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Who really got punched?
on June 27, 2011
The extent to which this film has been cast aside and misunderstood even within those that makes claims as to having enjoyed it is unparalleled. To begin there is not one ounce of true exploitation in Sucker Punch. Snyder carefully chose his shots, costumes etc as to avoid becoming a T & A film. The point of showing girls wrapped in costumes representative of fetish was to attract a certain crowd and illustrate a point; fantasy is fun and without consequence if you understand the boundaries of fantasy. If you begin to loose sight of the boundaries of fantasy you begin to apply those concepts to the real world and there are consequences. Hence, no real death in the fantasy world until it leaks into the "real world" and starts to break it down. Movie goers, consumers, etc are obsessed with over-sensualizing teen girls (ie From Annette Funicello to Brooke Shields to Brittany Spears up through Miley Cyrus). By doing this teen girls grow up as prisoners of their own sexuality and are taught to "empower" themselves with it against the brute force of men. A subjective empowerment all women will enact on more than one occasion and that all women will loathe and/or enjoy at one time or another; sometimes both. That is one of the many questions Snyder poses; where is the line and what messages are we sending, specifically in Hollywood where T & A is the name of the game for most starlets.
There is also a lot of criticism for the so-called lack of inspired imagery; orcs, nazis, robots, etc. Again, this was the point. Tired of X-Men 5, Batman 6, Harry Potter 7, reboot, redeux, and remakes? Where something old is made new again? Snyder again was addressing the collapsing of the fibre of Hollywood and admitting, as with the girls, it's all fun but what is the cost? This same point is driven home through the music selection- riddled with remakes, reboots and samples and presented in the most decadent hyper-stylized way. Listen to the dialogue again...Snyder is speaking directly to the audience...even referencing his own contributions to the mess of genre flicks swarming the market. Amazing just how intelligent and brave this film is and how far critics and audiences alike have fallen in their film intellect over the last decade or two. The main flaw of the film is in the unintended feel good ending enlisted by the studio after the original ending was far too challenging for screening audiences. Amusing how the film to which Sucker Punch repeatedly tips it's hat to, Brazil, went through the very same struggles to be heard.
The "Sucker Punch" was the act of making a film with the purpose of baiting the audience with promises of action without consequence, sex without abuse, 2 fun-filled hours without introspection but in turn giving the audience creepy feelings of voyeurism and making the audience uneasy with enjoying the action that turned to violence. Unfortunately it's all worse than Zack Snyder thought; he gave the audience too much credit and they never realized he was taking to them about the state of affairs. Great film.