Pales Badly t
mitchellyoung - wrote on 11/02/12
This is a review written within the larger perspective of the mythos of the Watchmen universe. On the surface, Watchmen is a visually-arresting, thrilling, and strikingly unique super hero film. Until you read the graphic novel source material and realize how vacantly short the film adaptation falls in terms of tone and theme. Watchmen nails a lot of the visuals and Zack Snyder has a kinetic way of choreographing action powerfully. (Though a lot of the film's best stills are ripped directly from the plates of the graphic novel; so a lot of the credit for the film's visuals is due to Alan Moore.) In content, however, the film struggles and doesn't quite know how to portray the novel's complicated and crucial themes of corruption, redemption, and postmodern responsibility in a decaying world. This gives rise to some ridiculously corny scenes (like the sex scene set to one of the greatest songs ever written - a travesty) and a fundamental misunderstanding of the material. It all comes to a head with a fundamental change in the way the film ends that somewhat alters the original's anarchic ending for a more "Hollywood-friendly" one.
the two-start rating isn't so much that Zack Snyder has made a bad film; there is a lot of Watchmen that is powerful, thrilling, and interesting. It's that Snyder has not, in my opinion, made a film worthy of the material. Perhaps the genius of Alan Moore cannot be properly captured on screen, but every attempt to bring his works to life has been strong on visuals, but has failed to grasp the deep thematic material that Moore often attacks, and Watchmen is no exception.