The Big Picture: You Are Wrong About Sucker Punch, Part Two

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It's an interesting interpretation. I'm not sure it's in any way invalid, but I do have some problems with it.

Well, any story in which characters are in some sense entirely not characters performing actions but symbolic representations of philosophies or... I dunno, Jungian archetypes?... whose activities serve only to reflect upon those philosophies/archetypes and their successes/failings is going to have a hard row to hoe. Not least because those "characters'" successes or failures is going to starkly be due to the whim of the storyteller. If the failure of Babydoll's plan is the failure of third-wave sexualized feminism, if I disagree with the notion that third-wave sexualized feminism has failed in the way portrayed, the whole thing kind of unravels, even having come so far as to recognize all the symbolism the director intended.

When I saw "Sucker Punch", I was most irritated by the notion that Sweet Pea was the "actual hero", and I guess I still feel that way. I felt that the earlier story of Sweet Pea coming to the asylum to protect her sister Rocket might be a story in which she was a hero, but the one we were seeing was one where Babydoll was the instigator of all the action; that being the case, saying that Sweet Pea was the hero was simply not a choice the movie had the right to make for its audience.

Yes, in many ways Baby Doll's plan was a failure. But it wasn't a failure because of Baby Doll, aside perhaps from her excessive willingness to put the others at risk, a risk each girl agreed to take on; it was a failure because of bad luck, and one girl's reaction to setback being an unfortunate decision to confess the plan. And while Sweet Pea's desire to keep Rocket safe might be admirable, what does she offer in opposition to Babydoll's plan, other than a continuation of the status quo (which appears to consist of the girls continuing to suffer routine sexually abuse until their captors tire of them and decide to get rid of them?) What's "heroic" about that in this story?

In the final hour, it's still Babydoll who has to rescue Sweet Pea and choose to sacrifice herself.

Sucker Punch was certainly an interesting film, and not one I'm sorry I saw, but however one chooses to interpret it (and even to the extent that many interpretations run into their own road blocks), I think my ultimate description would probably have to be something like "ambitious failure".

Why do I feel like it's totally illegal for anyone to like this movie? This was one of my favorite movies from last year, but every time I bring it up people call me an idiot, misogynist, etc. Even when I try to explain things like Bob did, they just tell me I'm an idiot.

Sucker Punch wasn't perfect, but at least *attempted* to do more with its narrative. Whether it succeeded or not is up for you to decide, but I'm glad it took a risk.

varmintx:

daibakuha:

DVS BSTrD:
No I wasn't Bob: I thought none of what happend actually mattered in the end and it turns out I was right.

It's a good thing you aren't a film critic, because you suck at film analysis.

Give 'em a break, most people suck at analysis of every kind...especially introspection.

The only reason I didn't was because even after both of these videos he still refuses to acknowledge any other opinion than his own.

I'm still not sure how any of this "makes me wrong about Sucker Punch." Because the movie is more thought out then what most people gives it credit for makes it a good movie? It's like saying, "You're wrong about Call of Duty." Because they put a lot of work into making the game and have refined multiplayer to a level that can be carried over so many people. It's still a crap game, you haven't changed that. And you haven't made me wrong about it or this movie.

Sorry for the sudden second posting, but the first line of Yahtzee's "Extra Punctuation" article this week coincidentally seemed apropos:

Motivation is an important part of characterization. There's nothing duller than an entirely reactionary character who never acts out of their own decisions, only blind loyalty or automatic response to a perceived slight.

So does the fact that I have never had the desire to watch this film, mean that I am not a stereotypical drooling Geek misogynist?

It did seem as if the bus was the only real place in the movie. But my feeling was that Sweet Pea was a mentally disturbed woman and everything including Baby Doll where just the fears in her imagination. We don't know who or why Sweet Pea is fleeing only the deep rooted fear of being caught.

Sadly the movie just doesn't pull of the what's real and what's not real as well as films like The Wizard of Oz or the original Total Recall. After the film has failed on so many levels it no long feels worth digging for the answer even if it's a good one like an abusive husband.

Callate:
Sorry for the sudden second posting, but the first line of Yahtzee's "Extra Punctuation" article this week, ironically, seemed apropos:

Motivation is an important part of characterization. There's nothing duller than an entirely reactionary character who never acts out of their own decisions, only blind loyalty or automatic response to a perceived slight.

Which character would that be?

That's cool...

As I said last week, your analysis doesn't really affect me in any way. I was one of the VERY few who loved it on it's own shallow, vacuous, sexy merits.

