With Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice just around the bend, I decided to take a look back at the track record of the director Zack Snyder. Known for his visual flair and boyish content, Snyder has divided audiences with nearly every film he made.
The list below is a Top 5 ranking of my personal favorite Snyder films and their relevance in his filmography:
Released with some hype in 2011, Sucker Punch promised audiences an action-packed visual feast that featured strong female leads and video game mayhem. Unfortunately, the film only really delivered on the visual element and lacked any depth or sign of an actual story.
It’s fun watching the woman fight for the first five minutes and the story within a story plotting has potential. But once you realize that Baby Doll can’t receive damage, the fight scenes become pretty uninteresting.
I myself found some entertainment in the mindless violence and I can definitely enjoy the film for its style. However, I think it is one of the weaker entries to the Zack Snyder filmography. I feel as though the film didn’t really live up to it’s possible eclectic potential and thus failed to push the style over substance setups anywhere new.
Sucker Punch is drenched in CGI and this takes away from any sense of realism. We never get the impression that the women are actually fighting anything real, which some might say is the point, but it none the less takes away from the actual emotional elements of the story.
Man of Steel was the first real Superman adaptation since Superman Returns in 2006. Taking on a much darker tone, the film showcased a brooding Superman trying to come to terms with his life on earth.
A lot of fans didn’t like such a violent version of their hero, but I always liked the idea that Superman is finding his footing and learning the human morals. It’s clear that Zack Snyder was having a blast with this franchise and wanted to take the character somewhere new.
I think this movie says a lot about what to expect going into Batman VS. Superman.
It was definitely the next step in the evolution of the darker superhero stories that we came to know and love. Although some of the fight scenes are a little ridiculous and the love interest is forced, Man of Steel was entertaining and interesting addition to the Superman universe.
300 has always held a special place in my heart due to it being the first R-rated film I saw in theaters. It was my introduction to Zack Snyder and solidified him as a talented director with a great visual eye.
300 was highly influential in the action movie genre and incited a whole wave of speed-ramping action films. What the film lacks in story it makes up for in seer slaughterhouse creativity and that’s what makes it so fun to watch.
The film is often parodied for it’s indulgence in masculinity (rightfully so), but I think people underestimate how important 300 was visually and how it influenced a slew of budding films makers trying to replicate the style and techniques. It’s not often that you can say that an action film had an impact on pop culture and I think 300 is no exception.
THIS IS SPARTA!
When I first became obsessed with horror movies, the original 1978 Dawn of the Dead had always been one of my favorites. When I heard that the director of 300 burst onto the scene with his own version of the Zombie Shopping Mall thriller, I was extremely skeptical.
After the initial viewing, I found myself was presently surprised! Featuring an awesome Johnny Cash opening credits, the film plays out like an updated version of the zombie genre while paying tribute to the Romero originals.
The biggest complaint zombie fans had was the addition of fast moving zombies. Although the original slow walkers did have a nice satirical comment on consumerism, I always felt the fast zombies added more intensity and updated the consumerist idea of humans desperate, fanatic over-reliance on material goods.
Metaphors aside, Snyder’s Dawn of Dead is a gleefully violent and utterly entertaining revival of the undead genre.
I consider Watchmen a super hero masterpiece. I have already talked extensively about the film in a previous blog, but I want to reiterate its importance as a film.
Watchmen was ahead of its time in terms of visual style and themes. I think a lot of the darker superhero movies nowadays have Watchmen to thank for the initial idea of mature superheroes antics. The film explores the limits of being are hero and the cost humanity must pay in the face of Gods.
Although the film initially divided audiences, looking back it is clear that it is among the first of the superhero classics. The film is by no means perfect, but with the slew of “safe” Marvel films gracing cinemas, Watchmen is a refreshing experiment in the importance of heroism.
Although a lot consider Zack Snyder a better visual artist than he is director, I think that the passion he has for his projects shines through in every film he makes. He has carved his own way into Hollywood and remains a staple for his style and action.
Sometimes Snyder can miss more than he hits, however even his misses are done in a spectacular fashion. I don’t always love every Zack Snyder movie, but I believe he is still an important modern director who continues to make films that I will always seek out. He is the soul reason why I’ll happily be seeing Batman battle Superman this weekend.