I probably shouldn't have gone searching for reviews. Everyone's so geeky-whiny. "Waaah they didn't put in every single line from the comics, and there's SEX in it! Noooo, RUN AWAY! Also hahahaha look a penis!" I did see someone complaining that the new ending made Ozymandias seem underhanded, which...yeesh. I'm worried that they actually think he's the hero.
I haven't read the comic for about five years, probably, and I don't know it THAT well, which might explain why I'm not exploding with geeky rage, but I don't think so. (I am going to start it again tonight, probably. And then go back and see the movie again once I've finished it.)
Things I thought were amazing: the visuals. The rain. The casting, both in terms of acting ability and similarity to the graphic novel - the Comedian and Rorschach were great, obviously, but Dan/Nite Owl was equally good in a much more understated role. The cinematography, wow. The opening credits. Rorschach's mask. Most of the musical choices. The structuring - I'm a bit of a sucker for recursive flashbacks, even if everyone else hates them. I thought the violence was done well, very ouchy but not gratuitous - we need to see how violent and desperate ALL of these people are, some because that's their nature, some because of the state the world has got into. The decent sex was needed to balance out the almost-rape. I liked the new ending, personally, though I'm undecided as to how much sense it makes. It fits Ozymandias's personality, but perhaps doesn't work all that logically. I loved that Rorschach ended up as a Rorschach test pattern of blood on the snow - I checked the comic, and it wasn't there; that's new for the film. People have complained about the pacing, but I was fine with it - I'm not a huge fan of blam-blam action films, and this was one I was quite happy to get lost in the slow build of. Ooh, and Archimedes was made of WIN.
Not so sure: Laurie was still a bit blah, and her mum only had the two short scenes, so women were a bit under-represented. That's a fault with the comic, possibly the genre, so I can't really blame the film. Same with a few other things, like the password hacking being as idiotic as these things always are, and some dodgy expository dialogue. Nixon's prosthetic nose, WTF? All your other special effects are great, and you muck up a nose that badly? Bubastis seemed to come out of nowhere and so lacked...something. The ending seemed a bit more final in the film, like Ozymandias had saved the day, hurrah, which...no. Maybe for ten years. (Hey, sequel!! No, I jest. Please, no.)
Aside: The whole message of the comic/ film is in Shelley's sonnet Ozymandias , of course. Ozymandias the character has the lines inscribed in his hideout: "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!" But the point of the poem is that those lines are ultimately ironic: they're found on the pedestal of a statue in a vast desert, and the pedestal few other statue fragments are all that remain of the king and his kingdom. Ozymandias, in the end, will be forgotten and all his great "works" swallowed up by time; the poem he quotes is a warning against the very hubris that defines him. As Dr Manhattan would say, "Nothing ever ends."