The overseeing eye of DC’s attempted comic book movie takeover, Zack Snyder, has been making the rounds again this week with the official reveal of the Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice trailer via his Twitter account 2 days earlier than scheduled (courtesy of a leak online). The man behind the movie and its predecessor Man Of Steel (2013) has been making audience dividing pictures for over 10 years, and with 2016 likely to bring his most financially successful outing as he pits Batman and Superman against one another, I felt like there’d be no better time to rank all of the films that he has directed. So, this week’s edition of Ranked will countdown all of Zack Snyder’s movies from worst to best. As always, you can join in the conversation by leaving a comment below this piece, commenting on our official Facebook page, or tweeting us!
Let’s get straight to it…
6. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole
Zack Snyder’s foray into animation wasn’t all that successful. The critics all but dismissed the film ever existing and audiences were about as uninterested as they possibly could be, despite the piece being adapted from a hugely successful series of fantasy books. It’s not that this film was necessarily bad, it’s more that Zack Snyder’s name isn’t so grandly associated with the product as the rest on this list, nor is it that memorable. Number 6 via the process of elimination: The Owls of Ga’Hoole.
5. Sucker Punch
Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” was filled with all sorts of issues during its production, including the supposed demand of the studio to reduce the picture to a bland PG-13 rating despite the director’s success in the R rated marketplace and the demand that the plot had on violent visuals. This led many, including lead cast member Emily Browning, to speak out against the film and openly criticise the decision that she felt took something away from Snyder’s original vision. Even so, Sucker Punch was mildly successful and oozed the visual trademarks Snyder has made himself famous for, all the while centralising the story around a group of women who kicked ass. Good job, Snyder. Good job.
4. Man Of Steel
Man Of Steel wasn’t Snyder’s first attempt at making a DC Comics movie adaptation but I would argue that it’s his least successful. Sure, the ideas were promising and some of the visuals were standouts of the genre, but the film really didn’t live up to the billing and ran way too long. Although a success at the box office, negative word of mouth and a bunch of reviews that criticised the product for all but its “Snyder moments” made for a less than fruitful financial return than DC expected, but that hasn’t stopped them bringing him back, so here’s to hoping for a better attempt when he makes Dawn Of Justice!
3. Dawn of the Dead
After circulating as a music video and advertisement director (including the Budweiser chariot superbowl ad), Snyder got his first big movie break on the horror remake Dawn of the Dead (2004). It was a low budget and over-the-top zombie fest (before Zombies were cool), but was successful nonetheless. Though the catalyst of what was to come, Dawn of the Dead didn’t have the incredibly stylistic signature of Snyder courtesy of its small budget, keeping it out of the top two on this list but definitely making for interesting viewing for anyone interested in his work, or modern horror movies. Taking the bronze medal is Dawn of the Dead.
Zack Snyder’s Watchmen (2009) was a hugely divisive DC Comics adaptation that you either loved or hated, and there doesn’t seem to be an in between. Basically, Watchmen is like Marmite, but there’s no denying that Snyder went to incredible lengths to ensure the same level of detail was in his movie as was available in the graphic novel. Furthermore, Snyder’s work on Watchmen is responsible for one of the best opening montages in the history of comic book movies, and the ‘alternative’ soundtrack is so awesome and in-keeping with the alternative universe the heroes (and villains) occupy that you can’t help but to appreciate every second of at least those moments, right? Marmite or not, Watchmen is undoubtedly one of the most Zack Snyder type films of all of Snyder’s films and was, at least in my opinion, a success. Number 2: Watchmen.
If Dawn of the Dead made you recognise the name, then 300 made you stand up and take notice. Zack Snyder directed something in 2006 that we had never seen before and in doing so ticked the only box any successful action movie needs to tick. 300 was an overnight success, especially for a relatively small budget and incredibly stylistic piece, making Snyder a household name and spring-boarding the director into the other roles on this list. It was over-the-top, flashy and incredibly violent, but undoubtedly the best movie of Snyder’s career. “For Sparta”, 300 comes in at number one on this list.