I wasn't as excited about Watchmen as some people; I had read the book and I didn't quite think it lived up to its expectations. It was a fun read, but not quite the masterpiece everyone claimed--it was ahead of its time, but that's about it. So when I went to see the movie this weekend, I didn't have high hopes--despite Roland (from the book)'s claim that it was one of the greatest superhero movies of all time.
I think part of the problem is it's not a superhero movie--it's an anti-superhero movie. As we stood in line to buy tickets, two teens went away disappointed when they learned it was R; the teen said, "What kind of super hero movie is this?!" I couldn't help but laugh. The movie used gore where other super hero movies left it up to the imagination, had dialogue that was silly at best, and had a story that just went on way too long--you could have easily cut out 40 minutes and it still would have made sense.
I suspect the director wanted to stay loyal to the book, and perhaps this is another one of its follies. Print doesn't transcribe well onto film; you have to change things around. It felt like the director wanted to pay homage to the book, and give something to true fans--but he forgot that for a movie to do well you have to make a movie that sells well to the mass, and not just the fans.
As I walked out of the movie, I could help but wonder if this was nothing more than an R-Rated version of the Incredibles (then again the Incredibles was nothing more than a PG version of Watchmen)...the storyline is the same in many respects--super heroes must become normal people, but they never quite fit this mold and always secretly wanted to get back into action; the villain turns out to be someone the good guys know in both movies to--a villain, in both cases, that became corrupt in part because of fantasies about what a super hero is. The only difference is the Incredibles was funny--even charming; Watchmen is just long.
The Dark Knight is the perfect example of a dark superhero movie done right; people's bones are broke, but unlike Watchman, the audience doesn't see the bones sticking out of their body--and there's no slow motion clip of people's faces getting smashed in--and there's certainly no sex scenes with a slutty girl who can't keep it in her pants on (please tell me I'm not the only one just a little creep out when the girl was hitting on her father? Totally unnecessary and weird!)--Diana said it was also weird that she left the blue guy who could basically please her in ways not human for a guy who couldn't even get it up at first was also a bit weird...I agree.
The soundtrack was great (especially the title sequence); and parts of the movie was entertaining--but the just of the movie was a sloppy, unedited mess, that needed more test screenings and definitely more cutting. If movies carried a letter grade, then this one would get a B-...a good effort, a potentially good movie, but too many flaws to get into A turf.