Good god. We just got back from seeing Suckerpunch. I’m not going to bother with a “spoilers” cut below because you don’t want to see this film. At all. Here’s why:

Misogyny. Pedophilia. Multiple attempted rapes. Disenfranchisement of women, on a ton of levels.

Let’s break these down, because I’m pissed off, and because that movie was the absolute antithesis of everything I ever want my fiction to do. I think I’ll go chronologically, because if I go one at a time, I’ll lose all the threads.

Opening scene. Protag’s mother dies, leaving her and her sister with lecherous step-father. Protag denies stepfather’s advances. Stepfather (presumably) rapes younger sister, then kills her. Then frames protag for it, and gets her sent to a mental institution. Once there, the protag’s depressed mental state changes her surroundings to some sort of bordello — i shit you not — where she and other girls “her age” dance for men with money and power, becoming their “clients” and “satisfying” them on rotating beds with red satin sheets. While experiencing this understandable duress, the film dips down into another level, where the protag dances — and when she dances, while her clients are captivated by her spandexed crotch, the movie switches into complicated battle scenes, wherein she levels up and acquires the skills and the items that she’ll need to eventually free herself from her confines.

Did i mention that this movie is PG-13?It’s PG-motherfucking-13.

Here’s the thing — it feels like this movie was some 15 yr old boy, with a very loose grasp on what makes women women, wanted to write a female empowerment film. So he gave the protag some dire-ass circumstances to rise over. But she’s disenfranchised on EVERY LEVEL. Again, we’ll begin at the beginning.

So the attempted rape by the stepfather. It’s awful. Can you imagine being a 13 yr old girl and having to — once again — see someone whose bigger and stronger than you come after you? Like in every other movie produced by a pedobear?

The entire time in the movie, the protag has a babydoll face. Hey, guess what her name is? BABYDOLL. It’s like they didn’t even fucking try. She’s ultra-blonde, with pouty lips, and to be fair, she’s gorgeous, and she can actually act. Unfortunately all she’s given to act in is repeated sequences of beginning to dance slowly and unhappily with a “No, Daddy, no!” face on or action scenes (which we’ll get too shortly.)

They make a big point of “filling in her paperwork” when she arrives at the institution, and point out on there that she’s 20.

Whooopie-shit. She doesn’t look 20. None of them look older than 16. Not a single one.

The bordello thing seems just to be a way to keep the girls wearing spandex and corsets. The men leer at them, leer on them, openly drool, brag about how much money her virginity is going to make them with a “high roller” and threaten to rape them continually. I’m not kidding, there were SIX SEPARATE ATTEMPTED RAPES in this film.

How can that be legal to show to 13 yr old girls. Is this how we want to show them the world is? Men value you only because of the way you look, your perceived virginity, the way you dance, and once you get older (like the dance instructor in the film) you’ll be discarded? What kind of values are those to promote? What the fucking what.

It’s one thing if you as an adult want to go watch some porn with that in it. I’m all for that. But don’t tell me the protag is “20” and then make your fucking film PG-13 and film trailers that make it look vaguely about female empowerment and then do this. Don’t even fucking try.

The action scenes. Where the purported empowerment occurs. The thing that drew me to this film — because I’ve learned already from decades as a fantasy reader that women have to fight in high heels and bikini-armor. I can cope with that unreality. If a girl is kicking ass somewhere, I’m there, I want to see it.

But in this film? Whose ass does she kick? Mecha-ass. Dragon-ass. Steampunk-Nazi ass. Demon-ass. Armored-knight-ass.

Do any of them bleed? No. Were any of them men? No. So she’s kick ass…but she’s not strong enough to fight against the things that empower her? I understand that this is somehow to get a PG-13 rating — her action-instructor actually tells her at one point, when they’re steampunk-nazi fighting “They’re just reanimated corpses.” Because YOU CAN’T SHOW HER FIGHTING MEN. What a backwards negative kind of compliment is this? You can only fight these things that anyone could fight and win.

(I’m trying to think of metaphors — it’s like in the new MMA fighting game where the girl characters can only go head to head against other girl characters, because showing them fighting men would be bad. Or how in books there’ll be five good guys, one of them a girl, and they’ll go head to head with five demons…one of who is also, conveniently a girl. Because ladies can’t fight boys! That’s crazy-talk! God bless you Buffy Summers for your equal opportunity ass-kicking. Somedays I wonder if we will ever see your like again.)

