When Dr. Manhattan exiles himself to Mars, he and the film are afforded more room to wander. The constant threat of nuclear annihilation doesn't move the proceedings along — in that sense the movie is like real life. The sugary ending — boy gets girl — comes at the cost of millions of lives. By the end, the film is like Dr. Manhattan from the waist down: limp, blue, computer-generated.
Watchmen's use of music — mostly classic rock, but Nena's "99 Luftballons" makes a brief appearance — undercuts the film's anti-Gump approach by recapitulating the Gump idea that the history of pop music is the same as the history of history, and that both exist only to underscore grandiose Hollywood bunk. But I liked how Snyder used "The Times They Are a-Changin' " in that sick opening-credits sequence. For a while it seemed that something subversive was happening.