Okay. Hear me out on this. I've written a little bit about this in various places, but let me try to filter everything into a bulletted list of why I like this movie. I completely understand some of the criticisms (and welcome discussion), but to me this is my absolutely favorite comic adaptation. That should be considered something separate than a comic movie, really, since the Superman, Iron Man, Spider-Man, etc. movies may be based off a bunch of things (focusing on origins usually) but aren't direct adaptations of a singular story. Still, they're all comic movies and they should all be considered.
- First, please watch the gorgeous opening sequence. This is about 40 pages worth of comic (and prose) back story set to the perfect song and turned into a poignant, nostalgic, perfect look back at this past that is not-quite our past. They should have won an Oscar for Best Short Film for this. I could watch over and over.
- Second, I know it wasn't completely faithful to the storyline. No giant squid (oh dear, I've spoiled you). But I felt that what they did do worked perfectly as a 21st century adaptation of the story. We're facing an energy crisis in a completely different way than they were when the story was written. Not giving us immediate access to the electric cars of the original story, having it be something tangible that comes out of Adrian's mass destruction (which was no longer limited only to NYC, thankfully), made the sacrifice of the people, and of Doctor Manhattan, much more poignant. We, as a nation, made it through 9/11. England made it through 7/7. Madrid... there are places where bombings and terrorism bring people together for a bit. And then we're divided again. I think Adrian's plan was a perfect way, in this new age of terrorism that is nothing at all like they were dealing with 25 years ago, to get his goal accomplished.
- Casting. Damn fine casting. My only dislike was Adrian, and that was minor.
- Get over the blue penis, people. Seriously.
- They obviously put so much care into set design, costume, etc. that it really felt like the comic had come to life. Even if there were cuts from the story and things changed, I felt like I was watching one of my all time favorite comic books come alive in front of me.
- This movie was made with love by a fan for fans. And as a fan, I appreciated that. And loved it.