Now mind you, the intro into each action scene, is someone booting up club music, and then protag getting a “Daddy, stop!” look on her face as she begins to grind, before the into-action fade.

She doesn’t even own the grinding. And i know this is a small thing, in the large scale problems that this film had. But she’s not even a, “Hey, now we’re on my turf, I fucking own this spandex unitard they’ve got me in, here-we-motherfucking-go!” No. Just, “But Daddy!” in her eyes, and then the cut over to improbably action sequences perpetrated on creatures that might as well be ghostly punching bags.

At the end, there’s a big escape sequence — after more attempted rape scenes and dancing and “action”, if it can truly be called that. She’s got her most glittery glamorous sailor suit on (i’m not kidding) and she realizes then that she needs to sacrifice herself to save her friend.

Ooookay. So. She goes out into the parking lot, where all the hired henchmen of all the “clients” inside the bordello are, to distract them with her glittery thigh-highed self.

It looked disturbingly like the beginning of a gang-rape. She kicks one guy in the balls, and we fade over to where her friend is escaping.

But what’s happening to our protag, you ask? Well. You’re not shown, but you know. They can’t be blamed for what we assume, after all — and I mean, sheesh, she is 20, we saw it on a fucking form, right? So all that implied stuff, that’s all on me, and in my head. Clearly that’s not what was actually in the film. Fucking clear as day.

What actions did she actually get to take on anyone? In person? For real, not in action-land, herself? She stabbed an orderly and kicked one guy in the balls. That’s it. Six attempted rape scenes (and really, the implication isn’t that they all stopped, it’s clearly a rape-culture in bordello-land) and shes…won? Because she’s kicked one guy in the balls? Really?

We fade back to the real-real reality, and her stepfather’s bribed someone to forge paperwork to get her lobotomized. Guess what. She gets lobotomized. Then, and only then, the system steps in to save her, and the guy who forged things — after getting his henchmen to PUT HER LOBOTOMIZED HELPLESS SELF IN A CHAIR IN A CLOSET — starts to mack on her — THEN the system saves her and the people in charge realize things are Not Right. She’s LOBOTOMIZED now, but hey, here comes the system to finally save her! And…her friend got out!


Her mother failed her by dying, her stepfather failed her by trying to rape her, by raping her sister, and by committing her and signing her up for a lobo. The police are clearly shown believing her stepfather, the shrink believes the orderlies who say she’s insane, the doctor who lobomizes her does so without actually talking to her to see if she needs it, even one of her dancer/institution friends turns on her.


Do your really want to tell the girls of America that no one has their back? Don’t give me that self-sufficient “but the power was within you all along”! bullshit. That shit DOES NOT APPLY HERE. Girls who don’t feel like anyone has their back, you know what happens to them? Meth happens to them. You never know the power was fucking in you all along if no one else ever fucking saw it there. That’s how it is to be a girl in America.

And can you imagine being a girl and seeing this film? And instead of learning anything empowering from it, the take home message is, “Hey, if you don’t get raped, and you’ve gotten a lobotomy to escape things, you’ve won!”


I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more morally bankrupt film in my entire life. And whoever made this piece of shit film PG-13 should be ashamed of themselves.

Ironically, the things that would have saved this film would be either going deeper, and actually portraying all the violence — turning it into some sort of horrible Lolita-by-way-of-Tarantino situation — or staying out of the violence entirely and playing the whole fucking thing for laughs. If this movie were an anime, it would have worked — because the Japanese would have shown the bullets hitting her, and her bullets hitting real men, and it would have been fierce and visceral and honest. This defanged aberration disempowers women by not showing the actual violence — though of course using the implications of it to further the plot! — and by using its message to titillate instead of horrify. The protag has no traction, no power to change things, no one at her back. At. All.

I can’t imagine if i’d taken my friend’s daughter to it. Or if I’d gone to go see it with my dad. This movie made me physically want to puke.

Don’t see it. Don’t let anyone you know see it. May it fade as it deserves, into the darkness, fucking far and away.


