It’s finally happening. [movie id="302856"]“Watchmen”[/movie] is here, and now the mere mortals among us who didn’t catch advance screenings or couldn’t stake out a midnight showing (what, you had a job to wake up for in the morning?) can begin to weigh in. Success or failure? Triumph or catastrophe? What’s the consensus on Zack Snyder’s adaptation of Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ universally lauded graphic novel?
Predictably, there isn’t one. Critical reaction to the film has been split into three camps: those who immediately loved the book and now immediately love the movie (our own Kurt Loder called it a “monumental accomplishment” ), those who love the book so much they believe the movie should never have been made, and those who never read the book and now are wondering, “Really? This junk is what everyone’s so excited about?”
And so it goes. Will you love it? Hate it? Have you somehow never even heard of it? MTV News did the investigative work and now presents to you the good, the bad and the ugly “Watchmen” reviews.
“Fans of Alan Moore’s landmark graphic novel, concerning a ring of Gotham superheroes brought out of retirement by an impending nuclear threat, will thrill to every pulpy line of dialogue and bloody act of retribution retained in director Zack Snyder’s slavishly faithful adaptation.” — Justin Chang, Variety
“Honestly, if I have a complaint it is that the film feels brief to me. Two hours and 40 minutes and it went by like a blink for me. I easily would have patiently sat for another 2 hours, but that’s me.” — Harry Knowles, Ain’t It Cool News
“Another bold exercise in the liberation of the superhero movie. It’s a compelling visceral film — sound, images and characters combined into a decidedly odd visual experience that evokes the feel of a graphic novel. It seems charged from within by its power as a fable; we sense it’s not interested in a plot so much as with the dilemma of functioning in a world losing hope.” — Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“Even ‘Watchmen’ fanatics may be doomed to a disappointment that results from trying to stay this faithful to a comic book. The opening-credit sequence has a marvelous audacity … [but] once the film proper begins, Snyder, who did such a terrific job of adapting the solemn Olympian war porn of ’300,’ treats each image with the same stuffy hermetic reverence. He doesn’t move the camera or let the scenes breathe. He crams the film with bits and pieces, trapping his actors like bugs wriggling in the frame.” — Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
“Alan Moore was right. There isn’t a movie in his landmark graphic novel ‘Watchmen’ — at least not a really good one. What we get instead is something acceptable but pedestrian, an adaptation that is more a prisoner of its story than the master of it.” — Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
” ‘Watchmen’ is a lighter version of very dark material. On its own, the movie is an efficient adrenaline delivery machine, occasionally taking flight and occasionally sputtering, but most often just motoring down a long road with colorful scenery to pass the time.” — Peter Martin, Cinematical.com
” ‘Watchmen’ features this year’s hands-down winner of the bad movie sex award, superhero division: a moment of bliss that takes place on board Nite Owl’s nifty little airship, accompanied by Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah.’ ” — A.O. Scott, The New York Times
“The bad news about ‘Watchmen’ is that it grinds and squelches on for two and a half hours, like a major operation. The good news is that you don’t have to stay past the opening credit sequence — easily the highlight of the film.” — Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“Whenever a fight begins (and there’s one about every 15 minutes in this 160-minute movie), brace yourself for an abundance of narratively pointless bone-crunching, finger-twisting, limb-sawing, and skull-hacking. These extreme sports are often filmed in ‘Matrix’-style slow motion, a technique that tends to grind the story to a halt. Like the money shots in porn movies, Snyder’s action scenes are an end in themselves — gratifying if you like that sort of thing, gross if you don’t.” — Dana Stevens, Slate
Check out everything we’ve got on “Watchmen.”
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