Well, the first non-teaser trailer for Watchmen appears in front of Quantum of Solace this weekend, but it's already up online, and it is good. At least, most people would say that it was good. There are still haters out there, including those who cry foul every time an element is changed from the original graphic novel, and others who simply can't stand director Zack Snyder's slow-motion filmmaking. But the trailer certainly looks beautiful, and it explains the murder-mystery plot pretty well to people who might not be familiar with the comic. Whether the haters are right, and this movie will end up being a huge mess, it's too early to tell, so let's just focus on what we saw in the trailer, shall we?
1. The death of the Comedian
The break-in by the man who assaults and defenestrates the Comedian was one of the scenes shown in the 25 minutes of footage Zach Snyder showed the press earlier this year. Snyder said that he included it because he wanted to show the audience what a badass the Comedian was, since he never got a fight scene in the original comic. We don't see him fight back much in this trailer, but rest assured that the rest of the fight is brutal, and the Comedian is no pushover.
2. The voice of Rorschach (and Dr. Manhattan)
It's never easy to judge how a character sounds in a trailer, because their lines are cut up and spliced together to convey the necessary information as fast as possible. But it's pretty clear that Rorschach, the masked vigilante, has a raspy smoker's voice, while the omnipotent Dr. Manhattan's is essentially the voice of actor Billy Crudup. While there are a lot of people who want Dr. Manhattan to have a more booming, godlike voice, there are almost as many who want Rorschach to have more of a flat monotone, instead of just sounding like a thug.
3. Who the hell are "the Watchmen"?
One of the most curious things that comes out of Rorschach's unseen mouth is the line, "Watchmen. One of us died tonight." And later, Nite Owl says, "Watchmen are over." Do Nite Owl and Rorschach belong to an actual team called the Watchmen? The original 1940s crime-fighting group was called the Minutemen, which definitely made it into the movie, but the only other team in the book was the Crimebusters, and that team didn't even make it through the first meeting. "Who watches the Watchmen?" was always just a slogan, scrawled on walls -- it was never a proper name applied to any heroes. Has Snyder turned it into one? Could it be the generic term used for a masked crimefighter in his alternate world? Either way, it calls up bitter memories of the original Watchmen script, which featured a team called the Watchmen, and was universally reviled.
4. The ending (SPOILER ALERT)
The Internet has been abuzz with debate over whether or not Snyder has changed the ending of the movie. A recent test screening featured an ending that replaced the book's closer -- a fake, psychic, alien squid killing everyone in New York and bringing about world peace -- with a new one, in which the energy stations based on Dr. Manhattan's powers explode, destroying several cities around the globe to achieve the same effect. (At one point in this trailer, you can see that energy effect tearing through New York.) Snyder swears he has never seen a draft of the script that had a squid in it, while others claim that this is one of several alternate endings. We may not know the truth until the movie hits the theaters -- hell, maybe the ending you see will be decided at random, like the end of Clue. That certainly seems appropriate, doesn't it?
Already seen the trailer? Watch it again!