I haven't read the graphic novel that Watchmen was adapted from, but I am told that the film is utterly faithful to its source. So faithful, in fact, that director Zack Snyder is said to have used the comic as his storyboard.
Maybe that wasn't such a good idea.
Watchmen is a grand visual spectacle, filled with action, style, and deep philosophical observations on the moral implications of power. The concept is incredibly original, but that originality stems entirely from graphic novel. Unfortunately, in making such a meticulous transition from page to screen, the filmmakers have added absolutely nothing.
The result is a curiously flat, emotionally uninvolving film. It's a little like having someone read a book to you - an effect exacerbated by some pretty mediocre performances, with the exception of Rorschach and perhaps The Comedian.
Watchmen is still a pretty good movie, worthy of three stars and the price of admission. It's just a shame that it wasn't great.
(shockingly, Murray liked it more that I did!)
(and the Champion TOTALLY butchered my review! grrrr!!!)