No, Zack Snyder, You Didn't 'Save the Watchmen'

It's no secret that my feelings about Zack Snyder are somewhere north of abject loathing, but far south of amiable. I'm not alone in my general distaste for all things Snyder, and since his announcement as the director of Batman vs. Superman, the Snyder-hate has been strong. Although Man of Steel was a passable dark Superman movie, it wasn't exactly earth-shattering, and relied heavily on Christopher Nolan dialogue delivered over Hans Zimmer atmospheric tracks. Even though I don't doubt that the yet-to-be-named Batman vs. Superman project has the potential to be compelling, it will never be able to outgrow Zack Snyder's adolescent view of superheroes, which clearly exist just so Snyder can make racist, sexist, reductive films about them.

As if us Zackophobes didn't have enough to hate-read already, he recently stated that he "saved" Watchmen from Terry Gilliam and Joel Silver. Admittedly, Gilliam set him up for this "gallant" proposal by alleging that Silver was a "slave to the material." On the one hand, Zack didn't cut out Dr. Manhattan as Gilliam had planned, but on the other, he missed the point of Watchmen. Zack's icky response interview was something we should have expected, but that doesn't mean we have to take Snyderisms sitting down.

First of all, Mr. Snyder, comic-loving (or even just comic-liking) people of the world would like to explain something to you. While we may crack open the first issue for the fight scenes or the pretty colors, we probably did this at age 14, and have moved past the "oh wow they're punching each other" stage of comics reading. We generally stay with a series or a graphic novel for the compelling characters, not the cool way the fists and boots look on the page. Your movies, from Sucker Punch, to 300, to Watchmen, strip the original comics of any kind of character development, and sub in sex appeal and slow motion fights. We don't like this.

Also, you've never once directed a movie with a remotely fleshed-out female character, or character of color. While the 300 racism is obvious, and we don't doubt Rise of an Empire will be just as bad, the lack of compelling female characters in a female-driven movie like Sucker Punch was, well, bizarre. And seriously, Silk Spectre was weak. Not okay.

We are quaking in our boots for Batman vs. Superman because, let's face it, you're going to make Wonder Woman into not-so-Wonderful Woman #3. You've flattened and killed lots of other great female characters (and some male ones too), so now you will obviously ruin the first modern interpretation of Wonder Woman before she even gets her own movie.

This petite rant is to remind you that you didn't save Watchmen, because it didn't need saving. Alan Moore's book was already great, and even if you seemed to stick to the plot, you completely blew past the characters. So, before you ride your white stallion into savior territory, think about the characters you've slaughtered along the way.