Interesting nonetheless. I think it would be a really neat idea to take a look at other things Snyder had creative control over just to see if he really is as smart as you make him out to be.

yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes,yes

this explains that and this, you rock

keep making videos.

i want to write in all caps

themilo504:
heh i cant help but think of tidus when he said this is not my story.

...You said TiDUS, and funny, I misread "TiTUS". Movie with Anthony Hopkins (1999).
I put it on a shelf not far from "Sucker Punch". If only because it got similarly layered structure.

... I liked "Sucker Punch" because it had babes with kick ass swords & guns. Is that wrong?

<:(

I think this is valid, a good movie and good message/noble intention are two different things much like a good character being morally upstanding as apposed to a good i.e well acted, well written, Good as a quality description.

For me the 3 layer approache is the fatal flaw as it abstracts the points into obscurity, the mindless stuff doesn't encourage reflection on the rest of the movie but simply disengages the audience with the piece.

The why question about why is the poor treatment sexy to me is an incoherent question, think back to the britiny spears sexy school girl days, the costume was largely irrelevant men would and do find her attractive in spite of it she didn't require it to be considered attractive.

The context doesn't apply, men don't find the abuse sexy, to do that would require the females to not be sexy in any other situation, it's an already reasonably attractive cast of females so that anything they do is irrelevant, the men will find them attractive no matter what they do, say, wear, life circumstances.

men saw the sexy girl team in the advertising (the movie is watched after the tickets have been paid for) well before the premise of the world the story takes place in.

It's very similar to the twilight complaint that it encourages female desire for abusive partners when really the lead actor is already desired by females no matter how he behaves, the advertising was an unashamedly here is lots of young attractive men wearing little clothing, it made the puzzlement of people wondering why adult women not in the "young adult genre" market would see the movie in droves, strike me as odd when it was clearly women acting on their own salacious desires, clearly displayed in the marketing and the lead actors knowledge of exactly what he was paid to do which was look pretty for a female audience.

A sucker punch you don't see coming but what about the fact that it either missed or wasn't even felt by the target?

Also how short is the rest of the cast supposed to be if a 1.73m tall women can tower over them?

I'm willing to go along with your critical analysis. Just the characters were so freakin' bland and interchangeable that when Sweet Pea got out I had already forgotten who she was to the story.

I need to re-watch this.

Revolutionaryloser:

Callate:
Sorry for the sudden second posting, but the first line of Yahtzee's "Extra Punctuation" article this week, ironically, seemed apropos:

Motivation is an important part of characterization. There's nothing duller than an entirely reactionary character who never acts out of their own decisions, only blind loyalty or automatic response to a perceived slight.

Which character would that be?

Seems like a not entirely inaccurate assessment of Sweet Pea.

Yes, the action scenes were supposed to be shit, that's why it's good.

...

Riiiiight.

Hey Bob, you should do a Big Picture episode about Scrotie McBoogerballs next week.

samahain:

themilo504:
heh i cant help but think of tidus when he said this is not my story.

...You said TiDUS, and funny, I misread "TiTUS". Movie with Anthony Hopkins (1999).
I put it on a shelf not far from "Sucker Punch". If only because it got similarly layered structure.

... I liked "Sucker Punch" because it had babes with kick ass swords & guns. Is that wrong?

<:(

The swords, the guns and the kicking ass is fine. The rape is what's reprehensible.

Callate:

Revolutionaryloser:

Callate:
Sorry for the sudden second posting, but the first line of Yahtzee's "Extra Punctuation" article this week, ironically, seemed apropos:

Which character would that be?

Seems like a not entirely inaccurate assessment of Sweet Pea.

I don't see it... at all.

The debate over whether or not Sucker Punch is a good movie is a moot point: you either like it or you don't, much like every other movie out there. I believe Bob made same great points and the transitions between scenes/worlds is one of the biggest take-aways I have from not only this but the commentary on the DVD as well. They are very important but everyone seems to miss them. Even when I first saw this movie I never saw it as "just another action film" but one that was more a love story to Freud and the layers of the subconscious than anything else.

That aside, I always believed that the ending, and Sweat Pea's escape, was more Baby Doll letting her inner self (Sweat Pea) go. Baby Doll was accepting her fate but never letting her spirit die, ie Sweat Pea, because she is, after all, having a lobotomy. That's how I understood the ending and that Sweat Pea was able to live a life away from all the horrors that had just happened in a world referenced briefly at the very beginning of the film. Why else would Baby Doll let Sweat Pea go?

The other thing that may have helped the case here was the Wise Man and what he says when he meets Baby Doll for the first time. There were five things baby Doll needed to escape but "the fith is a mystery.. Know that It will be a deep sacrifice, and a perfect victory."

