Sucker Punch: Who's the sucker?

sucker-punch

Image Credit: Clay Enos

Sometime over the weekend, as it became clear to number crunchers that puny Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules was going to win the opening-weekend bout against Sucker Punch, online movie conversation settled into some predictable grooves. First, blog posts on aggregator sites rounded up some of the choicer negative reviews from the large collection available. Then, contrarian individualist critics came to the movie’s/Zack Snyder’s defense.

Some readers who hadn’t yet seen the movie posted comments along the lines of, “Screw those stupid critics, I’m going to see it because if they say it’s bad, then it must be good.” (Oh, Inside Movies friends, don’t think I haven’t checked up on you and felt the outrage of those who conclude I don’t like Sucker Punch because I didn’t like 300 and, worse, because I’m a girl. An old girl. But deep in your hearts you know that I didn’t like Sucker Punch because it’s a dumb mess.) Then, readers who did see the movie dropped by to report that it wasn’t as terrible as they had heard, or as good as they had hoped, or really, that it was, as advertised, a dumb mess.

And then came the logic — the fatal logic — meant to end the conversation: “Well, you know, this movie is meant for fanboys.” Meaning … what? I think the implication is that there’s a certain aural and visual frequency for aficionados (aficionados, that is, of videogames, of comic books, and of comic-book-shaped babes wielding firearms) that’s inaudible to the ears and invisible to the eyes of civilians. And there’s a further implication that this audience will accept lowered standards of cinematic intelligibility so long as they are buzzed and rocked and jolted and otherwise neurally stimulated.

But now, after the box-office reaction to  Sucker Punch (never mind the critical drubbing), I think a couple of Hollywood secrets have been exposed: Number one, the term “fanboys” is actually studio code for those kids who’ll spend money on anything if it looks like it can be played with thumbs.  And number two, the studio guys who give the go-ahead to seizure-school stylists like Snyder don’t even really like or understand the footage they see, but hope that whatever it is is what the kids these days want. I think those guys are scared of fanboys. Eager for their money — and scared.

Don’t be scared! That’s my message to studio guys and audiences alike on the day after the number crunchers have been bruised by Sucker Punch. Don’t be afraid of asking reasonable questions of seizure-school stylists along the lines of, “What the !*&@$!” and, “Do girls in videogame-y movies always have to suffer sexual degradation before they’re allowed to kick butt?” Demand better stories! And always remember the words of the Wise Man, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

Comments (301 total) Add your comment
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  • Mike

    Well hey, the Transformers movies made a boatload of money, so I guess by your logic the message Hollywood should get is “keep making awful, painful dreck like Transformers”.

    Personally, I’d rather watch Sucker Punch a thousand times than sit through another Transformers movie.

    • therealeverton

      Whichh says a lot more about you than Transformers though doesn’t it. Transformers is an extremely funny, action filled 2 hours plus of entertainment. It doesn’t pretend to be any more than that and it certainly has a decent enough story to carry all of the fun. There’s a big Argument the transformers 2 misses that story to hook the “entertainment” on, which is why there’s such a difference in reaction to the two. You don’t like Transformers that’s fine, it did appeal to a wide variety of viewers accross sex and age; precisely becaus it was written to do so. Well written, yes broaden your narrow definition of what “good” and “well written” can mean if you don’t get that point on first reading.

      • musica1

        Transformers could easily fit the “dumb mess” description above. It had so many dangling plot lines that it seemed to have several sections written by different writers who didn’t see what the others had written. Glad you were entertained, though.

      • Cris

        I believe even Michael Bay admitted Transformers 2 was a “load of crap.” And considering how much crap he’s put out in his career, that’s saying something.
        The “it doesn’t pretend to be anything more” argument is just as worthless as the “fanboys only” argument. If I’m plunking down $12 to see this movie, it BETTER give me more than slow-motion explosions, seizure-induing camera cuts and well-endowed girls. And let’s face it, that’s pretty much all Michael Bay knows how to deliver. If you actually enjoy that, good for you. But down pawn it off as “is it what it is.” It still IS utter garbage.

