Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is perhaps Zack Snyder's most maligned movie. In this edition of our Snyder Series, we champion his tale of female empowerment by proving it is a tale of female empowerment. Join us and guest host Katrina as we discuss how Snyder really hit the mark with his use of "and blah."

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Response to Sucker Punch

The Theme

    • “We were just talking about — and I don’t know if it’ll happen — but I was talking to DJ [John DesJardin], my visual effects supervisor, about doing this special edition of Sucker Punch, which is sort of like this super-super-uncensored “uninfluenced by the studio” version of the movie. Which exists, you know, I had it cut. It was my very, very first cut of the movie, which is basically more like the script… it’s much more meta, it’s much more of an indictment of fandom and it’s just… harder on the genre, which is how it was designed.”
    • “It’s very much an incredibly girl-power movie, not like girl-power in the comic book way but in the sort of psychological way.”
    • “I really don’t look at it like, ‘Oh, I’m going to make a female empowerment film.’ I just thought that the girls are awesome, and they can do whatever they want. I can only make it from my perspective, and if the goal of the film was to make a female empowerment film, then that’s absolutely debatable whether or not a man is the right choice for that. But the goal of the film is to tell an artistic story that is not bound by reality or anything like that, and if it happens to be at the end that girls feel like hey, I feel like I’m free to be strong in my life, then I don’t know.”
    • “Everything in the movie is about a show within a show within a show. Someone asked me, “Why did you dress the girls like that, in those provocative costumes?” And I said, “Well, think about it for a second. I didn’t dress those girls in the costume. The audience dressed those girls.” And when I say the audience, I mean the audience that comes to the movies. Just like the men who visit a brothel, [they] dress the girls when they go to see these shows as however they want to see them.
      “But my hope was that they would take those things back, just like my girls hopefully get confidence, they get strength through each other, that those become power icons. They start out as cliches of feminine sexuality as made physical by what culture creates. I think that part of it was really specific, whether it’s French maid or nurse or Joan Arc to a lesser extent [laughs], or schoolgirl. Our hope is we were able to modify them and turn them into these power icons, where they can fight back at the actual cliches that they represent. So hopefully by the end the girls are empowered by their sexuality and not exploited. But certainly that’s where they come from, the journey is asking, “What do you want to see? Well, be careful what you want to see.”
    • “For me, and I know it’s having your cake and eating it too, but I start the movie on purpose with her on a stage and I say, “OK, this is a show.” And all the rules of the movie are up for grabs. But I try to give you enough rules that you can latch onto something. But I don’t want those rules to get in the way of the intent of the scene. It’s like Moulin Rouge, where it’s a musical and the exact rules don’t apply, but enough of them do that the world is still consistent. I didn’t want it to get in the way of things that are awesome.”

The Characters

  • Sweet Pea
  • Rocket
  • Baby Doll
  • Amber
  • Blondie
  • Blue
  • The Lobotomist/The High Roller
    • Jon Hamm
    • Francisco’s Sex Speech
  • The Wise Old Man
    • “there’s not one redeemable male character in the movie except for the imaginary bus driver, you know what I mean? It’s the Scott Glenn character, this kind of fake father we all imagine but that is not real.”
  • Gorski

The Worlds

  • The Incident/The Asylum
  • The Brothel
    • “The girls are in a brothel performing for men in the dark. In the fantasy sequences, the men in the dark are us. The men in the dark are basically me: dorky sci-fi kids.”
    • “We talked a little bit about what these worlds would be doing in terms of what was happening before they arrived. I think the main thing was about the girls. I always liked the idea that the girls had zero to do with what was happening. The motion comics are all about this whole other culture, this whole other conflict, and all of a sudden these girls arrive and just start mowing people down. The trick was to make sure the worlds were complete, so you felt like if you looked over the horizon there was a society in that city where the train was going. So that was important to me, but on the other hand it had to feed into the girls entering the world, getting the thing and getting out.”
  • Feudal Warriors
  • The Trenches
  • Dragon
  • Distant Planet

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