April 1, 2011

The world is being Sucker Punch(ed).

The more I read reviews about Sucker Punch, the more I realize that these people clearly are not the demographic the movie is intended for. They complain about too much CGI, too many fight scenes, why doesn't it have more plot, why is it a bunch of girls, why doesn't it obey the physics of reality, and how dare it be such a flashy action movie. It's like The Expendables all over again.

The only complaint that holds any water is whether or not this is a exploitation film and how this effects the portrayal of women. I feel that's a fairly in depth question that could go either way if people weren't so busy dismissing movie simply because it is all females kicking ass.

Let's be frank, people, this. Is. An. Action. Movie. It's troperific, full of homages, and is fully self aware. If you could actually pay attention, it is full of symbolism, it makes fun of itself, the genre, and the demographic it is intended for, but at the same time takes it seriously.

The three realities are not confusing. They're pretty straight forward. I felt some of them weren't introduced very well, but that doesn't mean that the lines are blurry-- the lines are very clear. It's like I'm listening to people scream about how confusing Inception was all over again, which wasn't confusing at all, and Sucker Punch is even MORE obvious than that.

If you're not a nerd, if you don't like action movies, if you're looking for something deep and meaningful that you're unable to decipher for yourself, if you don't like bright and flashy visuals, if you don't like cliches DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE.

If you're not comfortable seeing a group of girls kick ass in skimpy clothing because women should be able to kick ass in anything, that's fine. If you're not comfortable seeing a group of girls being exploited by men, being forced to sell their bodies as symbolism for being constrained and raped while in asylum, that's also understandable. You will probably not like this movie.

This movie is essentially five girls seeking power to escape death. They find agency by using the skills they have to fight. Fight their constraints, mental and physical. On the flip side, how they find empowerment can be a fetish for men. The director admitted that when Baby Doll dances and entrances all the men in the movie, likewise he intended to have all the men entranced by her kicking of the asses in the alternate reality she enters when dancing. This movie works both ways. It exploits women in the movie and exploits the audience watching it. Whether or not you are comfortable with that, whether or not you base your opinion of the movie on that doesn't change the fact that a big damn action movie shouldn't be critiqued for having too much action.