Yesterday, I was having a great day, and pretty much a great week, writing and crocheting and so forth, and it just felt like one of those days where I look around and say “Dang, Tony, you’ve been doing a great job this week, go do something nice.”
So I did.
I grabbed some Jack in the Box and went to the theater I work at to watch Sucker Punch. I had been hearing mixed reviews about the movie, and I hadn’t thought highly of it from the trailers.
My opinion of the movie changed, but not in the way I expected. It’s one of those movies where the greater reason to watch it is to analyze it. So, here’s the results of my analyzation of Sucker Punch.
First off, it hero-izes women. A friend said she hated it because it demeaned women in society, but I saw the opposite. While I can see her point, I think the idolization comes out stronger. I do agree that a lobotomy is nothing more than a mind rape. It takes everything from a person without choice. I also recognize that in the era the movie takes place in, lobotomies were acceptable forms of treatment. The clothing and the asylum itself presents itself to be… I’d say 20’s or 30’s era. There was a lot then that we did that isn’t acceptable now.
So, moving away from lobotomies, each of the girls in Baby Doll’s mind world was framed after one of the fiercest warriors we still idolize.
Baby Doll – Samurai. She wielded a katana, which was the soul of the warrior
Rocket – Pirate. She carried a Flintlock pistol. She used it as a bludgeon during the WWII-esque battle.
SweetPea – Knight. The sword she didn’t use throughout the movie is very Medieval in appearance, and I was tempted to call it Excalibar.
Blondie – Apache. Her costume and the tomahawk that she used gave it away.
Amber – Futuristic. She had a freakin’ mech.
Everything we admire about these warriors was represented. Further, when we enter the battles in Baby Doll’s mind, The enemies had period appropriate weapons, yet the girls had modern day and beyond. Five girls could take on an army, and survive.
This movie had an Inception thing going, but it wasn’t the outright dream within a dream situation. Baby Doll enters the Insane Asylum, and it isn’t long for her mind to equate the lack of control with the indentured servitude some dancers have felt during the Burlesque era. What to wear, how to act, how to react, how to engage the customers and make them feel special. From there, it goes deeper when she enters her own mind to escape the reality of a situation. If you watch Sucker Punch, the clearest way to distinguish between the mind worlds is by the clothing. The drab blue is the reality, and the whole movie is laced with scenes from the real world. The dancer outfits, and the gaudy costumes is from her perceived reality, and the black outfits overloaded with weaponry is her escape world.
I must say, I didn’t like the ending to the movie. I spent the whole movie seeing Baby Doll come out of her shell, and seeing everyone fall in love with her as a character, and then suddenly it switches over to Sweetpea. There is so much to love about Baby Doll, she starts as this shy introvert who doesn’t speak at all to this confident character who lead a group to freedom. But it’s not about her, she’s just a guardian angel figure to the real star of the story.
When it’s backed against a wall, there are 2 reasons why Sucker Punch isn’t just the average mind trip movie.
1. the psychology behind it. Exclude the ending, and it’s amazing.
2. The visual effects. Zach Snyder, the mind behind 300 and the Watchmen, keeps our eyes feasting throughout the movie.