Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder, pandering, steampunk, nazi, zombie, orcs, dragons, mech, swords, guns, demons, samurai, chain gun, internet

Discussion (51) ¬

  1. David

    From first news of Sucker Punch I was “What’s with the title?” and “Oooo, geekgasm.” The more I have seen of the movie, the more I’m of the opinion that it’s worth a DVD rental (maybe a purchase?) but not worth my ticket price. That said, I’ll probably see it on the fact that the images are looking good, and will look best in a theater setting. I saw 300 in IMAX, and it was probably one of my favorite movie going experiences (for various reasons other than the movie, though the movie helped).

    But I wonder how well it will do past the first weekend. There is no competition for this film, so it’ll do well this weekend. I hope Source Code kicks its butt come April. Man that movie looks good!

    And I, as a geek/nerd/whatever, feel very pandered to every time I see the trailer. And I don’t like being pandered to.

  2. Brandon C
    Brandon C

    I don’t think he’s a hack, but definitely not an auteur of film. He makes movies that hit you over the head with action and visuals. He’s not subtle, and never infers.

    That said, I’ve enjoyed his flicks, even Watchmen to a degree and Sucker Punch measures up.

  3. Liz

    Wait wait wait, I’m confused. Are girls not supposed to be excited about Sucker Punch? Because I totally am. I can’t wait to see it. Then again, I am a geek, so that might be a big part of it. I’m not really suspicious of all the geek things in the movie, but I also don’t analyze things like that. I take it as a gift, say thank you and have done with it.

    Snyder’s not terrible, but he’s also not the visionary that people are making him out to be. I’ve enjoyed his movies for the most part, but other than visually, I didn’t think they were anything to write home about. I’m still totally going to see Sucker Punch. I don’t need visionary in all my movies. Sometimes I just want to be entertained!

    • Ann

      What she said, so very well. 🙂

      Of course, I’ve enjoyed his films more than just visually, but then, I don’t look for high art in most of my entertainment, I just look for something that amuses me, and/or something I can connect with emotionally, regardless of declared artistic intent.

      • Tom

        Connection is good. Entertainment is fine. It’s all just a diversion. It doesn’t have to be high art.

        But in Snyder’s case, I think he’s stacking the deck a little bit by relying heavily on geek tropes and trying to pass it off as original.

    • Dizzy13

      I’m a girl geek, but the whole scantily clad gun-babe thing is making me avoid that sucker. After playing WoW and dealing with geeks who treat women like porn mags, I have become increasingly skeptical about the sheer amount of sexed up women in the geek industry.

      …Doesn’t help that currently for a class I am reading Half the Sky, a book that deals with woman being oppressed worldwide and human trafficking/real life 13 year old sex slaves. I don’t think I can stomach anything like this currently without going into a rage. Bad timing.

      So yeah, I also call shenanigans on the whole ‘taking the sexiness and using it against them’ as bull too. But then again, it’s because it still boils down to ‘women using sexiness as a power’. Come on, can’t we just use guns? Do we have to have the power of boobs and mini-skirts as well?

      • Tom

        Agreed. Ripley kicked ass in Aliens wearing a t-shirt and cargo pants and that was almost 30 years ago!

        Of course, they had the totally gratuitous half shirt and panties shot. But when it came to kicking ass, she dressed appropriately!

  4. Evan

    I don’t think he’s a hack either, and I don’t think he’s clamoring for geek cred. I think he’s the geek Michael Bay, and I honestly think he added all those disparate elements because that’s the stuff he’s into. For his first real from-the-ground-up movie, he’s going to add everything that he personally finds cool. You’re right, though, I think the comment about not making exploitative imagery is a bit disingenuous, and perhaps a little preemptive backpeddling.

