An Ode to Zack Snyder: Why He’s My Absolute Favorite Film Director

Photo Credit: Empire

Recently, news broke that Zack Snyder will be stepping down from directing the reshoots for Justice League due to a family tragedy. Director Joss Whedon (The Avengers, the upcoming Batgirl) will take over the reshoot duties while Snyder takes some necessary time off.

I know Snyder has gotten a lot of flak in the past year for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. However, over the years I have to say Snyder climbed the ranks to become my favorite film director. There is just something about his stylistic action sequences and muted colors that appeal to me.

Photo Credit Shizuo Kambayashi: AP

Like everyone else, I first heard of Snyder with 2004’s Dawn of the Dead. Obviously, it was a remake, but the movie written by James Gunn was just so different from anything I had ever seen before. Who knew horror movies could be a little funny? It wasn’t the laugh fest that Shaun of the Dead was, but you get my point.

I’m also going to boldly proclaim that his adaptation of 300 — Frank Miller’s critically acclaimed comic series — is probably the most influential action movie in the past ten years. I remember this being hyped as the next big movie in 2007. And after it hit theaters, everyone was yelling “THIS! IS! SPARTA!” every chance they got. When I say this movie is “influential,” I am talking about its use of the slow motion fight scenes.

Think about how many times you’ve seen this technique used in movies and TV shows not directed by Snyder since the Spartans battled the Immortals in 300. COUNTLESS TIMES! Like in Avengers: Age of Ultron

GI Joe: Retaliation

Sherlock Holmes

and Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Those are just the tip of the slow-mo fight scene iceberg!

Also, 300 lead way to one of my favorite viral videos ever: 300-PG Version.

But if you ask me, his best movie to date is 2009’s Watchmen. This adaptation of the 1986 mini-series is a visually stunning movie. There are some scenes from the movie that are right out of the comic!

Just one moment right out of the comic. Photo Credit:
Another moment right from the comics. Photo Credit:

The attention to detail in this film is insane. The color scheme for the set design is pulled right from the comics. As a matter of fact, the reason a ton of moments from the comics are perfectly translated to film is because Snyder used the comic itself as a reference and visual aid while filming Watchmen.

“Hmmmm. So that’s how you should do the Mars establishing shot.” Photo Credit: IndieWire

Plus, Watchmen has one of the best opening sequences of all time. Just a perfect blend of music and storytelling.

Although I’m obviously a huge Synder fan, even I will admit his next live-action film, Sucker Punch, has its issues. It seemed like there was a story he was trying to tell, but there was just something missing. I understood the plot, but that was after multiple viewings to just basically understand it.

While Watchmen is his best film to date, my personal favorite movie by Snyder so far is Man of Steel.

Zack Snyder and Henry Cavill on the set of Man Of Steel. Photo Credit: the Flickering Myth

When I heard Snyder was onboard to reboot Superman, I was pumped! Superman Returns is a good movie, but it lacks action and Snyder was the best choice to bring Superman back to the big screen.

“Well, who was Brandon Routh supposed to fight? He didn’t have any supervillains!”

True, but all he does is lift things in that movie. Also, the movie is a beat for beat remake of the 1978 movie. You could say it is to Superman what The Force Awakens is to Star Wars.

What I love about Man of Steel is that Snyder, Henry Cavill, Amy Adams (Lois Lane), Michael Shannon (General Zod), and screenwriter David Goyer bring something completely different to the Superman mythos. It’s more of a modern approach to Superman’s origin. The US Army absolutely would be skeptical of a man who can fly and bend steel with his bare hands.

I also like the visual look of the film. It was refreshing to see a comic book movie with muted colors as opposed to the bright poppy colors you’d see in something like in Watchmen or The Avengers.

I know I’ve said everything I could about Batman v Superman in the past, but the Ultimate Cut clears up the plot holes from the theatrical cut. And, like Watchmen, there are some moments from Batman v Superman that are right out of the comics, like the murder of the Waynes.

Now, compare that to the panels from the Frank Miller mini-series, The Dark Knight Returns.

Photo Credit: DC Comics
Photo Credit: DC Comics

As a comic and movie fan, I owe him so many ‘thank-yous’. He completely changed the game with 300, did an amazing adaptation with Watchmen, reinvented Superman, FINALLY brought a comic faithful Batman costume to the big screen, and introduced Wonder Woman!

I know Snyder’s style isn’t for everyone, but to me, he is simply amazing. He clearly has a vision when making his movies. Unlike a lot of other movie directors, he has a distinct style that sets him apart from the rest. I can’t wait to see what he does with Justice League!