I am glad I saw this in 2D as it was totally immersive – I think I would have been seasick from the 3D version. As it was, I could swear that some things swam outside the frame of the film. I am a huge fan of Ang Lee since Eat Drink Man Woman and the the Wedding Banquet. Like most of his films, those dealt with personal relationships but every now and then he goes for visual spectacle instead, e.g. Crouching Dragon Hidden Tiger, Hulk and now this. I usually watch films on the small screen but this is definitely worth going to the cinema for (or in my case to the local theatre showing it – cheaper and a better behaved crowd).
It is very faithful to the book, adding nothing except the spectacle of seeing the unfilmable filmed. One person coming out said, “I don’t know what to make of it,” and I find it interesting to read the different readings of the story by various critics. I took it as “enjoy believing in the story that you want to believe in, even if it contradicts other stories that you also like to believe in”; that others choose to find other morals sort of proves mine!