Supposedly about female empowerment, and given Snyder's dedication of the film to his mother--who passed away in 2010--I do believe he genuinely felt he was making a brilliant masterpiece in homage of a woman whose own brillance and female empowerment undoubtedly gave Snyder the courage to pursue his art. And his work as a writer and director of the now infamous 300 was spectacular. However, Snyder's lucky 300 came across his path before Sucker Punch. If the order had been reversed, he'd be back to filming Gatorade commercials....
The next Man of Steel takes the audience on a clear journey through the super-ego, ego and id before Snyder proceeds to do his own Freudian account of the five stages of female psycho-sexual development. Aussie Emily Browning is the "Babydoll" of a protagonist who must suffer through it all. Along with the audience.
Babydoll's mother is presumably killed by her abusive step-father for money. The step-father attempts to rape Brownings' character, but when she puts up a fight--goes after her younger sister. Browning's Babydoll skoots out of her window, shimmying down a drain pipe to re-enter the house after Step-daddy locks her in her room. Meanwhile, dear ol' dad has already had his fun.
NOW, what happens next is due to bad writing: It appears that Babydoll, in a failed attempt to protect her sister, actually kills her. That's where Snyder took his psychological metaphor too far. What does that represent? The Oedipal. In literary terms, the Oedipal complex is about moving right toward that thing you are trying hardest to avoid.
Would you like your barf bag now, or later?
Had Snyder set out to make a real film about female empowerment, at this same juncture, he might have made it only appear as though Babydoll shot her sister when in fact, Step-daddy was the real killer. It would have been even better if Babydoll escaped the brutality of the mental institution she is committed to after her "crime" and gets to pick up the gun she dropped earlier--finishing what she almost started.
But that's not what happens. To find out, you'll have to go spend your own $11.50. Let me just put it to you this way, if you're truly looking for a film where girls kick-ass (not just attempt to audition for the reboot of the next Lara Croft flick *cough, cough*...Vanessa Hudgeons...*cough*), than this isn't the film for you...or me, it turns out.
All the audience really gets is a hardy helping of what may not be entirely clear to Snyder as his own bruised ego. The storyline is practically criminal. Three female lives, and apparently three more, are worth one...one life we never even get introduced to? Why would you think, Zack Snyder, that would be even a remotely satisfying ending? And killing a baby and its mother--I suppose that's your attempted contribution to a revised Campbellian set of trials for the female hero...?
You just don't get it , do you? Being a mother, being nurturing--that's what makes women strong, resourceful leaders. We don't need to destroy man's past or future--women ARE the full continuum. And in your attempt to rewrite the female hero, all you really did was push us back down a few decades. Elektra was better. Elektra, Zack....
Before I EVER donate my money to the cruel and unusual punishment of another Cruel and Unusual Film, I would rather be locked in a dark room for fifteen hours, forced to watch the sickeningly sweet ensemble-cast of Valentine's Day play out the equally sickening storyline over and over and over again.
If you read this, Zack, Deborah...anyone from Cruel and Unusual--I want my money back.
On the Housel-scale, SUCKER PUNCH earns an unsatisfying, extremely disappointed 3/10--and a good portion of that "3" is because of the excellent cinematography of Larry Fong.
Too bad Fong couldn't use his mind-tricks to bend this spoon of a film into something more entertaining....