mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Butler Versus Grant.

Last night Jenny & I watched Sucker Punch & it was incredibly terrible. I was hoping for some sexploitation ultraviolence, something like a Charlie's Angels or Kill Bill, but it is instead the opposite of that? There are scenes where the cast of attractive young girls kick the crap out of stuff...but those scenes? Are metaphors for stripping & prostitution. No, like, literally, what we see on the screen as Baby Doll-- Emily Browning, who I adored in the flawed A Series of Unfortunate Events-- & the rest of the girls pilot mecha, fight with katanas, blow away clockwork Nazi zombies with machine guns? Those are transcendental visualizations of a frame story where Baby Doll strip teases for men in power, & the rest of the girls use their sexual charms on johns to steal their lighters or knives or what have you. Or at least that is part of story-- the movie has too many stupid frame stories. In reality the girls are in an insane asylum, which only book-ends the plot. Because inside that frame is a metaphor where the insane asylum is portrayed as a bordello. Yep! & then inside that nesting doll are the fight scenes. I almost stopped watching it several times, but figured I'd stick around for the next sparkly combat scene...each of which was undercut by the fact that no, it isn't a sweet bunch of pretty women kicking ass & taking names, but rather them using their "weapons"-- their sexuality-- to manipulate men. Seriously. & for icing? There is the final "a strong woman is a martyr!" moral. It is like a perfect collision of misogynist fantasy, dressed up as "empowerment." Note to Zack Snyder: you aren't fooling anyone. At one point one of the characters even says something like "the school girl thing, I get. The bondage thing I get. Even the asylum thing is creepy, but I get it. But the lobotomy thing?" The problem being-- that isn't an indictment. That is the text & the subtext. This isn't satire, this is the thing itself. The actresses all give a surprisingly good performance-- I don't blame any of them, & they manage to put a little pathos into this piece of drek film, especially Jena Malone's character Rocket & Jamie Chung as the Amber, piloting exoskeletons in one world & crying in the other. Oscar Isaac plays a petty, terrifying slimeball really well & John Hamm manages to breathe some life into a spooky cameo. No, I put the onus solidly on Zack Snyder's shoulders. This is his concept, his story, his screenplay, his direction. When I was seeing teasers for this, I hoped it would be good; I wasn't impressed by 300 & while The Watchmen was faithful to the art of the comic, it wasn't any good at telling the story, but I was excited to see if Snyder could make a movie when he wasn't dealing with an adaptation. The answer seems to be no, which makes me despair for The Man of Steel. So yeah, I wouldn't even bother seeing this as a fluff film, which is what I'd hoped for; any interesting visual spectacle is undercut by the seething cauldron of rape culture underneath the bright trappings.
Tags: movies

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