SPOILER ALERT: This has tons of spoilers.
I saw Sucker Punch last night and I was pretty disappointed; the action was incomprehensible half the time, every sound seemed either too quiet or too loud, the soundtrack seemed to have been selected by an angsty teenager from the mid-90's and the story was completely nonsensical. Basically it seemed like the plot was half-assed and to compensate, Zack Snyder used far too many asses (both literal and figurative) in the visual style and the action to compensate. What bothered me most, however, was a pervasive creepy feeling that started before the title card appeared and has persisted until me writing this.
That creepy feeling is he reason why I'm not just writing it off as a crappy action movie and moving on. I think that the director honestly thinks he told an empowering allegory about women fighting the evils of male chauvinist oppression when what he in fact did the opposite. The story revolves around a plucky gang of sex slaves and their attempt to escape their captivity before the "virginal" Baby Doll can be sold off to the evil High Roller. They need five objects to enable, with the acquisition of each object being represented by the girls fighting in a different crazy action set piece. At first they are elated by their success but then things start going horribly wrong and the girls start getting killed off. In the end only one escapes with Baby Doll, the one who started the whole caper in the first place, sacrificing herself so that one of the other girls can escape. All of this is another layer of abstraction that is supposed to represent Baby Doll's time in an insane asylum, ending with her getting labotimized but that part basically bookends the movie and has zero dramatic impact.
In many ways Sucker Punch seems to want to emulate Charlies Angels; a team super competent, super sexy super soldiers kick ass and take names in a man's world while sharing the bond of sisterhood. Their handler, Wise Man, even sounds like Charlie. The problem is that everything about their ass kicking, their competence and their sexiness seems like it was written by men and for men.
Everything about the main characters seems to be there for the sole purpose of making them titalating to a certain type of man; they all have stripper names, they are all sex slaves, the main character's super power is being incredibly sexy, they are, at all times, dressed like they are in Flash Dance and their fight scene uniforms all represent a genre of fetish (school girl, battle nun, air force pinup, nurse and... what ever the hell High School Musical is dressed as) which don't even reflect their characters.
At no time does it feel like they own their own sexuality and that they are using it like a weapon. Instead of channeling Charlie's Angels they are just assassin sex objects like the Fembots from Austin Powers.
I don't think this was all done with malicious intent however, I think Snyder (who wrote and directed Sucker Punch) is just kind of an idiot. I really think that Zack Snyder was really, honestly, trying to make an empowering movie and not just fodder for the spank bank. The reason I think this is that, apparently, there was supposed to be a sex scene between the main character "Baby Doll" and the "High Roller" that got cut. In the theater release Baby Doll sacrifices herself by basically walking in front of the guards while her friend escapes. I'm 90% sure what was supposed to happen is that Baby Doll relents to being sold to the High Roller, bonks him and then kills him to cover the escape of her friend. Apparently the MPAA wanted to stick an R rating on the movie because Baby Doll gets totally into nailing the High Roller (who is played by John Hamm so I don't imagine it would be too much a stretch for a woman to enjoy having sex with him) thus reversing the situation; Baby Doll using the High Roller, enjoying it and then casting him off when she has what she wants. What the MPAA wanted was for it to be just a straight up rape that ends with the desperate Baby Doll defending herself (since anyone who's seen This Movie is Not Yet Rated knows that the MPAA hates any depiction of women actually enjoying sex). Snyder didn't like what that represented and removed it entirely, which is ironic since there are several other implied rapes, near rapes, child rapes, implied near child rapes and all of the characters are SEX SLAVES WHO GET RAPED ALL THE TIME.
Anyways, Sucker Punch has been bothering me ever since I saw it and I just wanted to get that off my chest. I'm sure I'll be accused of being overly sensitive or that I'm taking it way to seriously or whatever but there it is.