From Zombies To Superheroes, We Look At How Zack Snyder Became Fanboy Public Enemy #1.
Film director Zack Snyder has been working in Hollywood since roughly 2004. Debuting with a remake of ‘Dawn of the Dead‘, the stylistic director has since become one of the most polarizing names. Not since Michael Bay has America collectively torn into a director with such anger. Snyder’s film with the lowest score on Rotten Tomatoes is ‘Sucker Punch‘ at 24%. The next being 2016’s ‘Batman v Superman‘ coming in at 27%. Speaking of, the latest DC film gained so much hate from audiences that there was even a petition to get Snyder fired from future films.
Where did all of this hate come from?
First, we have to start by pointing out what people say in reference to his work. To sum up Zack Snyder as a creator, it would simply be “style over substance”. Reviewers and viewers all say he cares more about the look than the heart of the film. This usually leads to complaints about his lack of character development and the reliance on filmmaking tricks.
“I think I just have a natural operatic aesthetic. I can’t help it.”
Sure, Snyder loves his slow-motion or a saturated color palette but these are trademarks that keep his projects on brand. To claim these quirks takeaway from the heart of the story is an unfair assumption. An aesthetic can be just as important as the drama in filmmaking. The director of 60’s horror film ‘Whatever Happened To Baby Jane‘ claimed he shot the movie in black & white because “color would have made it too pretty. Tragedy should never look pretty”. I feel that way about Zack Snyder films. If you change the visuals of the films, they become far less impactful.
Another major complaint is that Snyder’s film are far too dark, a complaint that was further vocalized when he was given reign over DC’s cinematic universe. After his 2013 Superman movie ‘Man Of Steel‘, there was no going back in the eyes of critics & fans. Hardcore DC Comics fans despised his interpretation of Clark Kent while critics felt the movie lacked the happiness that they expected in a Superman film.
Things would get worse for him with follow-up ‘Batman v Superman‘.
Seemingly out to make the most Zack Snyder film possible, he threw all of his filmmaking tricks at the wall. Snap zooms, slow-motion, brash colors, and brutal violence were on display in this ‘Justice League‘ prologue. Let’s not forget that Snyder also set this DC film in a political post-tragedy world. More so than any film before, I believe ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice‘ reflects our times so vividly that it made most viewers uncomfortable. Hell, even Nancy Grace showed up.
Look, I’ll admit ‘BvS‘ has filmmaking problems like some choppy editing and cartoon-ish visual effects but there seems to be a bigger issue rooted deeper than those superficial complaints.
“I’d say the purest experience for the movie is not to have read the book because I think when you’ve read the book you’re just ticking off boxes. I think that after you see the movie, reading the book is a cool thing. I always say the movie’s not meant to replace the book. That’s ridiculous. I’m a huge fan of the book.”
Does the above quote spell out exactly why fans dislike Snyder? Is he the anti-fanboy director? I personally applaud a filmmaker who respects source material but allows it to shape a different vision with these established characters. But it seems like any shift of these beloved characters can cause some serious backlash.
And the critics? Are they being paid off by Disney like the Internet loves to joke about or are they just comfortable with the status quo of superheroes movies?
These are questions that are not easily answered but should be asked. Hope he’s not destined for Uwe Boll status for the rest of his career. I think Zack Snyder still has time to redeem himself in the viewer’s eyes with his upcoming 2017 ‘Justice League‘.
Let me know what you think the comments below!