49 thoughts on “Suckerpunch-ed

    • I’m still flabbergast at the end, that horrible soulless ending.. how could they even make a movie like that? Is it some sick tragedy? the ads for this movie are nothing like it content. someone should be fined heavily and a R rated if not higher put on this movie. I hope it fade quickly.

  1. You realise you’ve just made loads of people want to see it don’t you? Even just out of curiosity to see if it’s as you say. Lol.

  2. This was made by the same loser who made ‘300’ or as I called it, “Neocon Spartacus” He clearly has deep sexuality related issues. He shouldn’t be making movies, he should be undergoing therapy.

  3. I haven’t seen the film and I have no intention of seeing the film. But this breakdown is awesomely powerful. I want to add my thanks to that above.

    • I think you mean it’s awesome bullshit. Sure the movie is juvenile and adolescent, but it is being way over analyzed here. And if the author really thinks they all looked like little girls then she’s a fucking idiot.

      • Right, you say “fucking idiot” and that validates your opinion.

        I appreciate the review, I was quite excited about the idea of an empowered woman fighting with all the visual effects I love in anime, but I would have been sorely bitter over finding only adolescent fetishes and clichés

        • Did you miss the part where it’s a Zach Snyder movie? anyone with an IQ over fucking 12 knew better than to expect anything other than mindless stuff that fits Snyder’s definition of cool. Get over your fucking butthurt already.

          • I don’t mind his version of cool. What I wish is that it weren’t marketed as a teenage girl empowerment film and that it were R.

            They could be completely naked if it were R, and I’d say, “Hey, this isn’t for young girls, whatever,” and be fine.

            But this film sells a false bill of goods, and not all girls — young girls — who go see it are going to get all the reasons otherwise.

            I’d rather girls see the anime Kite — or another Kick-Ass than this.

  4. The sad thing is that Hollywood, being Hollywood, will almost certainly take the wrong lessons away from the movie’s failure. “Well, apparently there’s no audience for action movies with female-dominated casts that aren’t based on existing properties. Let’s make another Fast and Furious movie!”

  5. Bleah, you got trolls.

    “Ironically, the things that would have saved this film would be either going deeper, and actually portraying all the violence — turning it into some sort of horrible Lolita-by-way-of-Tarantino situation”

    This is what I kept imagining as you were writing. It could be interesting (alternately: could suck). I wonder if the initial concept did that and it got fucked up in process.

  6. Thanks! I was on the fence about seeing this movie. The previews made it look like a decent action type movie. With your review of it, though, I won’t go see it. Sounds like a horrible movie that I’d never want to see.

    In the one part that you wrote, “Because ladies can’t fight boys! That’s crazy-talk! God bless you Buffy Summers for your equal opportunity ass-kicking. Somedays I wonder if we will ever see your like again.)”, there are some ass-kicking women out there, but most of them are in books. And of course, when they do make a show with strong women characters, it gets cancelled. Firefly, Dollhouse, Babylon 5, etc. Back to books. :)

    A reviewer said this of my female lead character in my book, Power Play: “one kick butt strong female private investigator”. Sorry for the self promotion but it does give an example that all is not lost. Just in Hollywood. :)


  7. I was sort of excited when I started seeing some of the shots coming out about the movie. When all the reviews came back that this was the biggest piece of sh!t EVER! I decided to skip it. Every review I’ve read since then makes me even more glad I missed it.

    As for Buffy, Hollywood is remaking Buffy without Joss Whedon. You realize we are looking at a completely watered down Buffy who won’t be able to fight anything more than a hang-nail.

    I am glad that someone mentioned the Catch-22 that Hollywood will undoubtedly take away from this “Womens’ action flicks don’t make any money”

    Personally, I’m sick of this sh!t and haven’t been to the movies since Star Trek and that wasn’t that great in terms of females and it was a step up from the original.

    • Yeah, I saw they’re doing a remake :/.

      It’s exhausting and saddening. I just want to watch some films that do it right. I don’t think it’s that hard, even. There are tons of books that get it right.

  8. Just saw the movie. I think you are over reacting, but also have some valid points. Frankly, I don’t give a shit if poorly raised 13 year old girls see the movie and are somehow forming female identities or something… if that’s the case they got real problems anyway. My 14 year old sister would laugh at this movie and spit it out like the overwrought exploitation film that it is.