      • SLB

        I liked Transformers 2.

      • Jaime

        Transformers objectifies women (which Megan Fox does gleefully in lieu of talent) as does Sucker Punch. Maybe you don’t like the story – that’s fine. But the fact that Mike has a preference that you don’t agree with does not reveal anything deep or meaningful about him.

        Now what is revealing is anyone who says the TF movies were well written. Wait, no, that is just hilarious. You were joking right?

      • harry

        Thank you!!! Finally someone who gets it!!!

      • ani

        no, the first transformers had a good mix of humor and action. the second one was a dumb piece of crap that played up the funny elements of the first movie and turned the parents, turturro, and the robots into a totally shameless joke. and the action was so boring that i kept looking at my phone expecting to find 2 hours to have passed, only to realize that it had been 45 minutes.

      • harry

        I loved Both Transformer movies!

      • DyWeasel

        Transformers 2 is 1000x more of a dumb mess than Sucker Punch was. Sucker Punch may have failed, but at least it tried for something outside of the Hollywood Blockbuster Formula. Transformers 2 was crime against humanity.

      • anti

        transformer 1 was ok, 2 was crap

        and this is the guy who will direct superman….??

    • dontask donttell

      That’s the truth

    • auds

      I think it really sucks that a movie starring a bunch of stupid men, like Transformers, can be such a huge hit & have so many fans… but Sucker Punch can be considered such a mess. I haven’t seen it yet & I was hoping it would be half-way decent. If anything, I was hoping that for ONCE we could have a badass action flick starring all women that could actually BE good. Such a bummer to hear all this & that it wasn’t very well done…

      • lois

        Yes it’s an all female cast, but it’s a story that’s told from the point of view of a guy’s fantasy. Do the girls really have to be dolled up like retro prostitutes? Now if we can get an action movie where the heroine(s) is actually empowering to women, then I’ll give it a chance.

      • Anya

        I agree. I would love to see an action movie starring women succeed like an action movie with a male lead. Hollywood doesn’t seem to understand that some girls/woman like to watch action movies too and it wouldn’t hurt to try to aim one more exclusively at us.

      • jmcg

        One has succeeded–Salt from last summer. That movie was a lot of action, a decent story, and it made close to $300 million worldwide. Angelina was channeling Jason Bourne in that movie.

      • Robert

        want a female-driven action movie done well? Watch Kill Bill 1 and 2. Skip this awful mess

      • Terry

        I concur. Both SALT and the KILL BILL saga were female-driven action films that delivered bone-crunching action, solid-enough stories and characters, and never once did they objectify their (female) protagonists with pointless cleavage-baring outfits or nudity just for the sake of it. And they both delivered big bucks at the box office. Producers need to understand that female action heroes can be kickass without being sexualised or degraded, and that there’s an audience for it. Conversely, you have CATWOMAN and ELEKTRA, which insistently put their stars in skimpy clothes and “sexy” poses, and were met with a resounding amound of apathy from audiences.

      • Agreed

        I feel like this movie is just a teenage boy’s porn search run amok. I would only see it for the visual effects but the sexual objectification is a huge turnoff. I love Salt and Kill Bill 1 & 2 because the heroines aren’t targeted toward male hormones.

      • Shellie

        Better yet, watch the originator of the kick-ass female lead: Sigourny Weaver in Aliens. She was awesome.

      • lddcw

        Sarah Conner (Linda Hamilton) in Terminator 2

      • anti

        salt was crap, angelina was so slow and had the same look in all her films, she has become very boring and overrated actress. give me elizabeth taylor she is not.

      • Ryan

        Salt was crap? At the very LEAST it was gorgeously shot, not to mention you are having a go at the ONLY real female action star alive… YOU’RE not sexist…

    • EC

      the first Transformers movie was awesome, and made a ton of money because of that. The second one was not very good, but made a ton of money because everyone wanted to see it due to the first one. Kind of like the Matrix movies – the first one was awesome – so everyone went to the second one even though it sucked. And thus the 3rd one bombed as everyone was disappointed in the first

    • Peter Vee

      Transformers had A) a heaping dose of nostalgia behind it, and B) some genuinely funny and interesting scenes between all the dreck. Sucker Punch is based on a comic that nobody outside of comic circles has ever heard of, and which, frankly, wasn’t that great to begin with. SP was such a crass, obvious come-on, it just called attention to its own shallowness.

