Sucker Punch should have been a videogame

Characters

You may choose one of five characters for the game. Additional characters include CREEPY STEPFATHER, PSYCHIATRIST/MAMA WHORE, BLUE, THE COOK, THE MAYOR, THE HIGHROLLER and THE WISE MAN. The characters you can choose from are:

BABY DOLL: Skills include sword fighting, marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and she possesses the Magic Pussy of Hypnosis.

ROCKET: Skills include heavy artillery capabilities and hand-to-hand combat.

SWEET PEA: Skills include marksmanship, hand-to-hand combat and she is a strategy master.

BLONDIE: Skills include hand-to-hand combat and general uselessness.

AMBER: Skills include avionics, communications and Token Minority-ism.

 

Intro

BABY DOLL is alone in her childish bedroom on a rainy night. A nurse comes to her door and shakes her head; BABY DOLL’s MOTHER has died. Cut to BABY DOLL and her SISTER weeping on their knees at their MOTHER’S bedside as their CREEPY STEPFATHER looks on with a malicious glint in his eyes. BABY DOLL and her SISTER return to their rooms as their CREEPY STEPFATHER opens MOTHER’S will. She has left her fortune to BABY DOLL and her SISTER. We see the CREEPY STEPFATHER stalking BABY DOLL as she leaves her SISTER’S room for her own. BABY DOLL tries to lock her CREEPY STEPFATHER out of her bedroom and scratches him in the face. The CREEPY STEPFATHER looms over BABY DOLL, implying past instances of rape. He locks BABY DOLL in her room and heads for the SISTER, framing him in her doorway to imply intent of rape.

BABY DOLL climbs out of her locked room to rescue her SISTER. She shoots at the CREEPY STEPFATHER but misses him and the ricochet from the bullet kills her SISTER instead. BABY DOLL weeps and is sedated. The CREEPY STEPFATHER delivers her to Lennox Hill Insane Asylum and the care of BLUE, a corrupt orderly. Inside Lennox Hill we meet our characters and the PSYCHIATRIST/MAMA WHORE, who uses dance as a therapy technique. BLUE and the CREEPY STEPFATHER agree to have BABY DOLL lobotomized in five days. The scene inexplicably changes to a whore house. Costumes change from mildly provocative and vaguely reminiscent of childhood to straight up hookery with a gratuitous use of fishnet and bustiers.

Level One – The Kitchen

Level goal: Steal chocolate

ROCKET is working in the kitchen with THE COOK. She attempts to steal the chocolate but is caught by THE COOK, loses 1000 points. THE COOK leers at ROCKET, implying rape, loses 2000 points. BABY DOLL is on the move. Rescue ROCKET from THE COOK for 3000 points. ROCKET is sexually assaulted, loses 5000 points. Also does not achieve goal, minus additional 3000 points. Level complete.

Segue

BABY DOLL is introduced the rest of the characters and the PSYCHIATRIST/MAMA WHORE, who encourages her to dance. BABY DOLL dances and it is discovered that she has a Magic Pussy of Hypnosis, which can hypnotize anyone who sees her gyrate in their general direction.

Level Two – Shogun Dojo Palace

Level goal: Meet THE WISE MAN

BABY DOLL enters the Shogun Dojo Palace to meet THE WISE MAN. He imparts to her five objects she will need in order to escape Lennox Hill and win the game. They are: a map, fire, a knife, a key and a fifth mystery object. THE WISE MAN gives BABY DOLL additional weapons of a gun and a samurai sword, plus 4000 points. Enter GIANT SHOGUN DEMON BEASTS. BABY DOLL battles the GIANT SHOGUN DEMON BEASTS and vanquishes them for 12000 points. Level complete.

Segue

BABY DOLL convinces the dance troupe girls to help her obtain the five items and escape. All agree except SWEET PEA, who is reluctant. SWEET PEA eventually agrees on the condition that they stop if the plan gets too dangerous.

Level Two – World War I Trenches

Level goal: Steal the map

For this level, AMBER pilots a mechanized artillery suit. THE WISE MAN appears to lead the girls into the trenches in order to retrieve the map from the steampunk zombie German army guarding it. Plus 1000 points for every steampunk zombie killed. The girls battle through the trenches, BABY DOLL defeats the Zombie Boss and they steal the map. Plus 10000 points. Level complete.

