Whenever I come across a Brett Ratner-related news item (i.e., his latest non-opus), the image of 10,000 teeth-gnashing fanboys immediately comes to mind. The latest news is that Ratner and his producing partners, Bernie Goldman and Ryan Kavanaugh, have acquired The Brothers Grimm: Snow White (in 3D, of course), what Deadline calls "an edgy re-imagining of the German folk tale written by Melissa Wallack." Ratner promised to bring Snow White back to her roots, switching out Walt Disney's miners for robbers, adding a dragon, "edginess" (whatever that means), and comedy. All good fodder for the Ratner-haters in the movie blogosphere. Why, though? Bashing Ratner, especially after his ill-fated involvement in the X-Men: The Last Stand after the departure of Bryan Singer for Superman Returns, has always left me perplexed. Hear me out.

By no means am I suggesting that a close appraisal of Ratner's filmography (the non-French word for "oeuvre") will reveal a heretofore unacknowledged genius filmmaker (it happens, just not here). As a director, Ratner has had a relatively undistinguished, unmemorable career, at least artistically. Canny or lucky when it comes to selecting film projects to direct, the box office take from his films, especially the Rush Hour franchise (please, let's not call it a trilogy) have made him, for better or for worse, a Hollywood player. Outside of the Rush Hour franchise, Ratner's directed exactly two box-office hits, Red Dragon, the second adaptation of Thomas Harris' Hannibal-related novel (inferior to Michael Mann's 1986 adaptation), and X-Men: The Last Stand four years ago.
categories Cinematical