One of the most divisive filmmakers of the 21st century, Zack Snyder has amassed a legion of both overzealous fans and critical detractors, ready to stick their nose up at his work. The truth lies somewhere in the middle, as he’s an artist whose visual ambitions often outpace modern technology, working in a land where plot and dialogue are second to getting a kick-ass shot.
Along the way, there are the tropes which divide film geeks: slow motion sequences stretched to interminable lengths, actors whose physiques belie their acting and plot devices that don’t square with characterization.
Defining characteristics aside, there is a joy to hearing Snyder talk about filmmaking. He’s clearly a kid in a sandbox, hoping to make the coolest looking things he possibly can, and it’s hard not to admire the joy that, after 10 movies and billions of dollars in box office returns, he still hasn’t lost. Although that wonder doesn’t always end up on screen, it’s hard to fault someone who, at his core, just wants to make great looking stuff.
With the release of Snyder’s newest film, “Army of the Dead,” Variety has ranked Snyder’s oeuvre, taking visuals, plot, storytelling and slo-mo all into account.