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Does Zack Snyder Have Basic Narrative Problems?

Let’s take a look at the one thing that Sucker Punch and Watchmen have in common. Okay the four or five things. Like 300 and Owls, they’re all CG cartoon. But Sucker Punch and Watchmen (I didn’t see Owls) have major narrative problems to the point where they really don’t feel like complete movies.

With Sucker Punch, Snyder aimed way too high and blew it. Some narrative problems are understandable when you’re hoping around this much. Though even TV shows have pulled it off better. But Watchmen was just as much of a mess in its own way. It did a poor job of juggling the characters and the events. There was no sense of forward motion. Just sets and scenes scattered all over the place. 300 covered that up with a simple story that was made up of slow motion fight scenes. And it had a good template to work with.

Now what happens with Superman? It’s less obvious but Bryan Singer has his own narrative problems. It was more obvious in Superman Returns. So are we headed for another round of the same? Superman Returns overthought the material. After Sucker Punch, there’s a risk of a Snyder Superman doing the same thing.

Another Reminder from Bryan Singer Why Superman Returns Failed

I think that Superman Returns was a bit nostalgic and romantic, and I don’t think that was what people were expecting, especially in the summer.

But what was it romantic and nostalgic about? That’s the hang up. Superman and Lois’ past relationship. Was that really what Superman is about? It’s not nostalgic for the comics or Superman or even the Donner movies. But for the sake of being nostalgic.

What I had noticed is that there weren’t a lot of women lining up to see a comic book movie, but they were going to line up to see The Devil Wears Prada, which may have been something I wanted to address.

What? I’m just going to go with the first part of that quote. Okay so Singer tried to appeal to women. But turning Superman Returns into The Notebook may not have been the way. You still have to have a movie in the movie. Romance is an overlay. And Superman Returns didn’t really have romance either. Just Superman stalking Lois and brooding about her. And Lois and Superman being uncomfortable around each other.

But when you’re making a movie, you’re not thinking about that stuff, you’re thinking, ‘Wow, I want to make a romantic movie that harkens back to the Richard Donner movie that I loved so much.’ And that’s what I did

No. No. No.

Donner’s Superman movies weren’t perfect, but they were movies. Superman Returns is Twilight with capes. Nothing happens for a lot of the movie. And when it does happen, it isn’t very interesting.

Donner’s Superman movies were epic. There’s a hero’s journey and massive battles. Superman does almost everything he needs to do. In Superman Returns there’s nothing.

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