Illustration by Rupert Bottenberg

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Sucker Punch, by Zack Snyder (Hour Magazine, cover)

Women on the Verge: Sucker Punch puts weapons of destruction in the hands of babes

A sucker punch is synonymous with what’s called a “dirty hit,” or misogynistically, a “bitch move.” It’s a hit that takes the recipient unawares, usually from behind.

But Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch is nothing if not full frontal (though not literally, since the film is rated PG-13). More a filmic concept album than an actual narrative feature film, the movie is part Girl, Interrupted, part Moulin Rouge, with a strong taste of Heavy Metal.

The director of heavily CGI-ed screen adaptations of two cultish graphic novels – Frank Miller’s 300 and Alan Moore’s Watchmen – throws a Sucker Punch that’s a mash-up of Snyder’s admitted fondness for ’60s sexploitation films, as well as Japanese manga from Sailor Moon to Ikkitousen.

“For me, a sucker punch has [a] double meaning,” says Snyder during an interview in L.A. “One, I think, is the mechanism in the movie that sneaks up on you. We plant a seed of this [story], and then at the end of the movie it kind of comes back around. And that, in some ways, is what a sucker punch is.”

“[Secondly], the audience will look at [Babydoll] and have a preconceived idea: You look at her, and she’s innocent, sweet and weak, and capable only of a certain amount of things. But… that’s a mistake.” Read article