    The thing about Zack Synder’s success is that with 300, he proved that he can make a successful film that appeals to both the masses and the geeks, something he solidified with Watchmen. If he’s being propped up by the studios, it’s because he’s one of the very few directors that has enough geek cred and savvyness to placate the blogger-types en masse while getting enough butts in the seats to justify a massive budget. With comic and geeky movies being big now, studios need to court the internet folk to generate enough buzz but don’t really need them once the movie is out, since the geeks aren’t exactly known for driving box office totals.

  5. bman

    I’m pretty sure I’m picking up what you’re putting down about Snyder. When I was in film school, I never would have stood for his super-sleek, lack-of-realism approach to everything. I will admit though, that more recently, now that my acuity for indie films has died down a bit (to the pleasure of ALL my friends and family), I enjoy his movies for the most part.

    I like 300, and Watchmen was okay (pretty to watch at least). His Guardians of Ga’hool was actually really cool to watch. The graphics were amazing, after all. It had a Secrets of Nihm feel to it, that I enjoy.

    I will however be seeing Suckerpunch at some point. You’re absolutely right, he’s pandering to me, and I like it. I’ll reserve my full judgement until I actually see it, but it looks like it has all the things I like, even if he is being a douche about it.

  6. Josh Meinzer


    Sometimes you go to a movie, and want the filet mignon, the wine, the appetizers…. the full course meal.

    And sometimes you just want a delicious banana split, damn the calories. Sucker Punch is a banana split. Enjoy it for what it is, and who cares what people say about you, or the guy who made it for you.

    • Tom

      It’s not a question of wanting the film to be something it isn’t. I fully understand that it’s eye candy. But Snyder thinks he’s made high art about female empowerment. If anyone is in denial about the value of his work, it’s him.

      • deepfry

        Yes but if you listen to anyone involved in any movie they always talk as if they have made the next oscar-winning masterpiece. So it’s only natural for him to try to put a spin on the movie that makes it sound like more than it is, that’s why I don’t usually bother listening to movie pr.
        Just watch the puff-piece promos on most dvds/blu-rays and it’s all the same “this director is the best because he/she really understands the craft and are so helpful” “this person is the best actor/actress because they really got into their character and I learned so much from them” – etc. etc. etc. Don’t take it out on one guy when the same thing happens every single time.

        • deepfry

          Oh and that being said yes this movie totally panders to me and I will definitely be going to see it (next week though after the initial crowds die down), and feel dirty for doing so.

        • Tom

          PR on movies is nothing new. I don’t take offense to that. But I think Snyder believes his own hype.

          It’s one thing for the actor of a movie to say “I think the director is great. I think my co-stars are great. I love the cast! I love the crew!”

          But the minute they start talking nonsense about how great THEY are and what THEIR role brings to the movie, I tune out.

          I mean, even a notorious ego-maniac like James Cameron doesn’t talk about himself as much as Zach Snyder does.

      • Josh Meinzer

        Creators are almost always deluded about the quality of their art, from one side or the other. Some are too humble/critical, others are too proud/satisfied. Snyder can think he’s making a 10/10 movie. It doesn’t affect my enjoyment of it as a 7.5/10.

        We (some of us, at least) are smart enough as movie watchers to know exactly what Sucker Punch is, regardless of what Snyder or the press or anyone else says.

        • Tom

          If I end up seeing Sucker Punch this weekend, it’s very likely that I’ll enjoy it. The spectacle of it, at least.

          I just have a hard time separating the art from the artist. Especially when Snyder is stepping forward and putting his “brand” on things.

          Think about the movies you’ve really enjoyed in your life. Can you name the director? Can you name any other film’s from that director’s filmography? In some cases, you probably could. In most cases, you probably couldn’t.

          Snyder had 3 films under his belt before the studios started promoting him as some great visionary. I think it’s premature and I resent the categorization when there are so many more directors deserving of recognition. That’s the way I feel regardless of whether or not I enjoy the final product.

          • Josh Meinzer

            I my be a bad example for your theory. I read comicbooks based on writers, not artists, and I watch movies based on directors, not actors. I am very portfolio savvy when it comes to them. For example, I just recently watched Fair Game. I saw Naomi Watts and Sean Penn on the “marquee”, but it was Doug Liman’s name that swayed me. It is the way I am wired.

