Sucker Punch [Blu-ray] Zack Snyder

Sucker Punch [Blu-ray] Zack Snyder
Considering that Zack Snyder's last two live action movies made no qualms about overtly objectifying women, ensuring that full boobage was in every shot, whether they be floating in the air nude (300) or having a somewhat unsettling sexual experience with a multifaceted Dr. Manhattan, who simultaneously "satisfied" the various orifices of Silk Spectre (Watchmen), it's somewhat amusing that he would pen a supposed female empowerment fantasy. What's less surprising is that his perception of women's lib is to write them all as stoic, ass-kicking males, defined by their crafty ability to manipulate cartoonish, nefarious villains via exaggerated gender performance while themselves delving into singularly specific male fantasies involving shogun warriors and fire-breathing dragons. He uses perpetual abuse victim Baby Doll (Emily Browning) as a vessel of ideation, creating layers of alternate realities surrounding her stay at a mental institution after she's blamed for the death of her little sister during an attack from her abusive stepfather. As a metaphor for her various efforts to escape from the facility, she concocts a faux-burlesque environment wherein she, Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone) and some others do sexy dances for paying guests. Of course, none of these dances are shown, since they are all just distractions for a bigger plan, which is again represented by a third layer of reality involving excessive CGI battles with zombie soldiers, dragons and so on. In theory, this moderately unique template could work as an emotional battleground of Freudian analysis and gender inequality, taking a fantastical world and injecting various signifiers to heighten the central plight of the story. But Zack Snyder is more interested in putting the girls in short skirts and giving them huge guns to tout around while grunting and moaning, never once demonstrating any actual feminine characteristics to be proud of. To him, it's logical that a woman would feel empowered by being a man, since, really, what's more awesome than being a solipsistic dude that just wants to be king of the world, destroying anything that stands in his way? But to the discerning viewer, it's hilarious in an entirely unintentional way. It's also difficult to take seriously when the entire thing is shot like a mid-'90s Madonna music video with cheesy slow motion and random, inexplicable filler apparent only for aesthetic purposes. The Blu-Ray set includes an extended version of the film, which actually has a protracted musical number with Carla Gugino and Oscar Isaac singing and dancing their little hearts out. During "Maximum Movie Mode," Snyder expands on why the scene was cut from the film, stating that it took away some of the ominous tone, a tone I wasn't entirely aware was there to begin with. There is also a special feature on the music of the film, which is essentially crappy remakes of decent songs by Annie Lennox and the Pixies, along with some terrible promotional animated shorts. But these supplements are available only on the theatrical version Blu-Ray, which makes things a bit confusing. (Warner)