      • aaron

        The reason no one has heard of the sucker punch comic is because it doesn’t exist. Snyder made it up himself.

  • A

    A pretty solid rebuttal to the “if you don’t like it, you just don’t GET it” crowd.

    • Herro Kitty

      She doesn’t get it. She’s a tired old woman. What’s so hard to understand about that?

      • therealeverton

        I haven’t seen this film yet, it isn’t out here until Friday and I missed out on getting a preview, but I’ve been discussing it and its potentialy being a “Gamer” picture. That’s NOT a movie aimed at gamers, but a movie told with the increasingly prevalent “Gamer narrative and aesthetic”. Filmmakers, writers, artists of all kinds are the sun of their experiences and the further we move on the more directors and writers will have solid amounts of game playing time as part of their makeup. You can see it media from Spaced to Scott Pilgrim, Inception, Battle LA and Resident Evil 4. What’s common amongst these is that, regardless of their quality, they are often poorly received by older critics and unfairly reviewed. By that I mean they are not reviewed objectively, rather from the standpoint that “I don’t get this, it isn’t what I’m used to and it is therefore rubbish 100%”; Without balance. For instance Ebert’s infamous Battle LA review; which still has me convinced that he never bothered to watch the film. Now if he said he didn’t like the plot points, or he didn’t appreciate the story, he found the number of deaths too high etc ok. But he missed most of the major plot points then blasted the movie for not explaining itself. It was explained you just had to either pay attention or actually watch the movie Mr Ebert! He actually states that the marines breeze through the film taking everything the aliens have to throw at them, which is madness because, one of the redeeming factors, they get hammered time after time never having an engagement, with a tacitly clever foe, without losing people either to injury or death. Picking up more “soldiers” along the way whose own units have been effectively wiped out too. There’s nonsense about where the big Alien remote control is found, underground and how it got there, despite the fact that we’ve seen the things being moved ABOVE GROUND and there’s a whacking great big, camouflaged, hole in the ground above it, just big enough for it to fit through. In other words, he was never going to like the film, he decided before he watched it (Or Paid some intern to watch and make notes for him) this is evident in his panning the film for things it never does, deriding it for things he thinks it never does, but in fact does do, and because his old movie critic brain has been watching the classic 3 act structure for so long that he simply cannot digest (or hi intern can’t) the multi layered, mega act “Gamer” structure that Battle LA follows, thinking that it’s poor filmmaking and a lack of planning, rather than a deliberate choice, or series of deliberate, and successful choices, in that they achieve the effect the filmmakers were going for; such as having the audience share in the marines early confusion re where they are being attacked from, how many people are attacking them and how to fight back / escape; Just the feeling any campaign based video game tries to achieve and as such a feeling that “younger” audiences can relate to. Why Ebert (and the other reviewers he was having lunch with instead of watching the film; Hollywood Reporter I’m looking at you! Less successful, perhaps, in that it means a reasonable section of the potential audience had genuine trouble adjusting to it. However the 2/3 of the audience that loved / liked the film had no such problem.

        None of this means that Sucker Punch is any good, but it does mean that many older reviewers may simply be misssing the point and missing out on whay the film is fun for so many younger viewers who can watch this kind of (no) storytelling and appreciate it for what it is. Inception had similar issues with some of the older critics, now whilst that had a strong “familiar” heist story to anchor it, and the poor old critics, it still had a lot of “Gamer” elements to it that they simply couldn’t appreciate, and lashed out at the film for.

      • Louise

        Rotten Tomatoes gives it an average of 22%. Apparently, a lot of movie reviewers are tired old women, or maybe, just maybe, it’s not a very good movie.