            That said, I understand a bit of what you’re saying. You’re a bit resentful towards the branding. I was the same way with Bay and Ratner. I just find it hard to sign off on a movie before I’ve even seen it. It looks like it will be visually pleasing, and this is all I expect from Snyder.

            We can’t get worked up over what the public thinks, or the media. People spent millions to go see a Justin Bieber movie. I’ve said it before, movies are 100% internal ingestion in the end. Everyone else’s opinion is ultimately background noise. Even mine.

            • Tom

              I totally get where you’re coming from on the writers/directors hook. I’m that way sometimes, although my loyalties shift.

              I’ll read a comic with terrible art if I like the writer and I’ll read a comic with terrible writing if I like the art. Same goes with actors and directors.

              I think in the case of Sucker Punch, Snyder is the biggest name on the marquee. I mean, I know people like Emily Browning. But I don’t think she’s the reason to see the movie.

              And yeah, opinions are background noise. But there’s still fun to be had arguing their merit in a cultural context.

      • bman

        People in Hollywood are paid to shovel loads of crap to the media. I doubt that Snyder believes any of the BS that he’s spouting. Look at 300 and Watchmen, they’re all spectacle and sex and violence. He’s Micheal Bay for the millennial generation.

        He’s just regurgitating what other people are saying about him, for them. If people are going to call you a visionary and spend billions of dollars letting you make movies about whatever you want… screw it. Say whatever BS comes to mind that sounds thought-provoking and edgy.

  7. Wombat

    Listening to the Sucker Punch soundtrack while reading your strip. Streamed it the other day and liked it enough to buy it. Personally, I can’t wait for the movie, though I’m going in with the impression that it’s gonna be mostly eye candy…if it’s more than that, great…if it’s not, I won’t be disappointed.

  8. jkinhart

    Don’t forget stripper names.

  9. Liam

    What is “Sucker Punch” even about? I see the ads for it and I don’t understand it. Is it supposed to be something like “Tank Girl” because that is the impression I get.

    • Tom

      Adding another layer of detachment, all of the action is supposed to take place in the mind of the protagonist as she either tries to escape from physically or spiritually from the insane asylum she’s been thrown into.

      Zach Snyder: Films-as-video-games auteur.

  10. Leah

    I must say I agree with a lot of what you’ve said, as a girl I felt anything but empowered when I first saw the Sucker Punch trailer. It has such blatant over sexualization it made me cringe. Yes the industry is filled with sexualized females especially in the comic/action genre, but for Zack Snyder to say that it’s anything but what it is adds insult to injury. Seems like an excuse to say that the film is commenting on objectification, therefore its okay to do it, but no he doesn’t even do that he says that he tried NOT to use exploitative imagery when he clearly has. This is irritating because a lot of girls I’ve talked to think that it is empowering when really they are being tricked into thinking something is empowering when it is – at all.

    • Leah

      *when it ISN’T – at all.

  11. Lien

    I’m worried about tom in the recent comics. First he says things are too cliché, then he says it’s too crazy… Is he slowly becoming bi-polar?

    Quick, someone give him a 2000cc of hugs! Stat!

    • Tom

      “Slowly” becoming bi-polar?!

      ALWAYS bi-polar! 😀

  12. Brian Godsoe
    Brian Godsoe

    What do you think of him handling the Nolan’s Superman reboot Tom?

    • Tom

      I’m not entirely sure what I think about Snyder handling Superman. On the one hand, I think he’s a hack. On the other hand, something sorely missing from the Bryan Singer version was action. As my friend Joe Dunn put it, Superman Returns was basically two hours of Superman *lifting* things.

      I’m a little worried about a recent quote I read from Snyder where he complained about “lesser” characters like Iron Man getting franchises while there are no Superman movies in the market. One really doesn’t have anything to do with the other, since Marvel and DC approach the licensing of their properties differently.

