There are changes to the story that may disappoint fans who can’t let go of the novel or accept the limitations imposed by transferring to another medium. The biggest is the climax, and while I don’t understand the need for the alteration, it works as presented. Unless it was just the theatre I was in (Pacific Theatres at the Grove), the sound was way too loud at times. From the fight scenes filled with thunderous blows to Nite Owl’s ship roaring across the screen, I found myself distracted by the volume and wondering what the sound team was thinking by taking me out of the moment.
I enjoyed the Watchman graphic novel when I read it 10 years ago, but was under the impression that a single movie could not do the story justice and a television miniseries would be the better format. I was also concerned when I learned that the “Tales of the Black Freighter” and “Under the Hood” segments didn’t make the cut, yet were filmed and not only were soon to be released to the home video market, but were eventually going to be incorporated into an ultimate edition on DVD/Blu-ray. This made it sound like the theatrical release was going to be incomplete. While I still think a miniseries would have better served the graphic novel in its entirety, Snyder, writers David Hayter and Alex Tse, and the entire team do a much better job than I expected bringing Watchmen to life. While the film won’t be talked about with the same high esteem as the graphic novel, they set a high bar to clear for other action films this year.