A Deeper Look At Zack Snyder And His Comic Book Adaptions

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Zack Snyder directing Ben Affleck and Gal gGdot

Zack Snyder’s Justice League is just around the corner, and god knows how jealous I am of everyone who got to watch it before the embargo released. Less than 2 days to go, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to dive deep into the style of Zack Snyder and how he perceives comic book movies. 

Watchmen, Zack’s best adaption till date

It all started with Watchmen, way back in 2009. It was a movie about a bunch of superheroes with questionable motives and each trying to save the world in their own, twisted way. As of this moment, without having seen Zack Snyder’s Justice League, I can easily say that out of the three comic book adaptions he has made, Watchmen is his best. It was one of the most primary examples of source material adaptions done right to the core. Even the shots in this movie were total homage to the comic books and looked exactly the same.

Zack Snyder and his creative point of view becomes more than clear with each and every shot of this movie. How the first sequence of the movie, which is the fight between The Comedian and Ozymandias, accompanies a soothing song such as Unforgettable, it essentially sets the mood for the entire movie. The comedian falls to his end and we see Rorschach narrating his journal to us. It’s the characters which made Watchmen what it is, but the twisted morals and the handwoven narratives of each and every character give a relatable and humane soul to the movie, all thanks to Mr. Snyder. 

The Watchmen Comic books were previously known for being exceptions to the entire comic book trend. While Superman was trying to save the world through his righteousness, Watchmen had their own perspective of the so called “righteousness”. And this is where Zack truly shined and brought out his vision with the immense creative freedom provided to him. They gave him a twisted source material and he went absolutely ham with it.

From something as subtle as song choices to sequences as meta as Dr. Manhattan fighting in the Vietnam war, Watchmen altered the course of history and provided a different scenario, had these characters existed in real life. The cinematics and the sequences of the movie are so filled with stylish vigour and wicked colours. The shots feel like that they have been taken from the comics and pasted on to the screen, and it feels just perfect.

The backstories of characters like Dr. Manhattan provide substance and roots to their motives and intentions. And while a lot of other movies have forgettable flashback sequences, Zack Snyder pours everything that he has to flesh out a character and it shows.

Man of Steel and its bleak hope

Cut to Man of Steel and the difference between both the tones is of night and day. Man of Steel presents us with a protagonist who is pure and unabashed in his thinking and motivations. With all his potential, he still chooses to be the best version of him. Yet his back story and the destruction of krypton pave way for a plot which is still very dark and grim. It ultimately instils hope, but at a massive cost.

A lot of this movie was Zack doing what he does best, the backstory. We learn so much about superman yet it doesn’t feel like the narrative is trying to shove it upon us just for the sake of getting things cleared up by the climax. The sequence where superman bursts in to the air and cracks a hole in the earth with the most epic soundtrack playing in the background, sent mind numbing chills down my spine. Even though, I won’t necessarily call it a flawless film, Zack still holds true to his vision and visual immersion and it shows. 

Batman v Superman and the foundation of Justice League

Batman vs Superman being his third comic book venture, went darker and more serious than any of his previous ventures. While watchmen played off as a parody to our perception of superheroes, Batman v Superman took those very same superheroes and brought them down to ground level. Batman’s darkest version was prominent in this movie and his ideals have never been this conflicted.

Zack Snyder saw the potential to create a Batman who was broken, deep inside his soul. His intention, unlike Superman’s, were unbound by any limit and boundary. A mercenary who’s willing to kill people in order to save people, this is not how anyone defined Batman before BvS came out. Yet a lot of this movie was hit or miss for me.

Zack’s classic visual metaphors and narratives were still present, yet this time the motivations felt forced. It was a lot of build up for too little action. The Villain was one dimensional and there’s a lot of stuff which felt hampered due to the pacing and continuity of the movie. 

The Movie Culture Synopsis

Now that Zack Snyder’s Justice League is coming out, we can all expect a good old redemption arc, both for the characters and for Zack Snyder himself.

Many people are calling it to be one of the best movies DCEU has to offer and I for one, can’t wait sink my teeth into it. 

Author

  • Hardik is a Mumbai based writer who is a cinephile. Nothing interests him more than movies and visual entertainment. His other hobbies include reading and singing (At least, he likes to think that he sings well). You can connect with him on his Instagram.