Hold on let me get this straight, bob admits that there are problems with the movie, and says he doesn't blame people for not liking it (so long as they understand what the movie was trying to accomplish), and people are attacking him in this thread for supposedly saying that if you didn't like the movie you're wrong, despite the fact that's nearly the opposite of what he said at the beginning of part 1.

What do you people want from him?

Revolutionaryloser:

Callate:

Revolutionaryloser:

Which character would that be?

Seems like a not entirely inaccurate assessment of Sweet Pea.

I don't see it... at all.

The only decisions- active, action-requiring decisions- that Sweet Pea makes during Sucker Punch are at Babydoll's spurring. Her "decision" to stay at the asylum with Rocket is made before the movie even begins, and is arguably one born of blind loyalty. And her initial, disapproving reaction to Babydoll could be seen as an "automatic response to a perceived slight"- in this case, the "new girl" coming in and shaking up her place in the pecking order.

redknightalex:
-snip-

Nobody is arguing that Sucker Punch is a good movie. Bob doesn't think it's a good movie, I don't think so, god knows everyone that hates it doesn't think so. The real question is, is it worth watching and does it have something really importan to say? It is and it does.

It simply tries to hard to tell a simple tell on to many levels and loses itself in the process.
Still its kinda neat on many levels.

Callate:

Revolutionaryloser:

Callate:

Seems like a not entirely inaccurate assessment of Sweet Pea.

I don't see it... at all.

The only decisions- active, action-requiring decisions- that Sweet Pea makes during Sucker Punch are at Babydoll's spurring. Her "decision" to stay at the asylum with Rocket is made before the movie even begins, and is arguably one born of blind loyalty. And her initial, disapproving reaction to Babydoll could be seen as an "automatic response to a perceived slight"- in this case, the "new girl" coming in and shaking up her place in the pecking order.

I think we've watched different films.

Revolutionaryloser:

Callate:

Revolutionaryloser:

I don't see it... at all.

The only decisions- active, action-requiring decisions- that Sweet Pea makes during Sucker Punch are at Babydoll's spurring. Her "decision" to stay at the asylum with Rocket is made before the movie even begins, and is arguably one born of blind loyalty. And her initial, disapproving reaction to Babydoll could be seen as an "automatic response to a perceived slight"- in this case, the "new girl" coming in and shaking up her place in the pecking order.

I think we've watched different films.

I'm sorry, but if you want me to address how you see things differently, you're going to have to give me a little more to work with.

Revolutionaryloser:

redknightalex:
-snip-

Nobody is arguing that Sucker Punch is a good movie. Bob doesn't think it's a good movie, I don't think so, god knows everyone that hates it doesn't think so. The real question is, is it worth watching and does it have something really importan to say? It is and it does.

In his review, Bob clearly supports the film.

"This will be a divisive, love-it-or-hate-it kind of film, but put me down for team 'Hell yes.' Do NOT miss this movie."

Okay... this was a bit more convincing than the last one. It's still just a matter of content ratio, in which straight-up "action girl fetishism", as you put it, takes up 80% of the movie, which I just find it very hard to justify only by virtue of those comparatively tiny segments where the movie actually gives insight and critique. Almost all of its energy and attention goes to those gleeful, childish vignettes - I can't help it if my attention also goes there. And I also can't be generous and say it only just "missed the landing"; it was one of the more spectacular fatal crashes in recent years. However, it didn't lower my opinion of Snyder - I don't think he's mysoginist or that his intentions were bad, he just botched the script.

Its an interesting theory, and I could concede to your interpretation as the "right one" (or close to it), but it doesn't change the fact the movie has issues; and, for as deep as its script and underlining message might be, if its delivery is not well handled, it is a poorly made movie. Being poorly self-referential about awful action scenes with sexualized characters doesn't make it a deconstruction, it makes it yet another movie with awful action scenes with sexualized characters. If its not better or different, its not deconstructing anything... Its the equivalent of Duke Nukem laughing at the Halo helmet as if it was from an inferior copy.

I think at times you are reading too much into lines. In my opinion, the dragon scene was not some mother related issue, but another example of cliche action scene the movie tries to "deconstruct" by imitation. Either that, or there is some metaphysical explanation for the Samurai with a gatling gun, the Helgast general and the Final Fantasy-like train. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar... Either we accept that, or every single movie can be ascended to high philosophy by overanalisis.

Also, if your intention with your last sentence was to present the video as "jut my opinion and defend yourself from the people that might not agree with it, you should reconsider using such a factual title.

