HomeMoviesIn Defense of Zack Snyder in Easily Digestible Morsels

In Defense of Zack Snyder in Easily Digestible Morsels

• This wholesale critical misunderstanding of Snyder’s vision makes me want to send the guy a bottle of Scotch to apologize for everyone missing what he’s doing. 

Man of Steel: It’s not called “Superman” for a reason. Clark is learning to be a hero, but he isn’t one, yet. Superman doesn’t kill because Kal-El had to, once. 

Batman v. Superman: Twisted genius pits spiritually questioning sophomore hero against bitter, jaded vigilante who finds his way again after an alien, through the ultimate sacrifice, ironically shows him the best of humanity and reminds him of his grim purpose. 

I don’t care if you didn’t “like” it. I don’t care if Zack Snyder dated your mom in college and it didn’t work out. Just stop saying these movies are a “convoluted mess” because they’re not. They make perfect sense. YOU’RE A CONVOLUTED MESS.

• Re: Snyder haters online: Marvel movies are high-quality candy made by a successful candy company. They know about your sweet tooth and they work hard to give you cavities. DC movies are made by a committee that has no idea what they want, how to do it, and what to do with it once it’s done. 

Snyder movies, though, are done by a guy who has a reverence for genre material writing love letters to the girl who sat in front of him in English class who doesn’t know he exists. Is she just stupid? Does she not care what he’s doing? It doesn’t matter; whatever the reason, his passion falls on deaf ears. That doesn’t mean his stuff isn’t brilliant. It just means you don’t get it or don’t care.

• Thing I love about Affleck’s version is that you can easily see how he’s the Adam West version after twenty years of crimestopping. I love the kids who identify with modern Batman. You damaged nerds, you’re supposed to identify with Superman, and do the right thing. All the movie Batmen between Adam West and Ben Affleck were warnings. Adam West was the guy making the best of a bad situation and Affleck is Stella getting his groove back. All the inbewteens were pandering nonsense.

• Do you listen to streetcorner preachers, or do you just step around them, on your way from here to there? Some guy spouting nonsense from a megaphone ever change your mind about anything? Of course not. HE’S A LUNATIC.  

Then why do you care if some nerd is crying about Zack Snyder making Superman and Batman “killers” when they’ve killed guys a million times in the comics? Why do you care about Spock “Prime” or brown people in STAR WARS or whatever nutty shit is the garment-rending subject du jour? Shhhh. Let people enjoy things… but also let people NOT enjoy things. Calling this shit “canon” reinforces you think this stuff is a religion. It isn’t. You think you’re on some sort of crusade? Nobody cares. Good God, the names you call each other over stuff that’s supposed to entertain you.

• I don’t understand why people want me to join their “virtual networking event.” If I wanted to virtually network with people, all I have to do is write ZACK SNYDER’S FOUR HOUR JLA EVENT WAS COOL ON HBO MAX and I can talk with forty people with strong opinions, deeply held beliefs, and charts, graphs, and diagrams with stick figures and arrows to indicate motion telling me how I am right. Or wrong. That’s the nature of networking. I’m not going to do a Zoom meeting about it with you, come on.

• OK, look. DC Comics knows writing Superman isn’t that hard. Whoever is running whatever part of Warners responsible for DC Films just fundamentally misunderstands what’s awesome about Superman. Zack Snyder understood it, but rolled it back too far. Superman is making something out of nothing; joy out of sorrow, triumph out of tragedy, and leading by example. THIS SHIT IS SO OBVIOUS.

They’ve figured out that Batman is the real guy, wearing a Bruce Wayne suit. There’s a great panel where Wonder Woman had the two of them in the Lasso of Truth and asked them their names as a control baseline. Superman said, “Clark Kent” with a proud smile. Batman grimly said, “Batman.” IT’S ALL RIGHT THERE FOR YOU, WARNER BROS.

Superman has always been about doing your best. Batman has always been about making them pay. Batman makes the audience feel better in the short term, but Superman makes them feel better in the long run. Batman is the Old Testament wrath, and Superman is Moses and Jesus and the Prophet. 

Worrying about making Superman “relevant” misses the entire point of that character. Superman has always been relevant. He always will be. It may not be in fashion to be a good neighbor, but people are wrong to believe so. We don’t need another theatrical movie where THE FATE OF THE UNIVERSE IS AT STAKE; we need one that shows why that big ol’ cornfed sack of Kansas beefcake who tips his hat and carries your groceries out to the car in the rain and lends AJ a little money to keep the lights on until payday PUTS ON HIS SUIT.

Batman is all the resources in the world but still a ten year old wound tight. Every bad guy he punches and puts away wears his parents’ killer’s face. Superman is CLARK KENT (and, by extension, all of us) WRIT LARGE. Come on, Warners. Don’t tell me you don’t know what to do with Superman. Any kid in the world could write you a decent Superman movie. THIS SHIT IS SO OBVIOUS.

• I love all the kids mad they know Henry Cavill as Superman is in the end credits of BLACK ADAM because The Rock is telling everyone who will listen. Talent who understands marketing and promotions don’t care about spoilers because you don’t sit on your hands after the project is done; you go out and SELL IT. Also, The Rock didn’t get where he is just bumbling through his career like he’s Felicity Huffman or something. He doesn’t give ONE CRAP about the half-million comics fans who know who Black Adam is or the hundred brain surgeons losing their minds that Zack Snyder had some influence once and his casting was 99% right on for the JLA (Sorry, Flash). He wants everybody to have Superman back and he had the nuts to get Warners all facing the same way so when the bosses changed (like they always do) he was ready to put it together behind a character no one has heard of and there’s your billion dollar opening weekend. Now stop crying about spoilers; The Rock said so.

• Snyder was fine. The audience is just a bunch of impatient whiners, and Warners had no balls. Watching Marvel go from EVERYTHING’S A JOKE, CAP to NOBODY LEARNS ANYTHING AND EVERYBODY DIES was phenomenal. But it took ten years to really pay off as they boiled that frog the whole time.

Smart people saw this and Snyder realized he had to go the other way. Everything starts out doom-and-gloom, and everybody gets on the path to the light. I don’t need ten years, I need five movies. You can see the whole thing happening and he was almost half done. But Warners blinked and we got Jar-Jar Binks in Attack of the Clones instead.

Money people need to just shut up and take their cut and let the talent do their thing, because if they knew how to tell a story, they’d be storytellers instead of bean counters.

Larry Young
Larry Young
Larry Young is a writer: non-fiction, graphic novels, and pop culture criticism. His work has appeared in ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY, VARIETY, and THE YEAR’S BEST SCIENCE FICTION. A frequent guest on the video podcasts MILLION DOLLAR MAILBOX and WORD BALLOONS, he’s also co-host of SERIOUS STAR TREK and the sister YouTube channel of this website.


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