      • SteveStrifeX

        Scott Pilgrim got an 81% on Rotten Tomatoes and that did just as poorly at the box office as Sucker Punch. Kick-ass got a 76% and didn’t do so hot either. Lisa’s correlation between “Her Reviews” and “How a Movie does at the box office” would not fit with these two example (Though to be fair, Owen reviewed both of these movies with a Fresh rating).

        It seems more that, as she dubs it, a small “fanboy” base will go and see these types of movies no matter what, but there is a difficulty in breaking the barrier to get the general public in the theater seats.

    • RobNJ

      The problem Hollywood has in marketing these films is that it is difficult to lure gamers away with something that looks like a game. Why see others act out when you can do it yourself on an XBox? Hollywood is losing traction to the gaming industry more than it realizes.

      • kellybelly

        Hollywood needs to know that a movie LOOKING cool will get people interested, but then it needs to deliver with good storytelling, acting, well-developed characters and a plot. Everyone loves a good story. And good acting. If those aren’t executed well, movie won’t work. There’s plenty of cool looking movies, that appeal to the so-called “fanboys” and “gamers” and also appeal to everyone else because they are well told, and well acted. Examples: Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Batman, Star Trek, Raiders of the Lost Ark, etc..
        Of course people will see the movie, regardless — there will always be people seeing everything. I will see Sucker Punch so I can form my own opinion.

      • Seller

        I’ve considered that and I may again. Fanboy cetnairly has a harmless, even lighthearted quality to some. It’s essentially a replacement for nerd and, you’re correct, used mostly in mocking. I would categorize most Star Wars fans, even those who criticize, as simply fans . I define the term fanboy to include the hate activism partially as a way to reclaim the term fan as something more mainstream and applicable for most people who simply enjoy Star Wars without all the negativity.

  • LOL

    I knew it was crap before Lisa told me. It never passed the eye test. If you can’t find one interesting thing in the trailer, you know it’s bad news.

    • Tom Strong

      Do you always follow what Lisa tells you what to do like a sheep?

      • LOL

        Tom can’t read.

      • Dave

        Sharpen up on those reading comprehension skills, Tom.

      • Mike

        Hey tom, I think you mean “like a LAMB.” Sheep is plural, which was a question on your first grade state exam. As for the article, it is spot on. I get a kick out of all the brooding, virgin, neurotic blogosphere dwellers.

      • Mike

        JK smile LOL

      • Altair

        I too think Tom is an idiot, but you Mike, you are also an idiot: ‘Sheep’ is both singular and plural.

      • MrGasm

        Really? From dictionary.com Pay attention to the word plural
        sheep
           /ʃip/ Show Spelled[sheep] Show IPA
        –noun, plural sheep.
        1.
        any of numerous ruminant mammals of the genus Ovis, of the family Bovidae, closely related to the goats, especially O. aries, bred in a number of domesticated varieties.
        2.
        leather made from the skin of these animals.
        3.
        a meek, unimaginative, or easily led person.
        —Idiom
        4.
        separate the sheep from the goats, to separate good people from bad or those intended for a specific end from unqualified people.

      • @ MrGasm

        that’s just telling you that the plural of sheep is sheep (like the plural of moose is moose). Lamb should be reserved only for young sheep (like calling a baby cat a kitten). Stop calling people idiots.

      • Sony

        These [haters] don’t tak that much shut unless you let them / and I let them ’cause they know if you reply then you seprect them -Childish GambinoI’m really glad you love star wars as much as you do (I sure did once too, it was great) but you’re not making a very strong case for the likability of those movies or yourself when you get all worked up like thisLike the digital bits review that isn’t even posted or possibly written yet, how does it impact your enjoyment in any wayI like the split persona theory and stuff (and the darth vader IS his punishment thing, sweet incite) but man the True Fans / Fanboys thing is as bad as heavy metal fans arguing over subgenre classifications, it makes something that both sides ostensibly like or liked into a platonic ideal to fight about

  • Laura W

    Hey I’m a girl and I want to see this movie!! But I think that sometimes making movies for fanboys is something of a good thing; these are people with imagination you need to fill not with some Hollywood crap you see these days; yes suckerpunch could be considered this. But if you want imagination to grow then let those “Fanboy,” movies be made. I mean we wouldn’t have Star wars or Lord of Rings films without fanboy driectors which Syder is!!

