Zack Snyder has managed to make a huge name for himself in a very short period of time for having what could be described as a singular visual style that is unmistakable. 300 brought his particular style to the forefront of pop culture by adapting a graphic novel into a film that actually looked like a graphic novel… with some rather spectacular slow motion action sequences immediately sped up in order to actually see what is happening in what would otherwise be a blur of effects and violence. Watchmen simply cemented his place in the graphic novel to film pantheon of geeky greats. The question is whether of not he has the chops to create something of his own.
Sucker Punch is the first film Snyder has directed that is not an adaptation. First was the remake of George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead, which I happen to love. Then the aforementioned 300 and Watchmen, taking on comic greats Frank Miller and Alan Moore respectively (Watchmen has it’s flaws to be sure… but not for lack of trying). He then took a bit of an odd detour with Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, a children’s animated film that has Zack Snyder’s visuals all over the thing. Now… a visual feast steeped in exploitative and violent images that seems intent in pushing every young man’s video game and baby doll fetish button in one pop.
I honestly have no idea what to make of what I’m seeing with the trailers and featurettes that are being made available for this movie. On one hand it looks fucking awesome. On the other… I get concerned about any movie that has so many featurettes and behind the scenes info so far ahead of it’s release. I contend that a movie can be pre-judged based on how heavy the pre release onslaught is. If it’s a great film… you won’t hear a peep about it before it’s release date. If it’s pure crap, you will be told over and over for months on end how this will change everything and be the greatest thing since sliced bread. A quick example… how much did you hear about The Tourist versus how little you heard about Inception. The reason I bring this up is that yesterday while watching another film I saw both the trailer and a featurette for Sucker Punch. Time will tell…
But what do we know so far? We know the film stars Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung and Carla Gugino all dolled up for each girls’ various fantasy worlds… samurai, dragon, World War I, biplanes, mechanized war machines, trenches, thigh highs and leather. A completely incongruous mix of images and scenarios obviously put together for some sort of massive impact. Will it be as striking as it seems to be? Is this simply juvenile male fantasy brought to life? Do I care? Probably not… I’m guessing I’m going to enjoy this movie, along with many other men of all ages… for better or for worse. Will it appear as a feminist empowerment statement? Perhaps. I do believe though that this will be a serious test for Snyder… to show that he can do more than bring someone else’s ideas to the screen… can he deliver his own?
I for one am eager to find out. I’m looking forward to this movie and hope we aren’t flooded with too much information before it’s release. I am rooting for Zack Snyder… I like his films in all their homoerotic glory… perhaps this is his way of trying to shed that particular image with a very heteroerotic film. Using some of the most beautiful young actresses alive today doesn’t hurt that particular campaign. Either way… I will be seeing this the day it is released… maybe I’ll see you there.
Prepping to get punched,
Cornelius J. Blahg