Snyder gives audiences multiple reasons to watch the Watchmen

“Watchmen” is a comic book film success story. Coming in the midst of a superhero-movie deluge dating back through the last decade, and directed by Zack Snyder — a man known more for his stylistic quirks than his directorial resume — all the pieces were there for a belly flop.However, by staying remarkably true to Alan Moore’s sublime graphic novel and not indulging too distractingly into slow-mo action shots, Snyder has pulled off a cinematic swan dive.Relating the wildly complex “conspiracy theory with a cape” storyline from the book to an audience who likely are experiencing “Watchmen” for the first time was by no means an easy task, and Snyder does take some liberties in eliminating certain film elements for the sake of time and complexity. Die-hards will surely gripe, but overall the decisions make sense and the deletions are covered well.The biggest change — the ending (and don’t worry, there will be no spoilers) — feels the most shoehorned and rushed. Tying all the loose ends together and keeping the film under three hours was an heroic task, and while the final third of the film feels slipshod and hurried at times, it is not without its memorable scenes. Jackie Earle Haley’s interpretation of the hardened, on-the-lam anti-hero Rorschach is given enough screen time to steal the show and keep the film afloat.The film’s stellar soundtrack – boasting Dylan, Simon & Garfunkel and Nat King Cole — for the most part compliment the film, though a love scene set to Leonard Cohen crooning “Hallelujah” ends up more distracting than poignant.It’s obvious that Snyder went into “Watchmen” to create as faithful an adaptation of the classic work as could be done. In this sense, he succeeded and the film is entertaining. Snyder has created the world of Watchmen in its entirety, and superb acting only bolster his directorial triumph.However, where “Watchmen” falters is also in its faith to its original medium. The characters — as well acted and interesting as they are — feel one dimensional, with backstories left out due to time constraints. Worse yet, many of the book’s most powerful scenes and lines simply don’t translate to the screen and fall flat.As much a shame as this is, fans of superheroes and action films will not leave “Watchmen” disappointed. The book once called “unfilmable” has been made into a worthy translation, and though Moore may complain, Zack Snyder hasn’t “300-ized” his classic work – he’s opened the world of “Watchmen” up to countless thousands who otherwise wouldn’t have known where to look.