    • L

      LOL. Seriously? Lucas and Jackson are not people who fit the description of “fanboys”, IMO.

      • Renaton

        Yes, they are. What do you think is most likely they do in their free time, read comic books and watch Bond films, or read Tolstoi and watch Bergman?
        I read Tolstoi and watched Bergman with great appreciation, but I thank these directors who can also do some amazing cinematic achievements out of what most people consider silly geek mythology. Anyone that has Tolkien has a huge influence is a fanboy, get used to it.

  • Ryan

    I just saw it with 3 friends I met at a comic book convention. 3 fanboys and a fangirl.

    We all agreed it was awful.

    • Nathan

      and you were all wrong, very cool movie. Can’t wait to see what Snyder does with Supes!

      • Z

        It’s definitely a cool movie. That doesn’t mean it isn’t also an awful movie.

      • @Z

        Z, I think your comment does more to sum thing up than any other on here.

    • M

      I watched it yesterday with three friends. I like movies based on comic books but one of my friends doesn’t, and we all (2 men, 2 women) loved it. And it has a pretty cool soundtrack too !

      • Mike

        The soundtrack was awesome. I thought it was a pretty sweet action movie. Some plot holes yes, but the same could be said about Inception.

      • Josie

        I saw it Saturday and I thought the movie was pretty cool tbh. I loved the soundtrack and it looked awesome, and the “scantily-clad females” do not really bother me since that is shown so much in movies and TV nowadays..kind of not a problem. Also, I HATED Transformers 2, I enjoyed this movie much more.

  • dragonmaiden84

    as a fangirl, i really loved “sucker punch”; i want to watch the movie again!

  • jordan

    I love how you generalize everybody who likes the movie into a group called “fanboys.” Also, question: did you even bother to read the Zack Snyder interview that was in Entertainment Weekly regarding what you termed as “sexual degredation?” Perhaps you should.
    And by the way, this is coming from somebody who has not seen the film yet. Also, somebody who loved Watchmen, liked 300, and hopes to like Sucker Punch. These “fanboys” you speak of do react to a different style of film, btw. However, I would not exclude this to only fanboys. This new style is the likes of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, where films can be smart without catering to the older generation of critics.
    My big problem here is not that you hated the movie, its your disrespect towards the people who liked it and the people who worked very hard putting it together. And the fact that either you don’t read your magazine or you don’t take critical info about the film from the director to heart.

    • Josh

      I’ve not seen the movie, but I hope to. I guess that makes me a ignorant “fanboy”. Kudos to Jordan for the great comment in response to the insulting review.

    • Niix Starkyller

      Prexactly! I would think that a professional movie critic — above all others — would understand that the enjoyment of movies is a subjective enterprise. 2001: A Space Odyssey, Annie Hall, Star Wars, Benny & Joon, The Apartment, The Crow, Avatar, and (dare I say it) Twilight all have their appeal to different audiences, and they also have legions of people who find them unwatchable. Get over yourself, Liz, and the egocentric idea that you are the arbiter of good taste. I appreciate your opinion on films but not this pulpiteering about why “they” are wrong and you are right.

    • Robert

      OK Jordan, so then why was Scott Pilgrim embraced by critics at over 80%, and this movie so thoroughly panned? Clearly SOMEBODY “got” Scott Pilgrim And it shows that you can, in fact, make a movie with an interesting plot and decent acting in this genre. Why settle for crap for the sole reason that it looks a certain way?

      • Jordan

        I compared this to Scott Pilgrim because it is a similar style. If you would re-read my comment, you would see that I have not seen this movie. Instead, I’m reacting to the way she generalized the movie’s audience and failed to watch the movie in the context the director explicitly stated in her own magazine. As well, I respect Zack Snyder as a filmmaker and it appalls me that she would be this rude towards any filmmaker. This was his baby, and whether she liked it or not he put a lot of effort into it. He certainly put more time into it than the 24 hours or so that went into producing this insulting follow-up to her review. (Which, by the way, I did not comment on. THIS article is what I find offensive, not the review.)

