Part one: FFS Zack.
1. Someone should take Slow-Mo away from Zack Snyder until he learns how to use it responsibly. Really, you could knock off half an hour of runnign time if you just stopped treating every action sequence as violence porn (or just plain old porn for the sex scenes).
2. We know it’s A Significant Story, stop telling us. So much signposting. Much of it with Slow-mo. It’s treating Watchmen like Shakespeare, and you know what else sucks when you treat it like this? Shakespeare. Really, Moore’s plotting, characterisation and dialogue are strong enough to stand without the support of LOOK AT THIS tics.
3. “Rorshach and Comedian are sociopaths. We just kill, err, anyone who gets in our face.” I don’t remember that from the comic. Weakens Rorshach and Comedian by making Laurie and Dan just as psychotic. Oh, and Chain Guns on Archie? WTF?
4. “Hi, I’m Adrian Veidt, simpering Euro-trash” I know, Robert Redford isn’t 35 any more, and Brad was tied up with Benjamin Button. But really.
5. “Gratuitous gore is TEH KEWL!” Watchmen needs quite a bit of gore already to be authentic. Bits of gangster on the ceiling? Not so much.
6. Moving my favourite bit of dialogue to a different pair of characters. “It all worked out, didn’t it? In the End?” “Nothing ever ends, Adrian.” Ah, sue me, they’re MY nitpicks.
7. Crouching Night-Owl, Hidden Rorshach. IMHO, I think only Ozymandias should get to do the borderline inhuman physical stuff. Rorshach doing matrix jumps? Eww.
8. … Heartless? I don’t know if anyone coming to this film would care about anyone enough. Seemed oddly sterile for most of the time. Like a polybagged first edition of a rare comic. You see what I did there?
Part Two: Stuff that wasn’t Zack’s fault.
1. The guys behind me in the cinema. I don’t know if you’re stoned, psychotic or just extremely badly socialized geeks, but the appropriate response to any example of graphic violence is NOT a high pitched giggle. Maybe they weren’t paying atttention to all the cues, but when the Big Blue Guy explodes the Little Asian Guys, he’s not being a hero according to any definition I know.
Part Three: Stuff that worked
1. The Big Plot Change. Yeah, makes sense, more plot-economical
2. The rest of the casting. As near to note perfect as makes no odds. Probably why the freakishly awful casting of Ozymandias stands out.
3. Design, effects, and the whole visual shebang. Primarily because they were committed to not fecking up the excellence of Gibbons and Higgins design.
4. You see that big list of 8 things? None of them are a film killer, though the slow-mo and the lack of human connection come close at times