At the end of this movie, the dude behind me said four times “Is no one else in this theatre confused?”. Perhaps to the poor girl sitting next to him? He spaced these outbursts out, as if he’d gone blind and deaf with his idiocy, and was hoping a bro’ could throw him a lifeline. As if he hoped other redneck idjits would rise up and join torches to burn the puzzle outta this town. I turned to my girlfriend and loudly growled “I think someone in this theatre is actually confused.” (He got up and left).
Then the two dipshits in front of me whipped out their cell phones (slash: flashlights) and tried to distract me from the STILL GOING ON work of art on the screen. The film’s end credits contain an entire original dance sequence and musical number, showing you an entire epic scene that was hinted at but never shown during the main story. They are a stylized PART OF THE MOVIE. But everyone was up and walking out, or checking in with their facebook. I leaned in and read their texting over their shoulders and blew on their hair. I whipped out my phone and shined it in the sides of their faces (but this just elicited a minor confused looks). They struck me as this weird alien species, masquerading as men, who missed class the day “how to watch a movie” was explained.
This was a great movie, and a lot of people don’t deserve it.
It’s the kind of film that tried to speak to you outside of reality (arguably in a truer language, of pure dreams). Ridiculously pretty people go through strange symbolic motions, spouting cryptic one liners and silly catch phrases. It is not Black Swan. It is not Empire Strikes Back. It is The Fountain. It is The Box. It is Tron Legacy. It slips subversive symbols and ideas into your head while you’re distracted in its spectacle. While you’re looking at well toned crotches and cleavage.
This is a movie about doing something for the ladies. About how women can free themselves from the inequality of a culture rooted in the superiority of men. I think it’s interesting so many men hate it, and claim it has nothing to say.
How can you say the metaphors don’t add up? I need to look up the exact dream meanings of “maze, fire, snake, knife, and key” – I don’t know what they suggest about your subconscious when they appear in a dream – but i’m not such a fuckwit that I’d claim there were random items with no importance to the film. jesus fucking christ, critics. how can you say “she dreams about fighting a giant fire breathing penis, but I don’t think it meant anything. this movie is stupid.” So many critics I want to punch in the brain right now.
Anytime someone says “the artist seems to be trying to make some sort of point, with some sort of emphasized set of symbols – but I think it’s all just meaningless gobbeldygook,” I hope you can lose a little respect for them. Critics are supposed to take art seriously, not dismiss it as too difficult to dive into. *&$^%@!
Ahem. Spoilers follow:
Anywho. This was a movie about taking back male dominated action genres for women. From the samurai sword fight to the trenches of WWI to the knights who storm a fantasy castle, to the crooks who pull off a train heist – the film latches onto images you’ve seen a million times – and lets women storm through beating the shit out of all the guys.
It has a weird mostly-cool soundtrack of nothing-but-covers, which reinforces the core theme of adapting someone’s else’s art to have a new meaning in your own story (an important message from Zack Snyder, the director of nothing-but-adaptations-until-now).
I feel like I should watch Cabaret again to see what it says about feminism and escapism… but I probably won’t. Not a fan of that movie/musical/whatever. Even without whatever insights i’m losing there, I can still tell Sucker Punch was a very strong feminist statement about using the performance that women have to put on everyday in this “Man’s World.”
I think they were also showing how you can incorporate the memorable parts of the ugly world around you into your performance. I think they were also showing that a woman can use this trick to liberate herself from the insanity of inequality. I worry that I have an unfair advantage in enjoying this movie, because I spent much of the last week pondering the excellent articles as Pop Matters, which dissect the feminist teachings of joss whedon’s body of work. I may have unfair advantage because I’ve seen and enjoy Whedon’s excellent speech about his belief in gender equality.
I hope the critics who are dismissing this movie will be informed that it is about empowering women (and not a random nonsensical male masturbation.)(… perhaps the movie works as a mirror for misogynist critics?). The damning reviews this picture is getting are disgusting.
a lot of the performances fall a little flat. I was overwhelmed by the suspicion that the lead bad man, Blue Jones (aka blue balls?), was trying very hard to be Jeffery Dean Morgan (the super manly man who played The Comedian in Snyder’s previous film). I scoured these internets, searching for any sign that the part was written for Morgan, and that Snyder forced Oscar Isaac to pretend he was in fact Morgan. but… no dice. maybe I’m crazy. I hope i’ve stuck this splinter in your brain though. Sorry if it ruins Isaac’s performance. But i think his performance is already the worst thing about the movie. He seems like a posturing teenager. He should have been the ultimate sweaty hairy man’s man.
I also thought some of the ladies came off a little flat. I felt like I was getting teary eyed because it was clearly written, shot, cued and edited to be an emotional moment. Not because I was invested in the performance. I was not surprised to find there was a lot of casting shuffle for the girl squad. (though I’m surprised any woman would turn down a role in the ultimate girl power film). … I wonder if Snyder was labeled as a misogynist due to the success of 300? maybe women were afraid to work with him? Maybe this whole Sucker Punch is meant to be “Suprise, I love women too!” … kinda icky to think this. but wouldn’t reject the idea.
anywho. With the opening endless sequence of perfectly orchestrated slow motion camera moves, I remember thinking “Maybe you just can’t do this sort of movie any more. I wonder when perfect camera moves and rich moody lighting officially jumped the shark… Was it the first Matrix? Was it The Fountain? Panic Room? Is that why Aronofsky switched to shaky handheld shit aesthetics?”. I thought all this as they wheeled her into the asylum. It was a birds eye view of doors opening, followed by a perfect pan to follow them down the hall. I kinda forgot about it (and enjoyed the subtlety of a shot where she is held in the background behind a huge white X, having been buzzed into the ward), until much later in the film. There’s a shot on the train where a bullet casing flies into camera, and we turn to see what’s behind it. This shot struck me as: the end of this sort of filmmaking. I didn’t feel there was a point to the focus on this spent casing (though maybe the filmmaker is acknowledging how the audience feels a little spent at this point, with the endless action? … possible.). Really, it felt like there were excited to pull of this action scene camera-pan cliche with such a tiny object. oof. hmm.
anywho. moving on.
The movie reminds me a lot of “panic room” for some reason. …Perfect camera movies. …Something designed to be a guilty pleasure at first glance, which turns into a deep modern “female empowerment” statement by the end. But this film succeeds where that flick failed, by focusing on multiple “hot chicks” – who are still young and dress in a sexy clothing. Sucker Punch manages to the make the “lascivious sleaze” into just another symbol. Which is why it’s such a fucking amazing achievement.