We All Didn’t Understand Sucker Punch

I’m a fairly opinionated person. I sort of have to be to have a job where people actually show up to listen to my opinions on various topics. But with that said, I like to hear conflicting viewpoints on topics that I feel strongly about.

For example, I hate Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch, despite liking all of his previous work. “Hate” might not even be putting it mildly. I can’t stand it, and it was far and away the worst movie I saw that year, despite the fact that it was aimed directly at my demographic. You know, the type that likes slow motion action sequences with hot ladies. But it was just too dumb to function.

But was it? Slashfilm’s Adam Quigley doesn’t seem to think so. In the video above  he examines the “hidden meaning” of the film that most of us missed. Whether you buy his take or not, it’s certainly interesting, and if I could force my eyes to endure it, I might actually consider watching the film again with this in mind.

  • Kaveh

    Paul, dunno if you know MovieBob from escapistmag, (you probably do) but on a weekly video column he has called “The Big Picture” he did a BRILLIANT 2 part deconstruction of the film, and why he sort of liked it, i highly recommend watching this, and his other stuff too…


  • trashcanman

    You say you’re opinionated, Paul, but being a webmaster looking for traffic, your opinions almost always come across as ridiculously informed by (if not plagiarized from) whatever everyone else is saying which leads to your reviews often reading like Metacritic threw up on your keyboard. “Opinionated” implies not only a willingness, but a tendency to go against the grain and say what other won’t regardless of potential flak received. If that describes you, you seldom show it on this site. Interestingly, you wrote an article a while back detailing the concept behind the name of Unreality. I kind of chuckled because your notion was so utterly in line with the central metaphor of Sucker Punch, a film you propose to hate, that it was almost comedic. So you love the idea of using fantasy/sci-fi/etc as an escape from shitty reality when it comes to running a website, but when its portrayed with amazing visuals with awesome music, it’s the worst thing you’ve ever seen? ‘Kaaaaaay. I’m telling you, man, Sucker Punch was a killer goddamn film crammed with geek allegory and metaphor if you’d shut out the internet bashing and look at it for what it really was: the last gasp of originality in Hollywood that drowned under a torrent of bandwagon-hopping wannabes who were never meant to be part of the community Sucker Punch was aimed at. The one that doesn’t need a Youtube video to point out the obvious in order to understand how film works.

    • @trashcanman

      I understand that was the central point of the film but it was just handled SO POORLY that it didn’t matter if the idea was in line with something I myself partake in when it comes to escapism. It was an admirable concept with HORRIBLE execution, and I say as much in my initial review. I don’t believe in pretending it was more profound than it actually was.

      And in terms of being “opinionated,” you’re wrong. Your opinion is not invalid if other people happen to agree with you. If you think that’s how opinions should work, you should love Armond White who purposefully goes against the grain for EVERY movie released when he does his reviews. It’s funny, but no one takes him seriously.

      I’ve taken a TON of shit for going against the grain when it comes to movies like say, The Hobbit this year. I had readers screaming at me that I was an idiot for not enjoying it, but that’s my opinion, and I stuck to it. I didn’t much care for the critically beloved The Master. I thought Lincoln was pretty damn boring. I thought Django was Tarantino’s laziest work. If my star ratings bother you, I don’t care. I hate numbered ratings anyway, as most of the time they’re pretty meaningless.

      But going against the grain all the time is not what having an opinion is, man. My opinion is my opinion whether other people agree with me or not. Because people DO agree on many occasions does not make it illegitimate. Am I supposed to hate The Dark Knight and love Sucker Punch because its the cool counter-culture thing to do? No, I don’t buy that. You may think I’m dumb for missing some bit of brilliance in Sucker Punch, but I can think you’re dumb for reading too much into what I strongly believe is a shitty movie. Because 98% of critics and audiences agree, it doesn’t somehow make your opinion worth hearing over mine. I may love to hear you defend such a shitty movie, but I’ll be damn if I’m going to say Sucker Punch was brilliant in my review even if THAT’S that sort of story that WOULD drive more clicks. I don’t believe that, and you may think I’m wrong, but I am ALWAYS honest and saying EXACTLY what I think about whatever I’m reviewing.

      In short, you may not like my reviews because I agree with the consensus, but you can fuck right off if you think I’m plagiarizing ideas. I NEVER read reviews before I see a movie or play a game or watch a show, and I don’t after until I’ve written my own. NEVER.

      I’m sorry if you don’t like my opinions or think I’m too “mainstream” but you’re veering into hipster egotistical territory thinking you’re the only one who understands the divine brilliance of a bad movie, and everyone who doesn’t is an ignorant plebeian.

