, I was impressed with the movie, and how faithfully they adapted it (‘cept for the ending).

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