    I mean, there are a couple of action sequences that are almost groundbreaking – my heart goes out to the computer farm that had to render the reflective robots getting shattered. But nothing much new, really…

    I really hated the intermediate “world” in particular. Not scary, just kind of ugly and lame.

    In other news, Jena Malone out-acted everyone else by a mile. Sorry she was in it.

    • I also find it difficult to care about increasing the problems of children in rough situations. I mean, they’re already kind of fucked up, right? What does it matter if we use them for soylent green?

      • Yummy … that’d be Virgin Soylent Green?

        More seriously, the American movie/lit/music/whatever rating system (and probably all others in other countries) has already disgraced itself and lost all authority even before that particular movie. That seems to be a pattern really. Perhaps, giving labels to stuff does not actually replace proper upbringing. It just creates the illusion of doing so.

        Doesn’t make the movie in question any better though. Just shows where to focus, IMHO.

  9. It’s plain and simple, if you don’t want your child seeing a certain type of film then do your research before you take them. I have a 13yr old step-son so I’m not saying this kid free. It’s not Hollywood’s job to shelter your children it’s YOUR job. Let’s be real here, there’s more filth on evening television than what went on in that movie. Being a female myself I loved the movie and thought it was excellent!! I can’t wait to see it again and buy it when it comes out :) It made me feel kick-ass leaving the theater and proud that I have an imagination at my age that tends to follow along with that movie.
    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I thank God that we have the freedom to do that. However… what pisses me off is the attitude of “HOLLYWOOD IS TURNING OUR CHILDREN INTO MONSTERS”… step up and be a parent! If you don’t have children of your own remember your feelings of things like this for when you do so you can do your research before taking them. People who walk blindly into things and then are offended by the end result are stupid to begin with… I’m sorry but it’s true. Get over it

    • Wow. Which part did you like about it? The rapes, or the rapes?

      Multiple attempted rapes in a PG 13 film = unacceptable to me.

      I’ve got an imagination. If you clicked around, you’d see I have a trilogy coming out. And I didn’t walk blindly in, I walked in hoping that I’d get to watch a film that was about kick ass girls. Not girls being almost raped, repeatedly.

  10. thank you for this review– i’ve only seen the posters and a glimpse of a trailer, it looked like something that both my husband and i could enjoy on our datenight: strong women taking strong action in lush settings. to discover it is so much… else… is very unsettling and disappointing.

    i am surprised at the commenters who think that being upset about rape and murder and lobotomies is funny or simpleminded… especially the “well, you shouldn’t have flashed your ankles if you didn’t want to be gangraped” tone they are taking.

    if you hand over $2 for something advertised as a hot dog, and get handed squid in a can, you are going to be angry at the false advertising. it doesn’t matter if you actually love squid– it isn’t what was advertised and it isn’t what you wanted.

    the movie is being advertised as an action flick with kick-ass women kicking metal ass. the fact that it is The Exact Opposite i find troubling both from a “fuck i would vomit if i had to sit through that in the theater, how embarrassing would that have been… not to mention furious that i spent $20 for the privilege of vomiting,” standpoint, and a larger, meta “fuck, do movie studios actually think being almost-raped and brain-raped is fucking empowering”?!?

    *breathing* ok, back to my own sandbox… but anyway, thanks again for the review.

  11. gawd, thank you Cassie.
    My friends and I have promised to not utter the word “Suckerpunch” again because we can’t shut up… and it’s time to move on. You’ve articulated everything we started screaming about as soon as we rose from our seats to leave the movie theatre.
    The billboards do a great job of showing the battles, which are fantastical and a joy to look at… but don’t tell you you’re buying a ticket for a movie about pedophile fantasies of kinderwhore strippers kept prisoner and groomed for sex. I didn’t know that when I bought my movie ticket.
    I noticed, too, that they made sure they pointed out that Babydoll was 20 years old. Absolved! ” No underage exploitation here! What the hell are you chicks so pissed about?”

    And I love shoot ’em up guns and samurai sword movies, death, destruction and blood in my movies, but this movie was far from being about empowerment. The end lesson of this film is “Hey Girls, no matter how handy you are with a hand cannon or samurai sword, it’s your tits and ass that will save you in the end.”

