De Nathan Kamal
| 2 minutes ago
Zack Snyder is in many ways the heir to Michael Bay’s action movie throne. As the director of The Rock and Bad boys, Snyder has a hyper-distinctive style that values a show over something remotely similar to reality. Like Bay, he has a strong preference for using his actors as playable dolls in various superhuman (sometimes literally) poses, although Snyder shows male bodies as often as female ones. And like Bay, his films tend to be huge box office hits, but receive little critical acclaim. But unlike Bay, whose films proudly refuse to have subtitles, there tends to be an undercurrent of commentary in Snyder’s films, though it can be difficult to analyze exactly what he is trying to say most of the time (other than Superman being a Christ figure). Perhaps the least understandable of all is his greatest disaster: Sucker Punch. Zack Snyder’s fantastic 2011 action movie leaves Netflix in late May, so you’d better get it.
Sucker Punch is the only true Zack Snyder bomb, making only $ 89 million from a budget of $ 82 million. For comparison, his debut film, Dawn of the Dead, made over $ 100 million from a budget of $ 25 million, and the theatrical release of Justice earned $ 657 million. Even if critics don’t like them, their films make money, too Sucker Punch. It’s his too worst received film, currently holding a miserable 22% on Rotten Tomatoes. It was released after Zack Snyder’s increasingly successful career in the early 2000s, following the strange pair of Guards and Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hooleand just before kicking Warner Bros. DCEU with Man of Steel. So what happened with Sucker Punch?
First, Sucker Punch is the most Zack Snyder of all Zack Snyder movies, for better or worse. The plot is almost elementally simple: a young woman named Babydoll (Emily Browning) is hospitalized in a prison-like madhouse after her stepfather murders his mother for their inheritance; it is very implied that he sexually abused both her and her younger sister. Defending himself from him, Babydoll accidentally causes his sister’s death. Her stepfather bribes a corrupt commander (pre-Star Wars Oscar Isaac) to have Babydoll lobotomized. Most of this is presented in a washed gray tone, without any audible dialogue, tuned to a slow, dreary cover of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)” sung by Browning himself. Clearly, Sucker Punch soon throws his gauntlet down.
Once committed, Babydoll basically has a mental break and enters a fantasy world in which the insane asylum is a brothel run by Oscar Isaac (now portrayed as Rudolph Valentino-style gangster in a heavy eyeliner), her doctor (Carla Gugino) is dancing. teacher, and the other patients are dancers / sex slaves. Further away, Babydoll goes into another level of fantasy as she performs as a dancer, in which she is a stylized living anime-style warrior fighting a giant demon samurai and immortal Nazis. She devises an escape plan for herself and the other patients / dancers, which requires getting a series of different items in different fantasy sequences.
Zack Snyder was criticized for the video game-like nature of the plot, as if that was not intended. Sucker Punch has been read by critics as either a collection of misogynistic fetishes and violence, a satire of the same, a feminist power story, a critique of fan fantasies, or just plain fantasy. Zack Snyder himself has declared he views it as a commentary on sexism and geoculture, but whatever his intention, it clearly did not land the way he had hoped. Perhaps the multiple levels of reality and irony invoked in the film simply could not get through the whole chic CGI action and the constant threat of sexual violence in the film.
At one point, almost every young rising actress was tied to that of Zack Snyder Sucker Punch. Babydoll was originally intended to be played by Amanda Seyfried, Brie Larson auditioned, Emma Stone went on to make Easy A, and the list goes on. Sucker Punch did not destroy any careers (certainly not by Zack Snyder) but it was almost immediately rejected by audiences and critics. As you might expect, there is reportedly a different cut of the film that is more to the director’s initial vision (Snyder cut, if you will) but will probably never be released for legitimate reasons. However, stranger things happened, especially to Zack Snyder’s films. Until then, you only have a few days to try to understand Sucker Punch on Netflix.