“Look at Watchmen from the back to the front,” David Poland finally wrote today at 5 pm Pacific, after seeing Zack Snyder‘s forthcoming weekend winner last night. “Do you care about what has happened to any of these characters, except Rorschach, by the time you leave the theater?

“Not ‘did you think the glass thing on Mars was really cool?’ Or ‘is the prison sequence easily the best thing that Zack Snyder has ever done?’ Or ‘did you like seeing Malin’s ta-tas? Or ‘Is ‘Archie’ cool as hell?’ Or ‘how cool is it watching people explode and then seeing the guts drip off the furniture?’

“And I am not even picking on the terrible wigs, the uninspired fight choreography in all but a couple of sequences, the slow-mo/speed-up thing that is years past being a cliche, the hideously cliched music choices, and other just softball stuff in the film that should have been done better.

“I am looking at the core. Do you care? Do you have an emotional stake in the characters or the world they are trying to save?

No. And no. For me.

“And yet I don’t hate the film or anything. I just wish it was about something more than recreating the book faithfully on screen. Because you know what? You’re better off reading the book if you want to have that experience. Then you will get all the sidebars and you will have time to consider them. And you will fill in the blanks [even] though, amazingly enough, Snyder, in all his serious effort to be faithful, does what the book does not, which is to fill in those blanks. Perhaps it is not intentional. But again, it is the nature of film. It simplifies, even if you don’t want it to.

“I wish I could say ‘go for the spectacle’ but frankly, you are better off watching The Dark Knight again in Blu-ray. Much better off.”