At last, it's the long-awaited, highly-anticipated adaptation of the brilliant graphic novel written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons. Zack Snyder (300) directs and, bless his heart, he tries so hard to be faithful to the book. The film is two hours and 40-some minutes long and the time flies by, despite some deliberately-paced sections. I was completely caught up in the story and thoroughly enjoyed myself, but the "Wow!" factor that you expect from an epic film was muted. The story, set in an alternate version of the '80s, is a violent, intricate, character-based crime-drama the follows a group of costumed vigilantes (only one of which has actual super powers). Stand-outs include Patrick Wilson as the chronically-tentative Nite Owl, Jackie Earle Haley as creepy-cool Rorschach and Billy Crudup as the otherworldly Dr. Manhattan. Fans will have a field day studying the movie and arguing over what worked and what didn't. All I can tell you is that I liked it a lot, just not as much as I hoped. That and, if you haven't read Watchmen, go get a copy and savor the real thing before you watch the adaptation. 162 minutes.

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