Drew Dubois:

Revolutionaryloser:

redknightalex:
-snip-

Nobody is arguing that Sucker Punch is a good movie. Bob doesn't think it's a good movie, I don't think so, god knows everyone that hates it doesn't think so. The real question is, is it worth watching and does it have something really importan to say? It is and it does.

In his review, Bob clearly supports the film.

"This will be a divisive, love-it-or-hate-it kind of film, but put me down for team 'Hell yes.' Do NOT miss this movie."

You can love things knowing they aren't good. I for one love Armageddon. I also love Sucker Punch and knowing 90% of the criticism it gets is completely valid and entirely deserve. It's the "Zack Snyder is a misogynist creep" and the "this movie is trying to have it's cake and eat it too" criticisms that piss me off.

well... I just hate "sad/bad/tragic ending" that's all....

"I want my babydoll babydoll babydoll..."(baby back rib song music)

Callate:

Revolutionaryloser:

Callate:

The only decisions- active, action-requiring decisions- that Sweet Pea makes during Sucker Punch are at Babydoll's spurring. Her "decision" to stay at the asylum with Rocket is made before the movie even begins, and is arguably one born of blind loyalty. And her initial, disapproving reaction to Babydoll could be seen as an "automatic response to a perceived slight"- in this case, the "new girl" coming in and shaking up her place in the pecking order.

I think we've watched different films.

I'm sorry, but if you want me to address how you see things differently, you're going to have to give me a little more to work with.

In the film I saw, Sweet Pea had a little sister called Rocket whom she was very protective of and gave her several complex and often contradicting character motivations.

Is this part two in the eighteen part series about why Bob believes that SuckerPunch is the greatest movie ever made in the last 120 years?

Li Mu:
Is this part two in the eighteen part series about why Bob believes that SuckerPunch is the greatest movie ever made in the last 120 years?

No. It isn't. Words words words.

SonOfVoorhees:
For me, if its the girls fantasy (nazi thing, dragon etc) why are they still wearing sexualised clothing? Its their choice to do that, its their fantasy, not mens fantasy. The director sucked at it, if you are correct, because you cant direct a movie full of overly sexualised characters, market it and sell it that way and then make it against those things.

Seconded. Combined with my sentiment that Zack Snyder has never shown that he is clever enough to have thought to frame the movie as a "You guys should be ashamed that you like all this" sort of way that Bob mentions in Part 1

OT:

While I would allow for the possibility in a better movie that their sexualized costumes in the fantasy world (a world which they created to escape the sexual nightmare of their reality) are a way for them to try and reclaim their sexuality in a manner that works for them...that's far from how it comes out in the film. There are PLENTY of scenes we could all point to and think "Fanservice!!" because of how over-the-top they are in that regard, or because it's super obvious that the scene was made for guys to think the characters were cool/sexy, rather than because the characters would think this was cool. (I'll point out here that at no point in the entire film, as far as I remember, do any of the female leads indicate that fighting or sci-fi/fantasy worlds are things they personally enjoy and would fantasize about, and that therefore Snyder gives us no reason to assume there was any reason to have them doing so other than because he thought it would look cool/he decided to try for symbolism using things he finds are a good form of escape, but which aren't shown to be what his CHARACTERS find are good forms of escape. Which, you know, kinda undermines the whole "Look at how clever this movie is!" argument.) Etc, etc.

Now I'm not going to rule out the possibility that Snyder was trying to go for something deep and is just too bad at writing/making original films to be able to pull that kind of thing off, but I say you're trying too hard if you insist that it's all there and that everyone who doesn't see it simply doesn't get it. There's plenty in that movie to indicate something different happened.

Sutter Cane:
Hold on let me get this straight, bob admits that there are problems with the movie, and says he doesn't blame people for not liking it (so long as they understand what the movie was trying to accomplish), and people are attacking him in this thread for supposedly saying that if you didn't like the movie you're wrong, despite the fact that's nearly the opposite of what he said at the beginning of part 1.

What do you people want from him?

He can change his crappy titles, for one...

daibakuha:

varmintx:

daibakuha:

It's a good thing you aren't a film critic, because you suck at film analysis.

Give 'em a break, most people suck at analysis of every kind...especially introspection.

The only reason I didn't was because even after both of these videos he still refuses to acknowledge any other opinion than his own.

Isnt he? The fact he disagrees with Bob's opinion implies that he does acknowledge others opinions. It just so happens he is falling into the, "my opinion is FACT" mindset. A shame to say the least, but it is nothing new...

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