The director’s cut runs about 25 minutes longer, and incorporates more elements from the comics, adds more violence, as well as more shots of Dr. Manhatten’s schlong. Some of the previous scenes are reworked with additional dialogue. Information has been supported by sites such as AICN etc.
Overall, the storyline and conversations are better fleshed out, and this version is truer to the comics. The largest additional addition is that of Hollis Mason’s death, which is spectacularly directed to the score of the Intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana (think Godfather III).
(1) Rorschach gets additional dialogue, some straight from the comics.
(2) When Rorschach searches the Comedian’s apartment shortly after the opening scene, he encounters two cops still stationed there. He fights briefly with them before jumping back out the window.
(3) Conversation between Dan and Rorschach (beans scene) is extended.
(4) All flashbacks extended, with the exception of Sally’s.
(5) Dr. Manhatten discussing the symbol on his forehead. Additional questions in the face to face with Dr. Manhatten. Dan and Hollis watch Dr. Manhatten go crazy on their TV set.
(6) Laurie getting interrogated by the military as they try to determine Dr. M’s whereabouts (on Mars). Alessandro Juliani’s (Lt. Gaeta from Battlestar Galactica) scene has been reinserted. He plays one of the scientists who bursts in during the interrogation of Laurie to tell the military that they’ve located Dr. M on Mars.
(7) Probably the biggest addition is the depiction of Hollis Mason’s death at the hands of the knot heads. Interestingly, the death is done from poor Hollis’ POV, where he imagines himself fighting the gangsters of the 1940s. He delivers left and right hooks to Captain Evil, before being done in by “Moloch”. The score for the death scene is very fitting.
(8) Dan taking revenge on an isolated knot head at a bar, post Hollis’ death. It’s a brutal revenge.
(9) The shootout by hired hitman Roy Chess is much more brutal- e.g. more blood and gore, fingers blown off.
(10) Conversation between Dr. Long and Rorschach is extended.
(11) Longer jail-break scene with arguments between Rorschach and Laurie. Prison guards open fire on Dan’s ship.
(12) Longer conversation between Dr. M and L on Mars.
(13) Riot scene is longer with more conversation between the Comedian and the rioters.
(14) Agent Forbes (Fulvio Cecere) has a larger role as the government agent in charge of handling all the Watchmen.
This is THE version to get. It feels complete.
Was this review helpful to you?
This edition is an improvement over the theatrical release and is closer to the book. My only disappointment related to this edition was that I opened the package to find a coupon for the ULTIMATE edition, which is to be released Decemberish. The next (and I hope final) version will have the Black Freighter story woven into the main story as it is in the book. If you don’t want multiple versions of this film, hold off buying until the end of the year.
I agree with the other reviewers who note the film’s ending is an improvement over the book’s. It just makes more sense in the context of the story. This is not a knock on Mr. Moore, of whom I am a big fan.
I don’t understand the folks who are so down on this film, unless it is that they just had the wrong expectations and/or didn’t do their homework before watching it. It was never meant to be another Spiderman, Superman or Hulk story.
Kudos to Mr. Moore. Kudos for the team who produced this film.
Let me be blunt.
Alan Moore should eat crow and be proud of this movie. “Unfilmable” it most certainly wasn’t.
And the fanboys all need to take a laxative. This was in at least some ways better than the maxi-series/graphic novel, which will never be demoted from its status as a classic of its medium.
Aside from the overly graphic violence, a gratuituous sex scene, and Dr. Manhattan’s needless nudity (he needed to wear pants, and seeing his genitalia added nothing to the plot)I really have nothing negative to say about Watchmen.
Let’s diffuse some of the criticisms I’ve come across.
Yes, Matthew Goode was foppish as Ozymandias. He’s supposed to be that way. He’s not intended to exude menace. That’s his style. A villian as sublime as Ozymandias is subtle. Coming across as overtly malevolent would have caused his plans to fail. His slender, Aryan appearance and slight German accent made him the perfect choice to play the type of foe who believes that the murder of millions is the only way to save the world.
Which brings me to the casting. There was not one actor who didn’t fit their respective character like Rorschach’s inkblot mask. The decisions made concerning who should play who were more accurate than any comic book movie I can think of.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan’s Comedian was Burt Reynolds as a misogynist sociopath. It was as if the character himself was directly lifted from the pages of the graphic novel and given life. It was uncanny how Morgan captured this character’s all too easy violence, his nonchalant, happy penchant for brutality.
I said in a review of Batman:The Dark Knight that Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker was unfathomably good, especially considering Ledger’s teen idol pedigree.
Jackie Earle Haley’s Rorschach dethrones Ledger’s Joker in that regard. From out of some forgotten void, a former heart throb returns to play a madman akin to Robert DeNiro’s Travis Bickle or Michael Douglas’ William Foster. My money would be on Haley’s Rorschach as Steve Ditko’s right-wing Objectivist Mr. A, the analogue for Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons’ character, is channeled with such a chilling and disturbed beauty. His guilt is blended with an intolerance as he claims that the dead heroine Silhouette met her fate due to being a lesbian. When Haley takes off the mask, things become even more unnverving as you see how “fascinatingly ugly” Walter Kovacs, Rorschach’s alter ego is, inside and out. Again, having a former Tiger Beat hero play such a character was just remarkable to me. 20 years from now, people will never believe that Haley was once a Bad News Bear, and for that alone he deserves an Oscar. Seriously. His performance is more than enough to recommend this film to anyone.
None of the other performances disappoint. Patrick Wilson’s Nite Owl also deserves mention as he nails down the David Brinkley (from Robert Mayer’s obscure but very influential 1977 novel ‘Superfolks’) as Batman that Moore and Gibbons intended Nite Owl to be. He’s awkward, stuffy, insecure, and rusty in crimefighting and life in general, and Wilson flawlessly gets that across.
As an aside, and us comics fans need to face this fact, the film versions of Silk Spectre, Nite Owl, and Ozymandias absolutely trump the comics versions in terms of design. Silk Spectre is sexier, Nite Owl is fierce, sleek, and punches his wonky-looking comics counterpart back to DC’s Silver Age, and here Ozymandias is a Greek god compared to Gibbons’ take.
Some people are complaining that Malin Akerman’s Silk Spectre was dry, but I thought she was fine. In fact, she was just the right mixture of innocent and sultry and thusly kept with the spirit of not only Silk Spectre herself but also of the characters that inspired Moore and Gibbons to create her. Akerman was one mod version of Phantom Lady or Nightshade.
Remember, they’re all analogues because if they weren’t, we wouldn’t have had any Blue Beetle or Question tales in the 80′s.
Carla Gugino is quite the aging diva here. Her makeup job as a senior (The Silk Spectre’s mother and predecessor) is so astonishing you’d think she was an unknown. In the flashback sequences she is the epitome of retro eroticism.
She sees herself in an underground porn comic and is flattered. Wow.
And speaking of unknowns, can anyone honestly think of any famous actors who would have done as well or better in these roles? Yet another reason why Watchmen is such a success. John Cusack as Nite Owl? Please.
So the casting was faithful as was the entire movie for the most part, thereby squashing another gripe the fans had. I’ll even go as far as to say that Watchmen works so well because it is very faithful to its source material.
Yes, the ending is somewhat…