6. Sucker Punch (2011)
Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch was filled with all sorts of issues during its production but none reared their ugly head more often than the ongoing rumoured confrontations between Snyder and distributors Warner Bros. over the film’s rating.
Despite objecting to any such rumours regarding the battle, Snyder’s vision for Sucker Punch was reportedly one of a more brutal and violent R-rated release, while Warner Bros. wanted to reach a larger target market by making the movie PG-13, a decision that clearly wasn’t in keeping with the film’s themes of mental, physical and sexual abuse. 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.
Despite this, Sucker Punch was mildly successful at the box office and oozed the visual trademarks Snyder has made himself famous for, all the while centring the story around a group of women who straight-up kicked ass; an aspect of the film that Snyder delivered in spades but was never enough to shake off the stench of its convoluted plot and apparently difficult to decipher thematic explorations.
5. Man Of Steel (2013)
Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel is the sort of movie that leaves many a fan of the alien superhero wondering what could have been. 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 in many ways including its overly long run-time (a criticism levelled at a lot of the director’s work).
Although it was a success at the box office, negative word of mouth and a number of reviews that criticised the picture for seemingly everything but its “most Snyder moments”, made for a less fruitful financial return than DC expected and did little to kick-off the DC Extended Universe in the manner the studio had hoped for. Coming out of Man of Steel, it seemed audiences had become distracted by the movie’s insistence on other-worldly damage to its host city Metropolis and had engaged only briefly with the actual content of the piece, which could be judged as being reductive and too simplistic of an end result (even for a superhero movie).
4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
Dawn of Justice was probably the most divisive of Snyder’s collection of hugely divisive pictures, with many an audience member being dismayed at the nonsensical editing of the action scenes and the rather limited explorations of many of the picture’s secondary characters and themes. However, Snyder did successfully oversee the rebirth of the Batman character in a post-Dark-Knight landscape with great effect and managed to present the caped crusader as a viable opponent to the almost overly powerful Superman character. The director also successfully inserted a number of fan-servicing Easter eggs that gifted the movie a sense of being rewatchable and even brought about a fair degree of interest for his reportedly more adult-themed cut of the movie that was released on DVD/Blu-Ray.
Though BvS was far from a success in the eyes of audiences and critics, it did feature an epic score from Hans Zimmer, a top performance from Ben Affleck, and was the first time the key figures in the Justice League had been featured in a film together, all elements that helped to tip the movie beyond that of its predecessor Man of Steel and into the number 4 spot on this list.
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