 

Segue

Really BABY DOLL was just gyrating her Magic Pussy of Hypnosis at BLUE while SWEET PEA made a copy of the Lennox Hill floor plan. BLUE is now enamored with the Magic Pussy of Hypnosis and wants to show it off to THE MAYOR. He demands that BABY DOLL be ready to dance for THE MAYOR. The girls decide this is a good time for AMBER to steal THE MAYOR’s lighter and thus achieve fire.

Level Three – Helm’s Deep

Level goal: Steal fire crystals from an innocent, sleeping baby dragon

For this level, AMBER pilots a WWII bomber plane, thus removing her from the central action because she’s the Token Minority and thus of no importance to the central story. BLONDIE also remains behind because she is played by Vanesssa Hudgens and so is generally worthless. Minus 5000 points if you chose to be BLONDIE.

THE WISE MAN gives the girls their instructions to slit the throat of the innocent, sleeping baby dragon and steal its throat-fire-crystals in order to make magical fire. The girls are dropped into a castle where they battle left over orcs from Lord of the Rings. Plus 1000 points for every spare orc killed. The girls make it to the nest of the innocent, sleeping baby dragon. It’s a very cute little dragon. BABY DOLL slits its throat and retrieves the fire crystals, loses 7000 points for killing a creature that would totally be endangered if it were real. The mama dragon wakes up and chases the girls from the castle. The girls fight the mama dragon, eventually vanquishing it. Plus 10000 points. Level complete.

Segue

The whole time BABY DOLL was actually just shaking her Magic Pussy of Hypnosis at THE MAYOR while AMBER macked on him and pick-pocketed his lighter. The crushing sense that the girls’ empowerment is just an excuse for the gamemakers to present the girls as objects of sexual gratification for the male gaze sets in. BLUE perceives something is amiss and proceeds to threaten the girls in their dressing room. Use of sexually threatening scenarios reinforces that in order to be empowered women must first be objectified. SWEET PEA attempts to call off the plan and is overruled by the other girls. SWEET PEA is portrayed by Abbie Cornish, who seems like a buzzkill in real life, too. Minus 2000 points if you chose to be SWEET PEA.

Level Four – Runaway Robot Train

Level goal: Steal the knife

BLONDIE does not play in this level because she’s Vanessa Hudgens and it’s not like she’d be doing anything useful anyway, loses 1000 points on principle. AMBER pilots a helicopter, once again relegating the Token Minority to a non-central role. Sucker Punch: The Game is both objectifying and demeaning to minority women, loses another 1000 points on principle. BABY DOLL, ROCKET and SWEET PEA board the Runaway Robot Train after THE WISE MAN tells them they must diffuse a bomb. 1000 points for every robot killed. BABY DOLL manages to diffuse the bomb, only to have it re-activated by a rogue robot. Loss of 3000 points for not killing that robot till it was dead. The bomb cannot be diffused again and there are not enough jet packs for all three girls. ROCKET stays behind so BABY DOLL and SWEET PEA can escape. The bomb detonates killing ROCKET, loses 15000 points for not defeating the level and the loss of ROCKET. Level complete.

Segue

Turns out, BABY DOLL was just waving her Magic Pussy of Hypnosis at THE COOK while SWEET PEA attempted to steal his knife. However, AMBER didn’t notice the electrical cord from the radio was sitting in a giant puddle of water, thus short-circuiting the radio and cutting off BABY DOLL’s music too soon. THE COOK awakens from his pussy-induced stupor and fights with the girls, stabbing ROCKET in the process. BLUE is now aware there is a plot afoot thanks to BLONDIE who narcs on the girls because she’s Vanessa Hudgens so of course she’s the snitch. Minus another 8000 points if you chose BLONDIE. Amidst the scuffling in the kitchen, the girls are still able to sneak off with the knife.