    Recaste all the girls as boys… there’s no frikkin way the movie would get made with the scary-threat-of-rape-in-a-prison/asylum theme. No way.
    McMurphy never wore a garter belt, Chief never pole danced and Nurse Ratched wasn’t going to rape them.

    Like you said, it was all a 15 year old boy’s attempt to get girls in scenarios… but this boy had millions and millions of dollars and a damn billboard on every corner. What a waste of time and talent for the people who worked on it (and I know a few).
    I would love for young girls and women to be taught to fight and defend themselves…for real, in the real world. Boys and young men are taught to. I can’t believe we have these conversations… still.

    There was a different ending and it was changed after some screenings…I’m peeved at Snyder even more. I’m peeved that he was associated with Frank Miller, who is brilliant, smart, and has articulated ideas about human empowerment and dis-empowerment for a few decades now.
    I’ll stop now… thanks Cassie!

  12. Are you off your meds again, Cassie?
    You are one long winded, stressed out potty mouthed little girl, aren’t you?
    Opps. So sorry about the “little girl” reference. Is your blood boiling?
    The merits of the movie aside, my instincts tell me you must be a liberal.
    That helps explain why you annoyed me so much.

    • I’m so sorry violence against women gives you boners. Feel free to discuss that in your next almost assuredly insulting comment here.

  13. I doubt if you’re ever “sorry” about anything.
    Wow. So, you have a triolgy coming out. It sounds like you take yourself way too seriously.
    The reason I called you a “little girl” is because most of the adults I know wouldn’t touch the type of language you use with a ten foot pole . “PG moutherfucking 13”
    Really!!?? Does dropping f-bombs make you feel empowered? By the way, you continued to expose your lack of class with the childish “boner” refrence.
    After you read this feel free to go wash your mouth out with soap.

    • So you came here, not to discuss the movie, but to try and teach me a lesson on my own blog about what, the magic of politeness? Because I offended you…on…the internet?

      Please to be taking your services to 4-Chan. I hear they’re looking for obnoxious paternalistic bullshit over there. You’ll go over well. I promise.

    You should have read what the director and actresses think about the movie first. It’ll change your mind. The movie basically is about how much pain can a young mind endure, it’s about survival, about fighting, about imaginating…
    This view you give me is RIGHT yes, why on earth would they rate it PG13, not right I know, we all do, but this view is exactly what my Grandfather or some old-fashioned 50-60 year old person would see, you need to look beyond that and realize that this kind of things DO happen, yes it’s a sad , cruel movie, but it’s realistic, this things happen, young women in burdels, little girls being raped (By the way all actresses there are actually 22 or more plus I don’t see any actual rape scences and only 2 attempts not 6) and no one NO ONE having your back, i think you have probably not gone through a harsh situation where you realize that you are alone in this world because some things one must endure by herself or himself perhaps that is why you did not understand this movie.
    Just thought you should be a little bit more open minded before trying to change everybody’s mind about the movie, besides they should totally make an opinion of the movie by themselves and go watch it if they want to discuss it.

  15. You completely and utterly missed the point of this film.

    So tightly bound up in your single-minded, politically correct view of the world, you jumped all too quickly to conclusions on a movie that didn’t actually resolve until the final two scenes. Did you just happen to not be paying attention to the whole release-by-self-sacrafice message? Or the fact that the actual woman of the story was Sweet Pea, a character you have not spent any time discussing?

    In my eyes, the movie was a fantastic realization of how you can set yourself free (a point that is hinted at during the beginning and rather bluntly stated at the end). Just because the movie displays some scenes depicting assault or rape doesn’t mean that’s the message of the film, but gives it context.

    As for Babydoll having “no-one at her back”, what about the other girls who fought through fantastical thick and thin with her? And let’s not forget that Babydoll had Sweet Pea’s back in the most loving and ultimate form: self-sacrifice.

