Shaman revisits Zack Snyder’s SUCKER PUNCH
How does the movie fair nowadays, playing at home on the flat screen, when all the hype and tripe should be pretty much all but extinct?
Personally, I will never understand all the criticism Sucker Punch got or still gets to this day, especially since there are in existence way more deranged films being acclaimed such as A Clockwork Orange for example, or even less intellectual properties being adored such as the Transformers or the Fast and Furious franchises. Not that those aren’t enjoyable, I just fail to see what they have that Sucker Punch lacks. The premise of this film is quite simple, so simple in fact that you didn't even need any dialog to understand the opening set-up. The main character then gets taken to the asylum and that's probably where people lose grasp of the perception they had of the film as it drastically morphs into something entirely different. I think of it as starting to eat steak and potatoes, and then realising it tastes like blueberry cheesecake. So I can see how some might be put off by it, I just can't see why many would consider it that bad, or the worst thing they've tasted in their entire lives. The trailer even showed both the fantastical action oriented aspects as much as the melodramatic psychological underlay, so I knew I'd be getting two meals in one plate from the get-go, and I can't understand how people could have expected anything else.
The very point of the movie was entirely about perception, state of mind and psychological struggle. It might not have laid out everything for you like Inception did, but it's just as smart a concept if not more so than Inception's. I'm not going to pretend it's deeper than a beatnik's wet dream because it clearly wasn't (neither was Inception, btw), which is what I actually appreciated most from this film. It didn't pretend to be any more than what it was, which I felt was refreshing. It was just someone's screwed up perception of the particular situation she was in and how she found deep within herself the power to psychologically set herself free. I'd imagine anyone being taken out of society on account of needing any psycho-medication, to live in their own bubble-world where things aren't perceived the same way as they are for us. Could it have used more character development? What movie couldn’t? Inception itself featured a dozen shoehorned characters thrown into the plot like a reality show on a desert island. However it still gets plenty of stars all around and even I was able to enjoy it on the second try.
The lead character was heavily traumatised and suffered great psychological consequences because of it. She was caged into an asylum she felt resembled her day and age's mob controlled burlesque backstreet cabarets. If you noticed the car at the beginning and the bus at the end, you'd know this film wasn't taking place in 2011. The staff chief was the pimp that kept her caged and her shrink was the stage director that helped her blossom. The old man she had as a guide was what the opening narration labelled an "angel", but as a shaman I prefer to think of him as her own higher self. In fact, the whole movie felt like one huge shamanic journey to me and I felt it was very well executed. Snyder proved to me once again that he was indeed the visual master I always saw him as, even giving us slow-motion in scenes that actually suited it this time around, contrary to Watchmen. And I found the high definition home theatre experience to be entirely breathtaking.
The one thing I simply can't get behind no matter how hard I try is how feminists could ever think the movie was degrading to women. This wasn't "Showgirls" for frak's sake, there wasn't even the slightest nip-slip or ass crack to be found. In fact, coming from 300 and Watchmen, i was surprised there wasn't any nudity what so ever. I'm not saying it could've used some but it might actually have given feminists something concrete to base their arguments on. How they can let slip or even enjoy Moulin Rouge yet unleash their unyielding wraths on Sucker Punch is completely and utterly beyond me. There wasn't even a rape scene, not even an implied one. Sure, one was "about to" take place in one scene but it didn't. Shouldn't people be glad about that? So what was the problem? Was it that it was historically accurate in portraying such a dirty yet common aspect of that society at that time? By all means, let us all start burning down and ignoring our history because we shouldn't be learning from it, we should just be forgetting it ever existed just so it can better repeat itself. Was it that it was women being caged by men? Are you honestly willing to argue that there were never any all-female asylums before? And that especially in that day and age, the guards weren't mostly male? I'm pretty sure that's a fairly historically accurate rendition, as far as I’ve heard. Judging from all their raving, "A League Of Their Own" must be the most misogynistic, sexist and degrading movie ever made. Oh but it had Rosie and Madonna in it so it gets a pass.
In conclusion, this film definitely wasn’t all that it was hyped up to be prior to opening, as most blockbusters tend to suffer the same fate in our internet based day and age, but there is no argument in the world that could prove it to be any worse than many successful and loved classic masterpieces as well as current cinematic franchises. It all comes down to personal tastes but I just hope you can all be as thorough with your explanations as I was with mine or else you might well be suffering from a slight case of double standards and/or “sheepherdism”.
Sucker Punch was well worth 3.5 Stars out of 5, for my tastes.
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