BySteven Belknap, writer at
Over the decade my interest in films has grown to where I would like to express how movies are an influence and a reflection of our society
Steven Belknap

So Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is less than a month away and I still see a lot of negative comments regarding Zack Snyder and the direction that he is taking within the DCEU. Not only that though, I simply see a lot of negative comments and anger towards his movies in general and I ask, Why the Hate?

Snyder's First Film
Snyder's First Film

Simply looking at his filmography, specifically as a director, most of his films have been comic book films (300, Watchmen, Man of Steel, and BvS:DoJ). His other films include Dawn of the Dead (2004), Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole, and Sucker Punch.

Mind you, I would agree that Legends of the Guardians and Sucker Punch are both thin on plot, a mish mash of a lot of CGI, and not that good of films but can still be exciting to watch. His comic book movies though are on a different level and are much better.

Snyder's Adaptation of Alan Moore's Classic Novel
Snyder's Adaptation of Alan Moore's Classic Novel

Both 300 and Watchmen are very good adaptations of the comics of the same name and both are R-rated comic book movies. At the same time I know that there is a lot of hate for these films despite the accuracy of the adaptations. Of these two films, 300 is the weaker of the adaptations, but the cinematography and fighting scenes were so different than any comic book movie that had come before that the movie did well enough for a sequel, albeit, a bad sequel. But still 300 is decent as comic book movie especially knowing who wrote the original comic book: Frank Miller.

Watchmen gets a lot of hate as well, far more than 300 actually and it is here where my main argument and subsequent question comes from. The adaptation was done quite well, despite the fact that it did miss a few things and replaced some ideas from Alan Moore with newer ones by Zack Snyder.

There is one idea that was replaced by Snyder from Moore's original source. That idea is this. In the comic book Alan Moore decided that when Veidt would use Dr. Manhattan's replicated power, he decides to transport a massive squid monster to New York City. When I read this I thought, that is plain crazy and stupid, then I realized Moore is Crazy as well. In Snyder's version, it is simply the replication of Dr. Manhattan's power which when was used by Veidt made the explosion which decimated New York City and others as well. This made more sense to me and gave a far better explanation.

Now there were also missing parts from the comic that didn't make it into the movie. The most known of the missing parts was the Pirate Comic that was featured in the original comic book at least once per chapter. The theatrical release of the film cut out a lot of the film, including the Pirate Comic, but later on, an updated version of the film was released called Watchmen: The Ultimate Cut. This version includes the directors cut and the Pirate Comic which was lacking in the theatrical release. The Ultimate Cut is significantly longer, an hour longer to be precise, making it 3 hours and 40 minutes in length for the film.

The Ultimate Cut also makes the film feel more whole where things were certainly lacking within the theatrical and also explain some missing plot points as well. These two films is where the hate towards Snyder and film making style, but to tell you the truth, his adaptations are pretty good and more importantly, he is probably one of the few directors who consistently does comic book movies. We should be more appreciative of a man who has the resources as well as the interest to do comic book films.

Of course I am not done yet. I have yet to discuss Snyder's controversial comic book movie to date: Man of Steel.

Man of Steel: The First Film in the DCEU
Man of Steel: The First Film in the DCEU

Man of Steel has been considered one of the most controversial superhero movies to date. On IMDb its rating is given a decent 7.2 out of 10, while on Rotten Tomatoes, its given a 56 percent. This movie has been praised by some and booed by others. The controversy comes from Snyder's take on the iconic comic book character Superman, specifically his battle against the Radical Kryptonian, General Zod. Critics condemn Snyder by making Superman kill Zod and letting thousands of people die in the city of Metropolis during his battle with the Kryptonian General. Others have been praising Snyder, especially how he has used the destruction of the city of Metropolis and its many citizen's deaths as a set up for the upcoming Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. I am one of the people who initially criticized the way Superman killed Zod and let thousands perish, but I had a change of heart especially when I heard that part of the plot of BvS:DoJ would be using the controversial end of Man of Steel. Knowing, that Snyder used the hate and turned it into a plot for his upcoming film, I thought that was quite brilliant.

Looking at his films, both good and bad, I would say that Snyder is a decent director and more importantly, the man is a comic book fan and a comic book director. He may not be Joss Whedon or the Russo Brothers, but he is still a comic book fan and that must count for something. So I ask once again. Why the hate? Do you really think his decisions have been so awful that you refuse to see or appreciate his films. Is his directing style so disgusting that you don't want to watch it. Is his adaptations on these iconic graphic novels and classic comic book characters so controversial that you don't even want to consider seeing a film with Superman and Batman in the same film. So go see the film, and watch as the two most iconic superheros in the world duke it out. Oh an by the way the new film has been inspired by the classic comic The Dark Knight Returns written by Frank Miller.


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