Okay, now I’ve had time to think about all the things that really annoyed me about the Watchmen movie. Let’s see how much I can contradict this!
1. Comedian being the Kennedy Assassin (or at least one of them)- Just seems pointless, especially since the rest of the movie establishes how much of a bastard he was. The fact that they don’t mention Jon not being able to stop it was also annoying. I remember that as being a very poignant part of his story.
2. All of the pictures of Silk Specter in Comedian’s apartment- Maybe it’s having knowledge of the original, but it seems like that (and Laurie having the flashback to her parents arguing in her first scene) really telegraphed the big reveal about Comedian being Laurie’s dad. I did like that they played up Silk Specter 1’s status as a pin-up as much as they did (her being on the side of the bomber that dropped the atomic bomb, for instance, really plays up how intertwined the original masks were with history).
3. Hollis Mason disappearing after the first hour or so- I kept expecting them to at least mention his death in that bar scene after Rorschach was busted out of jail. And yes, I know it will be a DVD extra now. Still doesn’t make that any less annoying.
4. How compressed it was- Yes, I know why they had to do it and can accept it on a logical level. It’s still pretty annoying. Hopefully someone will do a 12 part mini-series on HBO someday.
5. Dan’s melodramatic response Rorschach’s death- On the one hand, it was always weird in the book that he never seemed to give a damn about what happened to Rorschach, so that was a nice touch; although he was a little busy having “Holy shit, we just saw a man commit mass murder to save the world and are totally freaking out” sex with Laurie at the time. Can’t blame him there. Still, it was a little much, especially after he started beating on Ozymandias. I did like that Ozy just stood there and took it. That was one of the few nice touches with him.
6. The guy who was playing Nixon was really bad at playing Nixon- Or, at least the Nixon I’m familiar with. Which would be the one from Futurama. Still, it was kind of like that bit at the end of Wayne’s World 2; couldn’t Dr. Manhattan showed up and transmuted him in to a better actor? I’d probably hate him even more if I’d seen Frost/Nixon by now.
7. Jon not delivering the “Nothing ever ends” line- That was such a great moment in the comics, especially with Adrian’s reaction. Before Laurie said it, I was wondering if they cut it just so people wouldn’t expect a sequel. That could be why they had Laurie deliver it as a throwaway line.
And now, because I’ve run out of things that seriously bothered me, some nitpicks!
8. I’ve had “The Times They Are A-Changing”” in my head all weekend- Because I didn’t annoy Cronin enough by crediting Gerard Way for writing “Desolation Row”.It’s not necessarily that I dislike Dylan; I just like his songs better when other people are singing them. Mainly Jimi Hendrix. So, it was nice to hear his version of “All Along the Watchtower”. That said:
9. As good as the soundtrack was, it came across like superhero Forest Gump sometimes, especially when they used “All Along the Watchtower”- Hendrix seemed a little too bombastic for Watchmen to me, even if that was supposed to be a big, exciting scene.
10. All of the detail lost from the book to the movie- I mentioned this in my review of/rambling reaction paper to the movie on Friday. That’s the biggest problem with the movie; it wasn’t, and couldn’t ever be, the book. It will never stand up in a battle of apples and oranges. Some of that is the meticulous craftsmanship of Moore and Gibbons, and the fact that they worked in a medium that could accommodate the scope of what they wanted to do. Snyder had around 3 hours to try and do that justice and still make a film that could be a blockbuster.
Bonus hated on thing:
11. The fight scenes were too slick- It’s a dumb thing to complain about considering that the guy whose biggest hit was a movie that was mostly a long, slick fight scene, but still; it bugged me. Especially when Rorschach kept doing well against the cops after jumping out of the window.
Caveat: Given how dense a work Watchmen is, I’m sure there are elements of the book that have been omitted or bastardized that I haven’t even picked up on my handful of readings. Feel free to point them out (and mock my lack of critical fu) in the comments!
Beyond that, the book just means so much to me (and legions of others). The movie could never work for me as anything other than reflections of all the things that I loved about the book, and how much it changed how I looked at superheroes (and comics in general). I’m wondering if the movie will have the same impact on people who haven’t read the comic. Will it change the way they look at anything, or the than the GN itself, if they happen to pick it up after seeing the movie? Will anyone prefer the movie? And, will we have to round them up at midnight and put them to work in a heart attack factory? Are we going to have create one of those just to house these theoretical heretics?