      • Robert

        there isn’t a review that was ever written that took longer to produce than a movie. You realize that, right? What a ridiculous point

      • Jordan

        I like how out of everything I said you commented on that. What a ridiculous point of your own.

    • Rukia88

      I agree. These movies aren’t for everyone and they shouldn’t be critiqued by someone who is not open to this type of film style. I’m a girl but have enjoyed supposed “fanboy” movies over the last decade because as a comic book/video-game/anime enthusiast, I can appreciate something visually stunning and whimsical without expecting it to follow typical plot lines of more mainstream movies. It reminds me of when Pulp Fiction hit theaters. Many people hated it, mostly because it played out of sequence and was heavy on dialogue, but then reflected on it years later and realized how awesome it actually is in part because of those quirky differences. I love it when writers/directors stray from the norm and take a risk on doing something new. It doesn’t always work but at least they tried something different. Although I didn’t love Sucker Punch, I can appreciate its good points, like the awesome visual and action-sequence elements.

  • Kas

    damn… i honestly enjoyed the film. i thought it was gorgeous to look at, and then some. ALSO, i think it had a lot to say about violence against women, the objectification of women, and the challenges of being a woman in a patriarchal society. i’m fine with everyone saying the film was a complete mess. we can agree to disagree on that. what BOTHERS me is that ALL discussions seem to disregard ANY kind of thought the film aspired to provoke. As if EVERYONE missed the metaphor and disregarded the possibility that there was one. i thought the action sequences were superb too!!! the only things i didn’t like was when it feels like its TRYING to be Inception and also its TOO obviously trying to dance around the PG-13 rating. A more skilled/experienced filmmaker would make that feat invisible. other than that, i can’t wait to see Superman. Zack Snyder’s visual insight meets Nolan-Goyer brilliance. this is exciting. =)

    • Niix Starkyller

      Uh, dude, we, the dull-witted masses, like our entertainment to be literal and either devoid of messages or have the messages exist as giant banners in the scenery. Or, better yet, cleverly encapsulated in the tagline. I mean, it’s okay to have metaphors but only if they’re less, y’know, metaphorical. Thought-provoking is totally not a cool thing.

      • Jeta

        That’s really where it is. The ntevtiaigy was negative from the start and has been going full-force. Even the most mild-mannered of us saga fans get enraged by almost fifteen years of being shot down when we timidly offer Well, I liked them It’s not that people tend to dislike them, its the attitude coming from the general public and the media that they were objectively bad and anyone who likes them is wrong. All we’re saying is that no, we’re not wrong, and you’re wrong for making us feel this way over a set of films. It’s false equivilency. They’re vitriolic because they can’t be satisfied, and we’re becoming vitirolic right back because we’re sick of it.

      • Helena

        One thing that annoys me is ernmcmtaoy from the perspectives of MS users. Like that Apple held back features in Snow Leopard to have something’ to release and compete with Windows 7. Apple can stand tall with pride of threir existing product range; the arrogant idea that Apple looks at MS for guideance is silly and based on nothing. It’s more likely a coincidence of Xmas spending! For those who don’t know Snow Leopard was released in late August but scheduled for September and Win7 is out in October.

    • David

      Kas, I couldn’t agree with you more. I also went away with a lot of thoughts about what the film might be trying to say about objectification, so-called “girl power” and how people who make those “girl power” movies might be hypocritical about it. I’m going to see it again and pay closer attention to those aspects, though the action is amazing. On another note, I’ve been getting increasingly annoyed about the quality of movie reviews on this site. Too often it seems that the movie I saw and the movie the critic saw were completely different. Perhaps my rule of thumb should be to see what EW says and do the opposite.

      • Niix Starkyller

        That’s why I prefer Variety’s reviews. They tell you about the technical qualities of the movie, the subject matter, and who it may appeal to, all without passing judgment.

    • Shauna

      Thank you!

