I put off watching this one a while, because Going Postal is one of my favourite Discworld books and I couldn't be arsed with my own whining, but I inevitably caved and was...I dunno, pleasantly surprised and then disappointed again. As Discworld adaptations go I'd rank it a few notches below Hogfather
and a few dozen above The Colour of Magic
. The deal with this thing is that the themes are mostly gone but the humour is mostly intact, and executed pretty well to boot. Whoever adapted it has a good idea about what jokes work in both mediums and what needs a bit of work to translate well, and when the jokes do fall flat it's mostly down to the actors' delivery.
It does manage to have some meat to it despite the thorough simplification of nearly all the book's bigger themes, but the only one of the book's ideas that made it in in any big way was Moist being forced to accept his guilt before he can seek redemption, and even that was done in a way that probably seemed like a much better idea in the screenwriter's head than it actually was.
Individual gripes: Reacher Gilt is present In Name Only
(actually, that's unfair. He still has an eyepatch). Here he's a generic Obviously Evil
caricature who twirls his moustaches and speaks in clichés. The romance with Adora Belle becomes a minor Idiot Plot
built on Not What It Looks Like
moments where Moist is apparently too concussed to take the time to say what actually is
going on and spare us all. Oh, and the bit about how she started smoking is too stupid to be believed, and most of her interesting characteristic are put down to her being a Broken Bird
rather than having anything as weird as an actual personality.
All in all, a step in the right direction for these adaptations, and the willingness to change things to suit the medium was greatly appreciated after the faithful-in-all-the-wrong-places Colour of Magic
movie, but cutting out the deeper themes was a bad idea and since this thing is still three hours long I refuse to believe they couldn't have been worked in. The first forty minutes won me over pretty well, the next hundred and forty managed to lose me again.
Also, it has fancy opening credits sequence. I knew
this one needed fancy opening credits! Points for that.