      But he went on to say that superhero movies should be about gods and not about regular people who develop powers. He compared Superman to Zeus, if that makes any sense. I suppose the Jesus/immigrant/gay icon thing wasn’t enough. Now he’s Zeus.

      Meanwhile, Thor comes out in two months. I think it just shows a lack of awareness on his part and that troubles me.

      • Vayne

        That’s actually pretty amusing to anyone who knows much about Greek mythology. On the other hand, taken in the context of his golden/silver age behaviour it does make a lot of sense. Not that I think that’s what Snyder was actually referring to, mind you.

  13. Andre

    I loved 300, I loved Watchmen, probably have watched both 5 times each. Dawn Of The Dead was also fun. I might end up seeing Sucker Punch at some point because I’ve loved the first two movies so much. And I can’t wait to see what he’s got in store for the Superman reboot. No matter what he says about empowering women or whatever else, he still has a style proper to him as a directory, and that’s rare nowadays.

  14. Rob

    OMG ur comments always make me laugh. I watched the trailer after seeing ur comic. I think the movie looks like its working on a ton of different levels. Sure the girls in the hospital (?) are dolled up a bit, but who wants to see bed ridden bush pigs on film?

    I love David comments about it not being worth the price of a ticket, but I’ll go anyway? Hahahaha.

    I love this quote:

    I make movies for teenage boys. Oh, dear, what a crime. – Michael Bay

    I think about that every time some adult rags his movies (and others), sit back turn your 30 year old head off and enjoy these movies, for what they are: mindless entertainment. Failing that go read a book.

    • Tom

      Is it a crime that Michael Bay makes movies for teenage boys? Of course not. But it’s a very revealing comment. It shows you exactly where his head is. It’s not about story, it’s not about artistry. It’s about money.

      Truthfully, I wish more directors exhibited that kind of honesty. Snyder certainly isn’t one of them.

      • Andre

        Oh come on Tom… everything about Hollywood is about money. You think they started the Iron Man franchise (sorry to always pick on that franchise) because someone felt the need to tell us a new story or express their artistry? Of course not, some studio exec figured they could make a boatload of money off of that franchise and gave the go ahead.

        Movies where a story needs to be told and artistry expressed are the exception, not the rule. I suggest you stop raising your blood pressure over the fact that 99.9% of movies made today are about money.

        • Tom

          You’re over-simplifying the argument, Andre. I don’t have a problem with movies being made for money. I have a problem with insincerity and exploitation.

          Was Iron Man made for money? Of course it was. But did Favreau approach the role as another paycheck? Not in the least. He engaged with fans, took their suggestions… He and Robert Downey Jr. collaborated on the script to flesh out Tony Stark’s character. They INVESTED in the outcome of the product they were producing. Everyone made money, sure. But it wasn’t STRICTLY about money.

          In Snyder’s case, I think Sucker Punch is a cynical money grab that not only exploits women, but exploits the audience as well.

          • Rob

            It’s simple supply and demand. And yeah he has to make these remarks to the media because I’m sorry but American media is still obsessed with being caring and family oriented. The guy is hardly going to say well tits and ass still sell so…..

            You can easily say the same for Oscar made movies.

            Take a look at how Charlie Sheen is being treated in the media. I love him, he is straight forward and completely free of BS and interviewers can’t handle it. The guy makes me laugh so freaking hard, esp. when he said what is bipolar? and she couldn’t answer, awesome.

  15. Phil

    Definite rental only.

  16. Phil

    Definite rental only, no way am I paying £7.70 to see this at the cinema.

  17. Chris Howard

    Just came across a review you might find interesting.
    He does not pull any punches.

    • Tom

      An excellent read.

      I surmise that this reviewer has the same bias against Snyder that I have, but they specifically articulate several problems I have with the frame work of Sucker Punch that I hadn’t expressed.

