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Who watches 'The Watchmen?' Me. And I loved it.

Who watches 'The Watchmen?' Me. And I loved it.

I do believe this is a first in my life: I liked the film version of Watchmen much more than the graphic novel. And I like the original a lot.

Of course, I went in with low expectations, so while I may have been easier to impress than our esteemed reviewer, Michael Sragow, I have to say the movie made me want to go back and read the graphic novel again. And not to nitpick, but to revel in the series' mood and relive all those little moments again.

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The moments I didn't want to relive? The film actually improved upon!

Warning to those who haven't read the graphic novel or seen the movie yet: Major plot points ahoy!

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For instance, I thought the original ending was a jumbled, convoluted piece of work. Why does the villain create a fake alien monster to squash NYC, when he can simply frame Dr. Manhattan? Everybody's already scared silly of the guy, so USE that fear.

And the movie version does! It's a simpler evil plot, and exactly what I would expect from the smartest man in the world: You can't defeat a godlike man? That's OK, just make him the boogeyman and leave him emotionally shellshocked. No alien invasion needed.

Not surprisingly, the movie version doesn't include the comic book subplot, The Tales of Black Freighter, and I think the movie is better for it. There's enough backstory and character development without it. But for purists, there's more than one nod to the story-within-a-story, with shots of the comics fanboy and his antagonistic friend, the newspaper stand proprietor.

The casting was pretty much spot on, although I feel that Jude Law was made for the role of Adrian Veidt. Jeffrey Dean Morgan made me sympathize with The Comedian much more than the original book ever did, and the mother-daughter duo of the Silk Spectre I and II rang true to me.

Rorschach, who I feel would have been the easiest character to mess up, was played beautifully by Jackie Earle Haley. He was exactly the shining, crazy angel of vengeance that I had hoped for, and made the movie for me.

Rorschach's narration was cut short in the movie, which I felt was justified so that the first act didn't drag too much. And the only real complaint is that I saw way too much of Dr. Manhattan's Smurfy blue private bits. For a three-hour movie, I'd say that's a win.

But what'd you think, Dave?

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