Kenneth Turan, the movie critic from the Los Angeles Times, says the Zack Snyder film is faithful to a fault and, ultimately, hollow — unless you happen to be a passionate fan of the source material.
I’ve read an awful lot of reviews of "Watchmen" but none better than Turan’s. Here’s an excerpt:
For one thing, Snyder has been unable to create a satisfying tone for the proceedings. While the graphic novel played everything as realistically as it could, the film feels artificially stylized and inappropriately cartoonish. That, in turn, undercuts the film’s key point that these superheroes have very human flaws and limitations. With only "Dawn of the Dead" and "300" in his feature background, Snyder does not have a lot of experience with emotional reality and, except for Haley’s bravura performance as the lunatic Rorschach, that hurts everyone.
Unlike "300," which was visually striking (albeit moronic dramatically), "Watchmen" plays it safe cinematically. Despite being prematurely canonized by the film’s publicity apparatus, Snyder stands revealed here as more of a beginner than a visionary in his uncertain approach to making an on-screen world come alive. His decision to up the novel’s violence quotient to at times grotesque levels doesn’t help.
Ultimately, however, it’s hard to fault anyone for this "Watchmen’s" disappointments. It’s not a wasted opportunity; it never should have been turned into a film in the first place. But when hundreds of millions of fan-boy dollars are at stake, that is not going to happen. Maybe in an alternative reality, but not in ours.
You can read Turan’s full review right here.
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