per tutti gli amici italiani: perdonatemi, se è necessaria una traduzione commentate e la posto il prima possibile.
i have seen the film yesterday in the official pre-screening. these are my considerations:
1) good porting from the comic in the first part of the film. same dialogues, same scenes and props, although there are different cuts in the images (but this is filmmaking!).
some concepts (that are repeated many times in the comic strips) are explained with little effort by evocative scenes in the opening titles, some dialogues are compressed to fit on the flashback / pause / super-action rhythm, which is the basis of the film (but, pay attention: propp wouldn't be bored! :D).
2) lack of the entire saga of new frontiersman publishers / boy who is reading comics about a lost pirate / newsagent talking about cold war and fantapolitcs / rorschach with "the end is nigh" sign on street and with his new frontiersman collection / psychanalist who is curious about rorschach, the problems with his wife and the way he discovers rorschach, finally calling him with his real name / essays in the comic and mysterious histories about doubtfully existed writers, scientists and artists that were lost.
it seems that the part about the pirate comic is released only in usa.
3) bad remaking of the final part in the film: i think this is due to budget limitations. the same old story: a colossal starts with an incredible amount of funds, spends all for the first 3/4 of the film, and is forced to end with little money. so (this is the most important part of this article):
bad history tweaks (warning: major spoilers!):
- no psycho monster created by precognitives, scientists and artists kidnapped to serve in a complex, long-time consipracy ("?": this is the real meaning of this history. is this to be considered a cospiracy, or an utopia, or a feasible way to peace?) perpetrated by adrian veidt.
- worldwide holocaust is considered in the film work of dr manhattan (in the comic there is a psycho monster, conceived by ignare people as an alien entity, that makes all the other governors decide to stop war and decide for a worldwide coalization versus the alien invasor), is perpetrated in various cities (in the comic only in new york, so moscow - in front of this tragedy - has to send solidarity messages because the aliens attacked in usa), and there is no shame over him by governments and normal people (in the comic he destroys the psycho monster, so he is the real saviour!), nor he his (maybe little!) offended as being used by veidt as a puppet to achieve his project.
- this way, the real substance of the original veidt's plan, does not cease to exist: his greatness is in creating, by the sacrifice of many innocents, a united world, in peace. but if we are purists, the psycho-monster was fundamental, although it was difficult to depict (...in my opinion it was really unfeasible, as these are the weirdest and worst-illustrated strips in the entire comic), and beacuse it demonstrates that veidt was really the most intelligent person in the world (his project was absurd, but worked), that his team gave incredible results (even beyond dr. manhattan "...maybe i'll create simpler forms of life") and that he equalled alexander the great.
budget / time / production deadlines limitations:
- special effects are the same used in the first part (a great number of little blue particles, electricity in the air, high voltage bursts, explosion/implosion). no new special effects in the ending part (as, for example, in "indipendence day", "star wars", "matrix", "indiana jones and the last crusade", "minority report"). this is important, in my opinion, because this kind of film (super-heroes + great antagonist + extinction level event) has to give little-big marvels in the ending, as a reward, like final fireworks, rising to the final climax.
- veidt kills his (numerous! in the comic there were only three!) scientists with the intrinsic field (in the comic they drink poisoned champagne and are buried by the snow when veidt opens the tropical dome). this is obviously a money saving expedient.
veidt does not open his tropical sphere in the antarctica, killing all the beautiful creatures he was collecting. this is important because it means that veidt was completely insane destroying deliberately all that beauty. instead, reasoning like mainstream industry, this means that destroying plants and animals + ice storm + a crystal dome falling = money, money money!
- but generally the rhythm of the film remains the same in the epilogue, so this can be a simple hypotesys. but that over simplificated ending credits... mmm... really low-tech, don't you think?
and finally, some little mistakes:
- also an unexperienced viewer can recognize adrian veidt killing the comedian!
- really rich scenography and sound design (you can read newspaper titles, find objects that explain the history, filling some blanks as in the comic, hear the sound of distant objects and actions), but lack of citations like "the end is nigh", "veidt's nostalgia" and "who watches the watchmen", that are repeated uncountable times between the strips.
- nite owl does not save people from the building on fire standing on the roof of archie, to make room for that poor people, speaking to them sincerely and and putting on some chill-music.
- all the people who contributed to veidt's plan die on a ship explosion, departing from a secret isle. in the film they are only scientists, killed by intrinsic field extractor.
- nite owl and rorschach land in front of veidt's karnak (in the comic they were too distant!), and they go toward it walking, instead of hovering with some kind of floating scooter.
- the password scene is in veidt's skyscraper. in the film seems that this computer is in antarctica (precisely: noone never speaks a word about the south pole...). there is also no damn book named "ramses ii" on veidt's desk. nite owl is too smart to need such a stupid expedient to find the key, and ozymandias is too smart to put it clearly written on his desk!
- ozymandias dodges nite owl's laser, instead of reflecting it with an iron buckler, and throwing it on nite owl's nose! rorschach's hand is not pointed with a fork on the table. ozymandias does not try to take away rorschach's mask. there are only egyptian relics: nothing from greece. there isn't trace of the legend of alexander cutting the impossible knot with his knife (as an example of lateral thought). there are no massive slaughter scenes (in the ending, comic stripes are full of blood!): people dematerialize as the classical effect of dr. manhattan's powers.
- dr. manhattan is not disturbed anymore by the tachions when he materializes into veidt's karnak in south pole.
- and most important: nite owl and silk spectre ii don't have sex after the total destruction! in the comic dr. manhattan, seeing them embraced, walks on the water (smiling!), talks to adrian veidt about creating forms of life and dematerializes. in this part, ozymandias says that he feels everyone of the innocent deaths and dr. manhattan gives him the last lesson: "nothing really ends".
- there is a gray bubastis (was it orange, and red striped?).
- ozymandias catches a flying bullet, fired by silk spectre ii, falling from a stair! this is one of the main scenes of the comic, and in the film is ported in the worst way possible. simply copy from the comic strips: they have the right cinematography.
- the film ends with silk spectre and nite owl with another identity, visiting sally jupiter: silk spectre's mom cries at the end, thinking about the comedian.
- all ends when veidt launches his last perfume: millenium, sign of a new era of peace. in the film there is no trace of this.
i have to spend some words about the sense of "nostalgia by veidt".
andreij tarkovskij titled a film this way: watch it. that's all i have to say about it.
the last consideration is about rorschach's death.
this is the most important part of the entire plot: he prefers to die, rather than make the kind of compromise proposed by veidt and previously accepted by the other watchmen / minutemen. it deserved a more intense spannung, at least another 30 seconds of cinema.