  • Chris

    I have not seen this movie yet, but I want to. Zack Snyder is a mix for me. In my opion some of his shots are some of the best in Hollywood, but when he ties them together he looses his edge.(The scene in Watchmen were Rorschach takes out the prisoner in the bathroom stall with the door swinging is one of my favorite shots in recent cinema.)But he has a problem with the pacing of movies. So I cannot wait to see this, if nothing else but to see the shots he peoduces.

  • jason

    MOVIE IS TERRIBLE.

  • Gustav

    s

  • Gustav

    Someone passed on twilight? Sounds like a career move to me lol.Real actors dont sparkle

    • L

      Of course not — that’s why they need makeup. DUH.
      Real women don’t dress like those fools in that photo to play superhero, either.

  • Katherine

    The truth is that Lisa can’t get over her idea that this movie is degrading to women. And, really… it’s not. Yes, yes, we all know that there is insane pressure on young women to look like goddesses these days and to look like cute sex kittens at all times. But, in reality the movie takes a neutral stance on that fence between sex kitten and 1980s feminism. A generation ago (aka when Lisa was growing up) feminism was all about leveling the playing field by taking femininity out of the equation. Shoulder pads were larger to give a more masculine, broad shouldered look, shirts were baggie to hide breasts, and short hair became commonplace. Today there’s a movement amongst women to have that same “take the world by storm” and “kick butt and taking names” attitude, but without denying their femininity and sex appeal. Yeah, this movie does take that sex appeal to an extreme, probably to appeal to the women 13-30 who want their heroines to sucker punch manly oppressors into next week and the men 13-30 who want to watch hot women sucker punch men into next week. At the end of the day, the movie is made to make the studio money. But it is not offensive for Snyder to comment on the sexualizaion of the main characters, when it’s done in the media everyday. Nicole Kidman played a high class prostitute, did she not? And she fought back in her own way while using her sexuality to manipulate the Duke (though he absolutely deserved it). These girls are doing the same thing, just on a more surrealist, extreme end of the spectrum. Lisa uses her time as a writer for this website to use the job to lecture the reader instead of giving a fair and open-minded review. That’s not to say she isn’t free to not like a movie, but it’s pretty clear from her review and this article that she was not thrilled with this assignment and went into the theatre ready to dislike it. I saw the movie over the weekend and thought it was good, not 300, but still good and an enjoyable way to willingly suspend disbelief for a few hours.

    • Stephanie

      This is a terrific assessment, and I completely agree.

      Personally, I did not care for the film, but my problem with this article is Lisa, for all the reasons you stated. The problem with some critics (i.e. Lisa) is that they go into a film with a biased viewpoint, perhaps even a superior mindset as well. Not to mention a very narrow view on the term feminism and what it applies to.

      I understand how many are annoyed at her usage of “fanboy”. She also obviously draws a line between what she imagines is two groups of people : The “smart” crowd that did not like vs. Fanboys (and heaven forbid a girl, like myself, actually enjoy video games and comic books!)

      Me? Well, I didn’t like the the film. But as I read Lisa’s opinion it honestly bothers me how biased and white-and-black she is about this. This article almost seems like an attempt to justify her review that has many people ‘talking’.

      • Robert

        fanboys offended for being called “fanboys”. Geesh. What is the world coming to? If you are on an online forum for an entire weekend defending a movie about maxim models in fetish gear fighting nazi zombies, you are probably a fanboy. Over 80% of critics dispised this movie, and fanboys are convinced it is some sort of conspiracy, or the reviewers all don’t “get it” – ANYTHING but the actual truth, which is that the movie isn’t very good. When a fanboy defends a poorly-reviewed movie, it is never a bout the movie itself, and always about everyone else not “getting it”.