      That the film takes place inside the imagination of the protagonist is a big problem for me because, as the reviewer points out, that means there are no rules for any of the action sequences we are subjected to. No rules mean no consequences. No consequences = boring.

  18. spencer1984

    My wife & I will be seeing this over the weekend, the geek iconography looked good to us. Funny thing, though: I had no idea Zack Snyder was behind this one until I read the strip. In a lot of cases I don’t even notice who’s starring in/filming the movie until after I see it.

  19. Spirit of the Chihuahua
    Spirit of the Chihuahua

    I watched two different trailers for this movie and I found myself sort of hating it for it. The one that I see most of the time just shows the action and tells you absolutely nothing about what movie is about. The other showing a flash of bare chest followed by the scantly clad girls told me that I was about to be faced with the forced objectification and turning it about to their advantage in the form of empowerment crap.

    Truth be told I don’t mind the objectification, sex sells and we all know that. But I just hate it when someone uses it then tries to pass it off as empowerment.

    The whole point that this takes place in the 1950s and these amazing visual fights are happening in this girl’s mind leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I can’t find myself paying the ticket price and sitting through all of the geek iconography that was thrown in to appease everyone rather than focus on one. I might just rent on DVD, wait for it to show up on FX, or watch someone’s bootleg.

  20. James

    I’ve been a Snyder fan since Dawn of the Dead. Thought it was a great zombie action movie and had some amazing opening credits.

    300-Championed the shit out of that movie when it came out.

    Watchmen- Again great opening credits, but all the problems with this movie stem from the source material.(Don’t care for the comic)

    Owls movie was some amazing animation, but the happy go lucky music video in the middle of the movie kinda derailed it for me.

    Excited for Sucker Punch to see what they haven’t been showing in all the trailers. What is going on in the “real world” while Baby Doll and her friends are gunning down steam punk Nazis?

  21. RainbowNight

    I feel the elitist in me coming out in saying this but given the time line the Nazi and those WW2 parts would be more diesel-punk than steampunk.

  22. Philip

    I’m a fan of Snyder. I loved Dawn of the Dead, liked 300, and am an apologist for Watchmen, so that’s why I checked out Sucker Punch this morning. I felt it tried REALLY hard. I think Snyder really did want to make an artistic masterpiece, but he fell short. It was really good looking and Snyder directs action better than just about anyone else these days. Devin Faraci has the review I probably agree with the most.

  23. TianRee

    Watched Sucker Punch last night on the basis of the trailer last year being potentially fun and there was nothing else on at that time, as someone who wasn’t sure who the director was (did I mention limited info?) I was impressed. Ok not the most intellectual film and it could have done with linking the two levels of fantasy to the “reality” but it was put together really well in my opinion, just a few parts when the fight edits made it uncomfortably but I loved the way the soundtrack linked to the story. I was also glad it didn’t jump on the 3d Bandwagon. As for the objectification crap, that to me just sounds like a director clutching at straws to explain doing something because he thought it looked good, but not being able to say it!

    also if anyone cares my wife liked it, but did describe it as the best 2 hour music video she’d seen in a while.

  24. lumpy space
    lumpy space

    oh my f***ing glob will you get over it know one cares it wont’t make a difference with you saying stuff the movie is already made and it was globing awesome even tho i am a geek. And this is like justin beiber, me especially i hate him but i’m not saying sh*t about it.

    • Tom

      In the future, it might help to write in complete sentences. Also, this comic was published about a year ago, so you kind of missed the boat a little bit.

  25. lumpy space
    lumpy space

    And whats wrong with geeks.

  26. daniel

    Yes, lumpy space, the movie was made already. The comic was made already too. Not sure why you are complaining about.

  27. AssShootEr

    well If I’m not mistaken
    the title sucker punch was got from the last scene of the
    movie (the sacrifice) where babydoll was punched
    and that movie was awesome its the most super acti0n film
    for me……….

Comment ¬

NOTE - You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>