Mar 28 2011 8:34am

For The Love Of . . . Girls Kicking Ass?!?

We're all conflicted here at H&H Central. See, over the weekend, Sucker Punch came out—but was beat handily at the box office by Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules.

Prior to its release, the internet and airwaves were ablaze with images of seductively-clad women girls kicking ass. Not much different from your average video game, actually (hi, Lara Croft!). But much was made, also, of director Zach Snyder saying the movie isn't female-exploitaitive, but is more like “300 with a female cast.” (Pardon us while we figure out that 300 is male-exploitative—hello, how few pieces of fabric can Gerard Butler wear?)

To continue, Snyder says:

“They [the girls in Sucker Punch] start out as cliches of feminine sexuality as made physical by what culture creates. I think that part of it was really specific, whether it's French maid or nurse or Joan Arc to a lesser extent [laughs], or schoolgirl. Our hope is we were able to modify them and turn them into these power icons, where they can fight back at the actual cliches that they represent. So hopefully by the end the girls are empowered by their sexuality and not exploited.”

So are we relieved that a film that seems like it's another male fantasy of girls kicking butt while wearing short skirts didn't do well at the box office? Or are we pissed that a movie featuring relatively unknown women who take the lead and bust their way out of their male-dominated society within the context of the film did not appeal to the film-going public?

What do you think?

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Myretta Robens
1. Myretta
I pick option #1. I haven't seen this movie, nor will I, but I must say that Snyder's explanation sound like a load of ...well... rationalization. I mean, "where they can fight back at the actual cliches that they represent" Please!
Donna Cummings
2. Donna Cummings
This is a dilemma! LOL Of course, maybe you could look at it that a snarky slacker is the new role model--which is frightening in a way too!
3. DarleneMarshall
I haven't seen the film, but when I read Snyder's explanation my thought was "Hmmm...girls obtain empowerment by dreaming that they're hookers in wet-dream outfits?"

In all my favorite books about female empowerment the girls dream of becoming surgeons, navigators, successful businesswomen and pirates. I guess part of it is how you define "empowerment".

I'm going with your option #1.
4. Nix
Just take it for what it is, glossy entertainment, no need for the psycho-analysis.

I'm going to display my ' female empowerment' by going to watch it and judging it on it's entertainment value - because in my dreams I wear skimpy costumes and kick ass too!!
Aliza Mann
5. AlizaMann
I'm not sure that your cheeks have to hang from under your skirt for you to be kick ass... could be wrong, though.
6. Candace
Saw the movie today and actually really liked it. I can see how it could be empowering for women because the girls were the heroes and were able to save themselves from the abusive men. And the use a lot more than just their sexuality in order to find freedom.
Alie V
7. ophelial
I can see both sides of the equation. On one hand, it exploits women to have them dressed up as school girls, etc. while they are 'fighting' some sort of evil. Not all that different from UFC/WWE women though in some ways.

On the other hand, you could look at it as the women are using their sexuality which men have been jobjectifying them with to in turn seek their revenge.

I'm leaning more to option #1 though myself.
Megan Holko
8. filmphan
I really want to see this film. I just don't want to pay $9 to see it. Maybe when it goes to the cheap seats. I loved Zach Snyder's 300 and I love that kind of filming. The story line sounds pretty neat and I love watching girls kid some booty. In fact, just about a month ago I started watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" again for like the 20th time. I don't like stories with a damsel in distress and think it so much more interesting when the girl saves the guy. When I was younger I wanted so bad for a vampire slayer to be a real thing and for me to be her. Sometimes I still wish it just for the strength, skill, and excitment of it all : )
Megan Holko
9. filmphan
Oh and I'm going with option #2. Guys have "guns" and girls have sex appeal so why not use it as a weapon in a movie. 300 was a good film and story and there is no way you can't tell me that probably half (if not more) of the female movie goers went to see it just because of the scantily clad men. I think sometimes women as a whole are too picky and touchy about "objectifying women". When we are too scantily clad, we're considered sluts not sexy. There is no equivalent of this for a man. If there were, men would be equally objectified but don't we women already do that with those hot guys we drool over. A scantily clad man = hotness, scantily clad women = slut. There is a huge problem there in our thinking and I think we should support any Hollywood film that has a bunch of women leads. I know I'm sort of taking this a little farther than it was probably originally intended but I get upset when people judge others by what they wear rather than the emotion and action behind it. My theory is that if that girl in the picture up there were wearing jeans and a t-shirt (and less makeup)there wouldn't even be this discussion. And the movie might have made more money. More women might have gave this film a chance.
10. Theo
Sucker Punch looks ridiculous. Is there even any dialogue present in the movie? I don't understand why these girls have to be dressed up in little school outfits while fighting. That certainly does seem very comfortable.
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