Level Five – Escape

Level goal: Escape Lennox Hill

The next day the girls are preparing for their dance revue. THE HIGH ROLLER appears. He is Jon Hamm, so he is very dapper and handsome, if creepy because he is up to no good with BABY DOLL. BLUE enters the girls’ dressing room and confronts them, telling them that BLONDIE ratted them out. Minus another 10000 points if you chose BLONDIE. BLUE assaults the PSYCHIATRIST/MAMA WHORE, loses 2000 points, once again reinforcing that the girls’ empowerment comes only at a man’s discretion. BLUE then kills BLONDIE for being a snitch, and also Vanessa Hudgens, then he kills AMBER because she’s the Token Minority so it’s not like she was doing anything relevant anyway. Loss of 9000 points. BLUE dismisses the remaining girls and then attempts yet another sexual assault on BABY DOLL, loses 3000 points, just in case we didn’t understand that everyone really, really wants to fuck her Magic Pussy of Hypnosis. BABY DOLL stabs BLUE, plus 2000 points for self defense.

BABY DOLL rescues SWEET PEA from solitary confinement, plus 2000 points, and the two make their escape by starting a fire as a distraction. Plus another 2000 points. The girls make it outside Lennox Hill only to confront THE FAT GUARDS. BABY DOLL realizes that she is the mysterious fifth object needed to escape. She sends SWEET PEA on her way while BABY DOLL once again mystifies some gross men with her Magic Pussy of Hypnosis. Plus 5000 points. Level complete.

Fin

BABY DOLL is back in the institution, which is an institution again and not a whorehouse, and she is lobotomized by THE HIGH ROLLER, loses 20000 points. He’s Jon Hamm, so he does really seem sorry to do this to her. The PSYCHIATRIST/MAMA WHORE then discovers that BABY DOLL’s lobotomy was ordered using her forged signature. In a final act of objectification/male dominance, BLUE threatens to rape the lobotomized BABY DOLL, loses 3000 points, but he is arrested in the nick of time, plus 3000 points. Cut to SWEET PEA boarding a bus out of town and THE WISE MAN helping her to escape the attention of some police officers. Plus 5000 points. We learn that freeing SWEET PEA was the goal all along. We win! Game over!

Final Score: Negative eleventy billion points for sheer incomprehension of anything related to logical storytelling. Sucker Punch: The Game is a nightmare of plot devices and random happenings that all serve to create director Zack Snyder’s ultimate masturbation fantasy. This is not empowering for women—in fact, it’s the exact opposite. It’s offensively demeaning and degrading, setting up a world in which empowerment is only attainable through utter debasement. The gratuitous use of T&A, repeated implications of rape, and female subjugation for the pleasure of the male gaze results in a genre I’m calling “pussysploitation”. Further, there is a history of women being wrongfully institutionalized (the “rest cure”) that is abused here so badly as to do a major disservice to the memory of every woman who suffered under that system. Zack Snyder movies are usually bad but fun. Sucker Punch: The Game is just plain bad.

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4 Responses to “Sucker Punch should have been a videogame”

  1. Hey Sarah, first of all let me tell you how much I enjoy reading your posts.
    This is very interesting. Two years ago I did a course on French cinema and we had to make a case study on american action films. The result of my study was this ^^. Most (badly written and acted) action films these days (yes, even my beloved Statham’s) could either be turned into a videogame OR are an actual videogame, just that it looks a bit too real. Levels, villains, transition in between scenes…scary!!! So I completely agree with what you said. Shame they’re still making money *sigh*

  2. I figured out how the movie made sense. As it’s ending and talking about whose story it really is, Sweet Pea sees the boy from the trenches boarding the bus as well. The entire film must have taken place in his head, only a pre-pubescent boy could dream up a story/visuals like that.

    Great review, terrible movie.

  3. Clementine Says:

    Bleh, the fact that guys I know are actually calling this a movie about “girl power” is making me sick. I saw pictures of the characters and knew this movie was going to be terrible and terrible in its portrayal of women. Everything I’ve heard/seen since then only confirms this. I can’t believe people can’t tell the difference between this shit and actual female empowerment. Side note, I thought Jenna Malone was better than this. Now I am sad.

  4. [...] Jackson, eleven years ago. Recently they’ve tried to make Zack Snyder this guy, but he thinks rape makes an acceptable fantasy; likewise, Tarsem Singh has never become this guy because he doesn’t give a shit about [...]

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