This is what happens when The Spice Girls get militant.
Nah, it’s better than that but Zack Snyder is on a razor sharp fence here. Falling to either side would save his arse – but loitering in the middle will mutilate it.
Has he created a celebratory girl power film that despite the bondage men impose on women’s sexuality – that same sexuality can set women free? IE if you’re forced to work in a brothel, escaping to a war zone in your mind lets you kill the zombie Nazis exploiting your body. Okay – the only problem with this as a ‘solution’ is that it solves nothing. The women continue to be sexual slaves and their escape is only a metaphor and never a reality.
Has he created a political statement about how modern women are depicted in modern media? And that the bondage of young women by their sexuality is an age-old cultural norm that hasn’t changed with technology one iota.
Or – and this is the razor’s edge here – has he created a masturbatory movie for gamers to go see at the cinema with all the elements of a game including the objectification of women and the over-grading of every shot to the point where it’s virtually animated?
These questions can be answered by going to see the film and here are some other reasons to check it out:
1 IT LOOKS GREAT
Yes – Snyder excels in terms of shot construction and also revealing his deep love affair with the slo-mo sequence
2 THE COSTUMES
Snyder reiterates his penchant for fetish costuming as per WATCHMEN [which I must admit, I do share with him]. The girls do look great but I did feel a bit icky about them being so horribly exploited while wearing the costumes because it made me feel guilty for liking them so much. SUCKER PUNCH put me in the position of being a bit of a pervert and it’s not my preferred position. [Much the same as the position the audience was put in while watching the sex scene in MONSTER’S BALL with Halle Berry and Billy Bob Thornton. Remember the camera was on the floor in the closet so that became our POV?]
3 MEN ARE PIGS
Like THELMA & LOUISE which also illustrated this theme (except for the guy played by Harvey Keitel), SUCKER PUNCH explores the theme that the weaker sex is indeed – the human male. Except for one dude called the Wise Man.
4 OSCAR ISAAC IS IN IT
He almost stole every scene he was in in BALIBO and I didn’t recognise him in SUCKERPUNCH til the final credits rolled.
5 ZOMBIE NAZIS
Okay, even though the trench warfare resembles World War 1 and we know they didn’t have zombie Nazis til World War 2. They did bear some resemblance to the generic Terminator.
6 EMILY BROWNING
Wait til you see how this little ginger cutie in LEMONY SNICKET has transformed into a blonde sex bomb. ‘Baby has gone and done got all growed up now!’
7 THE MONSTER MASH
When Baby Doll discovers her powers, she does it in a 4-way with 3 of the biggest bad-asses in cinema history. Not only did Snyder take great influence from Eastern iconography, I reckon he was a bit inspired by the big metal monster in Terry Gilliam’s BRAZIL [still one of my all-time favourite films].
8 THE CHARACTER NAMES – ICK
Baby Doll? Sweet Pea? Blondie? Yeah, didn’t like this much. I get why the characters have these names, I just reckon Snyder could have made them more interesting.
I got the chance to sit down with the two Aussie stars Emily Browning and Abbie Cornish and you can see what they had to say about what I had to say about SUCKER PUNCH on Movie Juice 6pm Monday night on STARPICS (and 8pm on STARPICS 2 plus both channels are in HD with Dolby 5.1 surround sound).
PS – I know SUCKER PUNCH needed the stylized look and it does work – but – I’m longing for the over-grading of movies to ease up and take a back seat. It doesn’t help ground us in the reality of that world anymore – it makes movies look like cartoons. I want to see the play of light. I want to see what a great DOP can capture. I want a return to finding the art of film, on film instead of manufacturing it in post.