    Rather than blindly pointing out every possible part of the movie that hints at sexual acts or crime, perhaps you should consider them in context of what us actually going on. You also might want to comment on how the movie _rather bluntly_ states at the end “you have all the weapons you need: yourself. Now fight”

  16. I got to watch this movie for a birthday present. I was close to throwing my tv out the window. this movie sucked ass, the name makes no sense at all. why would they call it suckerpunched if in the whole thing she’s just dancing and as Sweet Pea would say,’moaning.’ this movie was worser then getting my dogs death as a birthday present. This movie was so confusing, watching it all I saw was a girl who doesn’t listen, changes her mind, ‘dances’ and looks like a girl who only has a face with one look. I wish I had read this before I watched the damn movie. Talk about really suck ass, the only good thing about this movie was the sound track. I have to give them that, they have good taste in music. But picking the song from Alice it makes no sense, it doesn’t conect to the movie in any way. If they named the girl who was getting the map, Sweet Pea, Alice then I would have understood it so much better. Also I think this movie was more of a, girls are whores and let people rape them because there insane, kind of movie. I also like the old guy who tries and helps him, but how in the hell does he connect to reality. The only time we saw him in reality was when he was a bus driver. I guess he could have been Sweet pea’s gardian angel, I don’t know but it should have tried to explain that more. The girls looked really hot in the movie, but as you had said it would have made alot better movie if it was a anime. also watching the fighting scene’s I wish they had showner dancing instead.

  17. This movie is about how a real rapists like zack snyder and that perv frustrated jap called shibuya,go to mainstream and make a shitload of rape and then call”it”a movie.this is the worst old man pedo crap movie of all time.Snyder proves himself that he is a psyco and he has a real mental disorder.Its all about a rapist pricks torture porn using againist weak teenage girls,that cant defend themselves.I suggest to form”anti sadistics and rapists death squads”around the world,to protect our women and daughters aganist sick men.If Zack “snyderic” could leaves in my country i will kill himself personaly with my guns,all because of this movie.He ruins he career for ever with this looser s nerdsturbation.Zack,you have a billions of enemys now and you cant scape,you and this motherfucker abusers that lives behind mental institutions and “perfect family”homes.I hope you die snyder,i curse you,and i hope you be punished!.

  18. I think you sound like a mother. An over-protective mother.
    I personally am a girl, and i did not see the film in the same way as you… i saw the bigger picture. If you really think the film is simply about “Misogyny. Pedophilia. Multiple attempted rapes and disenfranchisement of women” you are simply a shallow minded idiot. Open your mind up to the world of someone that has been through shit loads and is trying to escape from it. Open your mind up to her imagination being her empowerment.
    Don’t be a flannel. Stop being so bias too! If you didn’t like it, get over it- stop swearing and being angry… its just a bloody film!

  19. Dear Cassie Alexander

    I really think you should have put yourself into babydolls position before writing this critic or it seemed to me more like writing a contained rage against something. That you do not like it is okay but the reasons in my opinion are realy bad and you try to make us feel for your arguments by asking questions like really or wtf through arguments. I agree for you on one thing though its the 13 years of age.This is a movie for mature audience only. I will not write about everything because it would be too long, but when you write that no one stands for her you’re right, and that’s why I say try to watch the movie with emphaty towards babydoll. Try to be in her position and not thinking what would you do or what Buffy would do in her position. I watched the movie only recently, and I think it is a nice peace of art. 5 girls in very hard position no one would like to be try to survive with what they have, and their fight is shown through fantasy : it is as simple as that. Fantasy, like killing a dragon. Why a dragon? Because it is colosal and vry hard to kill like a vry big problem : and I belive it is to compare to how hard it is for them in real life. And what is harder to kill in your opinion a man or a dragon, orc, robot? when you speak of her not fighting men. I can tell you one thing, now I am in Canada, but I come from Croatia. We had war, I was six yrs old. And yes even your own family can leave you alone when you need them. There is no Buffy, superman, spiderman or whatever and you’re a six year old…You remind of ppl who when they watch boxing…and one guy gets knocked in one round, well they say he was a ham, even if in real life he would knock most people out quickly. I am not saying that you’re one of those but it is the feeling what you wrote left me with. I honestly liked the movie, it shocked me a couple of times and I was also angry at how she seemed helpless and I was having hope they would all escape with a happy ending. It cannot always end the way we would like it and this movie is one of those movie that you have to accept the ending as it is.Probably it could be better, but it did not. And to all mature people I suggest to watch this movie and make your own opinion about it, it can be rich in emotions or you will hate it like Cassie. I simply liked the fact the movie did not follow a story I could predict like in many movies theese days, and sometimes it is not bad ;).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *