Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Talk About Up In The Sky. Thoughts on Zack Snyder Directing the Superman Reboot

It has been revealed that Zack Snyder will direct the reboot, or reimagining, or remake, or whatever it's going to be called, of the next Superman film.

Dear God are we in trouble.

Why am I so troubled by this choice? Well, after the disappointment of Superman Returns, the franchise came apart.

Did it make money? Affirmative, as K-9 from Doctor Who would say.

Did most critics like it? Affirmative.

Did it fail to capture audiences? Affirmative.

Bryan Singer, bless him, took a far too-ponderous tone with Superman Returns, which was only one of a myriad of problems the film had, but that's for another day. Now both Singer and the Man of Steel in Returns, Brandon Routh, are out (slightly unfair to Routh, but again, for another day).

Now we have Snyder, and here are two reasons why I think this does not bode well: 300 and Watchmen.

I know both are generally held in high regards by my fellow critics, but my big beef with the "visionary director" (I always recoil how anyone so young and with so few films to his credit can be called 'visionary') is that it is only about the visuals with him. I found both films to be hollow at their core with nothing to offer except the way they looked. It can't be just about the visuals in a film; it has to be also about story.

As of yet, Snyder's films have not been about anything. I have few memories of 300 except of virtually naked men screaming for hours on end. It seemed like no one could deliver their dialogue without raising the decibel level to 300 times the average human voice. As for Watchmen, two things stand out: a gigantic blue penis and a painful sex scene (but oddly, not in the same scene).

Of course, I'm getting ahead of myself. Perhaps Snyder will be someone of great subtlety and nuance when it comes to Kal-El. I don't know how the new Superman will end up. I wish Zach Snyder well and will hold my final view until my first viewing. After all, we all thought Singer was going to do a good job, so maybe the reverse of our expectations will hold true once more.

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