So I came to a random realization about a few Zack Snyder films. I guess I just realized it while I was feeling sad about Superman’s death, as I do every day. But what I realized was the male lead of three of Zack’s movies die at the end of the movie. The three being Michael from Dawn of the Dead, Leonidas from 300, and obviously Superman in Batman v Superman. When something happens once or twice in a director’s movies, I don’t really dwell on it, but three times is when it’s a pattern.
And it’s not just the fact that the male leads die, it’s the fact that all three of them die in an act of sacrifice for the woman they love. In each case, the man dies to protect a woman. People would probably like to take that as “oh, he’s just showing how women need to be saved by men” but it comes across to me as devotion and adoration that these male leads have for the women they love.
We have Dawn of the Dead where the romance in the movie doesn’t really get that much focus, but you do have your usual partnership between Michael and Ana that evolves into romance, and you knew those two trusted each other the most. So at the end of the movie, we discover that Michael has been bitten and he needs to stay behind, allowing the others to get away.
He could have gone with them. Ana even says “I can help you” because she’s a nurse but he knows that if he goes with them, he’d turn and kill them. He selflessly stays behind to protect all of them, especially Ana. The point that he did it for Ana is driven home even more when the camera focuses on Ana’s face as we hear Michael shoot himself. So we have our first case of the male lead sacrificing himself for the sake of the female lead.
300 also did this, but Leonidas’s relationship with Gorgo, his wife, gets a lot more attention and is really established as a great love story. They are apart for most of the movie, but their devotion for each other is never forgotten. I think Leonidas’s sacrifice is very similar to Superman’s sacrifice in Batman v Superman because I got the distinct impression that he was fighting this war for his wife, so she could live on. He was fighting for his people, yes, but especially her, and that was apparent in his death scene.
He didn’t die the way we often see characters die in battle scenes, cursing the enemy or looking around at his men. He dies thinking of his wife. This part reminds me a lot of the “You are my world” scene from BvS.
Then obviously you guys all know the scene from BvS when Clark sacrifices himself to save the world. The “You are my world” line is already iconic. Clark had faced so much shit from the world in that movie, but he had Lois, who represented everything good in the world that was worth saving. Zack basically says that in this video.
“She’s a reason to save the human race.”
So yeah, this is another one of my “I like Zack a lot” posts. If he wants to keep giving me male characters who show utmost devotion for the women they love, so much that they’d die for them because the woman represents everything good in the world, I’m here for it.