The Intended Message: Female empowerment is necessary.
The Real Message: Female empowerment is a fantasy.
Zack Snyder's action-thriller was one of the most divisive movies of 2011, for though many criticised it for its style-over-substance approach, some did defend it for its perceived female empowerment themes.
After all, this is a movie about a young woman, Babydoll (Emily Browning), creating a fantasy world in her mind as she waits to be lobotomised by sleazy men in an asylum.
The elaborate, CGI-fuelled fantasy sees her fighting off her (predominantly male) aggressors with a team of scantily-clad young women, and Snyder has stated that he envisioned the movie as both a feminist action film and a self-reflexive commentary on toxic masculinity in fanboy culture (with the action sequences largely resembling video game set-pieces).
Except, Snyder's not a terribly smart filmmaker, and ultimately Sucker Punch feels more tone-deaf than empowering.
After all, any act of rebellion on the women's part is steeped in make believe: the hot young women are still wearing absurdly skimpy clothing, catering to the whims of an audience of teenage boys, not to mention the fact that the movie's events are literally a fantasy in Babydoll's mind.
Though presumably unintentionally, Snyder's basically saying that the idea of female emancipation is nothing more than a fictional farce, and one that still has straight male proclivities in mind at the end of the day.
Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes).
General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.