  • tehashi

    Saw a similar review by MovieBob over on the Escapist site. A very good analysis of the movie, which i am thankful for since i would never notice this kind of sublty on my own.

  • harryseldon

    Nope, Sucker Punch still sucks.

  • Trueman

    I second the MovieBob explanation. I enjoyed the movie when I first saw it, but after listening to his explanation, I sorta went “Ooooh!”

  • DaveyJ1

    That video did not convince me. Even if it was deeper than people give it credit for, most of the movie is still pretty bad and that interpretating stil leaves a lot to be desired. There are so many things that don’t make sense would that interpretation be right.
    It kinda reminds me of the Mass Effect 3 indoctrination theory. If that was true, Mass Effect 3’s ending would be pretty amazing. But it turned out that it was just a fantasy born out of desperation that the ending would be better. I feel like interpreting Sucker Punch is the same. It’s just shitty, there’s nothing behind it. Like in South Park’s Scrotie Mcboogerballs.

  • Mark Miller

    Finally someone gets it, still one of the people I saw it with was more confused about it than he was over inception so I guess critics did better than him.

  • Gregory

    It’s just some guys interpretation of a movie with hidden meanings, also Harry Potter is just starving in his closet imagining he is a wizard. just look at all the clues

  • DJ

    I understood it, just the way this guy had said. I really liked it too, wasn’t the GREATEST movie ever but there are worst! I want to see the dances that bring out the fight scenes.

  • DaveyJ1

    @Paul Tassi nicely said. I feel like people don’t discuss the content of the opinion but just the general form of the opinion.
    If anyone disagrees with you, or if you disagree with someone else, discuss the actual points being made and counter or refute them, don’t scream about ‘you don’t get it’ or ‘you are saying what others are saying’, give actual arguments. I like discussions but they don’t go anywhere if it isn’t based on content.

  • MattChi

    Trashcanman has and always will be a giant troll camouflaged by long paragraphs and non-constructive meaningless dribble.

    • He makes good points sometimes, but not this time. And he seems to have it out for me 80% of the time while he likes all the other writers, hah.

  • Scott

    If you want to write a one sentence review of this movie it would go something like: The Sci-Fi channel won the Powerball and made a movie.

  • bigpartymaker

    If I had A.D.D. maybe I would like this movie. “It’s an indignant rebellious fuck you to” story telling and film directing.

  • Scooby

    I saw Sucker Punch about three weeks ago on DVD…

    I was blown away by the fact it was unlike anything I had ever seen…

    As a huge music fan the Soundtrack rocked… as for the movie… as a man and father of a 20 year old woman made me uncomfortable not titillated…

    I may have not been able to dissect the movie like this but this analysis feels right!


  • P.

    I loved the film the first time I saw it – I thought the points the guy in the video makes were right there, easy to see. Not in that much detail (great job compiling everything there), but the overall theme anyway. I never got why it was so misunderstood. You can take any movie with a major female character and 99% of them will have the woman a) be deeply in love with a man, that love kicking the plot into action or b) during the plot fall in love with a man, bringing the plot to it’s conclusion. The fact that there are no men who have any kind of personal or emotional connection to the characters, being pushed into the background or better yet reduced to the circumstancial frame of the story, is something I had never seen done before and haven’t seen since (or I fail to recall it right now – I’m sure for a big budget blockbuster it’s a first). The way Snyder approaches the subject, breaking with conventions and taking risks – all of this on a big scale monetary-wise – strikes me as unique and deserves a lot of respect. The movie surely has it’s flaws, maybe even lots of them, but I think it is an interesting and probably, in retrospect a few years from now, important film. Plus, the sountrack is great and the action sequences just revel in their Zach Snydery-ness. Might not be everyones cup of tea, but I love the style in the same way I love Total Recall (Arnie version, duh) or a Rodriguez movie.

  • Phooka

    I actually enjoyed that movie enough to buy it for $10. This video, though, makes me cringe a little at the overall message, which I sort of noticed in the movie itself. Amid all of the over-sexed girls and tropes the film was playing with in as over the top fashion as they could, the underlying message seems to be that a girl’s power IS her sex. And she should be proud of that. Yeah, it’s a seemingly nice feminist thing to try to say, to take back sexuality from the evil men and be proud of it, but if Suckerpunch wants to play the feminist game, it needed a much better message than “take pride in the power your tits have over men.” At its core, the movie still says that in order to be powerful, a woman…. Needs to accept her sexual appeal? What?
    I find that a very sad message to go home with, especially for all the girls out there who don’t look like Babydoll or other even mildly attractive women.
    This has been my own interpretation and I might be off-base, but the defense video has what I see as a continuingly bad “feminist” argument. It makes this phooka sad.