I was confused throughout by the slavish adherence to certain visual scenes, because they also utterly botched or neglected other important visual themes and motifs. On the other hand, I think they managed to capture the narrative fairly well, with a few glaring exceptions:
- Mangling the scene on Mars. Dr. Manhattan's speech on miracles was rewritten badly--- it was repetitive and didn't lead to the point it needed to. This was just painful.
- Too many endings. Yes, they're all there in the book, but the movie does them badly. Why do we need Nite Owl's anguished scream and preachiness? Why are Doctor Manhattan's words quoted by Laurie? I actually didn't mind the plot change, but I think they didn't change enough.
- Laurie + flamethrower makes no sense without her smoking habit.
There was a general lack of subtlety. The Nixon scenes really didn't work for me. Nor did gunning down the captains of industry.
I appreciate the attempts to follow the "original" soundtrack of the comic. It's got "Desolation Row" and "Unforgettable" and Elvis Costello and Devo and Billie Holiday. (But I completely missed both of the jazz tunes.) I liked getting "The Times They Are A-Changin'" and could even stand "99 Luftballoons" but "Hallelujah" and "Ride of the Valkries" were entirely wrong.