Keep in mind that almost everyone discussing this film is making at least some reference to sexual assault.
Teresa Jusino at Tor (thanks @sigridellis for the lead) thinks the women in Sucker Punch grab agency and run with it, making it a kick-ass female empowerment flick. Here’s part 2 of her analysis.
Annalee Newitz of io9 says: “Sucker Punch” goes beyond awful, to become commentary on the death of moviemaking. She goes on to say “It’s just two empty stereotypes, the sexy whore and the action hero, hurled together to make a mess” and indicts the lack of character development for part of the fail.
(Zack Snyder’s comments in Zack Snyder explains the point of “Sucker Punch”, also on io9, made me gag. It’s not his fault, it’s the audience doing it! Poor Emily Browing too, with her “we get to be strong AND sexy” line. The first three comments on this post are quite good, though.)
Sam of Retconning My Brain looks at Sucker Punch differently than Newitz. She notes that it’s an action film starring women with no romantic subplots, which is a good point.
MaryAnn Johanson of FlickFilospher hated it so much, she had to channel another person to write the review. Or something. But Sucker Punch: Fuk Yeah is really funny – but could be really triggering for some folks, so be careful.
Monika Bartyzel of Cinematical titled her post Faux Feminism in ‘Sucker Punch’. Go, read. Lots here.
Exploitation POW! : Why I Won’t See Sucker Punch, and You Shouldn’t Either by Zoe Chevat at The Mary Sue got it about right: “I don’t think there’s anything particularly innovative about a panty-baring schoolgirl fighting robots.”
I really hate the multiple level nested blockquote effect on Tumblr, but if you go past all that, Ladies Making Comics has her thoughts on Sucker Punch and why you should go see it so they can’t say they won’t make another film where women kick ass.
But I have yet to see anyone mentioning that all the shit in Sucker Punch goes down to save one blonde white girl, or the servant/redshirt and betrayer roles of the girls who are not white. Once again, the terms “girls” and “women” are being used as general terms, erasing the very different treatment experienced by white women and women of color.
And I just keep thinking about how cool it could have been if the fantasy war scenes were actually what the girls themselves would have chosen, instead of what Zack Snyder claims we chose for them…
This post was originally published on Heroine Content, a feminist and anti-racist movie blog that ran from July 2006 to May 2012.
That looks like a lot of good reading. I’m still up in the air about whether I want to see the movie, so it will be good to see some pros and cons.
Also, I did come across a post which does bring up the racial shortcomings of the movie: Sucker Punched.
It looks like the url and tags got stripped off the link I tried to share. I’ll try again: http://absenceofalternatives.com/2011/03/sucker-punched.html
Maria and Leigh of the Hathor Legacy has a review as well – http://thehathorlegacy.com/sucker-punch/ – their take is a largely positive one.
I almost wrote my review as a satire declaring Snyder a genius who intentionally uses all the cliches there are to craft a boring flick in order to show how moribund blockbuster movies are. But I didn’t want to risk someone taking me seriously.
I loved SP, and I just want to mention something – in interviews, Zack Snyder has all but admitted that the 5 girls you see in the movie are all just personality projections in the mind of one girl – Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish). So the criticism that “5 girls are just saving one girl” actually does not hold. The film is about Sweet Pea. She does all the narration. And there are other clues throughout (in things she says) that indicate this. It’s certainly a puzzle, but all the pieces are there.
@SarahB, you’re totally right that interpreting what’s “really” going on is part of how people are analyzing this film differently. But I think what’s shown on screen, very vividly, counts as part of what’s really happening.
And I’m not sure that I would feel any better if I decided that how Sweet Pea chose to save herself partially included fantasizing two women of color to serve her needs and then get shot in the head.