      • TRONIK

        I didn’t get the idea that Lisa was pitting the so-called “smart crowd” against Fanboys (i.e. dumb people) at all. Did you read her last paragraph? She basically said “fanboy” does not have to mean crap.
        I saw the trailer for this movie and told my sister, “I want to see it because it looks cool, but have no idea what it’s supposed to be about.” That’s what I think is exactly her problem with the movie. I still haven’t seen it yet, and not sure I want to cough up the money to yet. I don’t want to enforce Hollywood’s idea that if a movie is all glitz and cool effects, it’s deserving of my money. I’d like a story, and maybe female leads that weren’t kickin @$$ in stripper garb. Still, I’ve enjoyed Snyder’s other films, for the most part. So I’ll have to decide for myself. But the trailer doesn’t really do much for the movie. It’s the equivalent of showing off a shiny object for attention.

      • Nahuel

        1. Happy Birthday Kalen!2. I always foergt that Kalen and Jude are the same age.3. Those are some gorgeous pictures! Especially the family fun in the park shot.4. Please share that cupcake recipe! Where is the chocolate ganache? Over the cake and under the peanut butter icing? They look amazing.5. LOVE the donut breakfast in bed!

  • M H

    I don’t really have a problem with Lisa saying she disliked the movie, my problem is that her review wasn’t really clear on why. Rather than have her review walk through the movie and inform the reader on how the film’s action doesn’t gel together to form a coherent whole, she picks apart individual elements she just doesn’t like and spends too much time describing those. It doesn’t tell me anything about the movie to say it’s like a video game, I got that from the trailer. Nor does it tell me anything about the movie when she says that it’s a dumb mess. Well how is it a dumb mess? Is it dumb because of the point of view the film takes? Or is dumb because of something else? Everything that she wrote about in her review I got from the trailer. What I wanted was not a review of the film’s trailer, but a review of the film itself. I mean it may be a bad movie, but were there at least some worthwhile aspects to the movie. Like the acting? Did any of the actors give a good performance in the film? Or were any of the action sequences particularly well staged or memorable? Or what about the deeper implications of the story? If there were any? Her review failed in the sense that it was more a knee jerk reaction to the film, and not a reasoned response. I could care less about if she hated the film, but I wanted better reasons for why than I just hated it, it looked like a video game. And just for the record this whole post seems like it’s Lisa trying to end the debate on the film with the attack of it didn’t do well at the box office. She seems to assume that means it’s a bad movie and we can now officially move on. It’s not really an argument. The movie still did about 20 million in ticket sales and I would guess that by the end of it’s run it will be close to breaking even in terms of it’s production costs at least. That doesn’t really make it a failure. As most films only really make back their production but not advertising costs. The worst thing about this post is that then she ends it by saying that she’s thinks studios are actually afraid of fanboys, which has nothing to do with the film, or how well it did over the weekend at the box office, or even her critical response to the film, it’s just her looking for a scapegoat to blame her hatred for the movie on.

  • gundam83

    OK. So as I read this review I realize that as a 50ish “fanboy” if I am honest and state that I liked this film (which I did very much) I am either way out of touch with my generation or trying to relive my youth. Whatever. The movie was great. Over the top. But that was expected. I plan on watching it again and adding it to the collection on DVD. Whatever the world of reviewers may think of this is their business. Synder made a very smart film and those who did not get the “inside joke” totally missed the point. Granted this was not a film that most would be able to follow but then I really think that was the point. Its called art for a reason.

    • Cris

      Unfortunately, Internet mentality only allows for two groups. Either you’re a drooling fanboy or you’re a hater.

      • Amy

        I thought I hated it because I was a girl and not a teenager, glad to find out I was not the only one who thought it was terrible and had no idea what was going on. We couldn’t even sit through the whole thing and kinda suprised it was only PG 13, wouldn’t let my 13 year old see it!

    • georgialei

      Okay, I’m a “tired old woman” (63) and I enjoyed the movie. The art direction was amazing. The stunt work and fight sequences were really well done and I liked the costumes. The storyline was a little mushy. My husband (68) thought that the ending was a let-down, I thought that it was subtle but still satisfying. The music was excellent, although a little loud, but that could be the theater’s fault. I didn’t go to see this for great acting, philosophic discourse, or cinematic ennui. I went to see it because it was two hours of entertaining relief from the cares of the world. I felt like Snyder had successfully created a living graphic novel.

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