Sucker Punch Extended Cut (Arrow Recommends)

Sucker Punch Extended Cut (Arrow Recommends)
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"Arrow Recommends is a column that has my sorry ass advise older movies to your royal asses. I will be flexible in terms of genres i.e. I will cover whatever the bleep I want. For now, it will be the way to keep my voice on the site."

PLOT: A young girl is about to go through hell and to survive she mentally transports herself into 3 different realities.  Sexy outfits, gun-play, a dragon, Orcs, giant samurais, killer music and trippy visuals ensue!

"This was never my story. ... " - Babydoll

LOWDOWN: In my world Zack Snyder is an auteur filmmaker toying in the big budget blockbuster pool. An odd mix if you ask me, and that is why I find his films so compelling. It’s also why pretty much everything he has done was shaved down by the Studio for time or/and content in the attempt of appealing to the masses. Now and again, that makes Snyder looks bad, until we see his initial vision via a Director’s Cut on disk that is.

It happened on WATCHMEN and DAWN OF THE DEAD, but the best example of that ailment was BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN. The flick got a standing ovation by the Studio upon its first screening; but as the release date got closer; the suits got cold feet and shaved off half an hour from the running time hence shortchanging the Superman character and muddling the plotline. Snyder took the hit for that – until his D.Cut was released, therefore “saving” the film for many (Lex Luthor was ass in both cuts though).

The same thing kind of went down with the 2011 SUCKER PUNCH! A totally out-there and audacious film that the Studio didn’t know what to do with. So they snipped out 17 minutes from it, marketed it as a “hot chicks kick ass” opus and called it a day. The audience was sucker-punched for the most part, expecting a straight action fantasy party and getting a statement on women (or “woman”) using their sexuality to regain power from their oppressors instead (Ever notice that that they dress less and less sexy in the fantasy scenes as the clock ticks on?).

In short SUCKER PUNCH was a character driven (loved the chemistry between the girls) mind-f*ck, with eye popping action set pieces tossed in there for good measure (Didn’t make much sense that our lead would imagine all these pop culture scenarios – but who cares!). I personally managed to get some kicks out of the theatrical cut at the time and I finally got around to tapping the Extended Cut (get it here) of the film recently (not the director’s cut – that one would have 5 musical numbers as Snyder initially wanted) and got a better sense of what the movie was going for.

The main differences between this cut and what was shown in theatres was further character development, which believe it or not, was much welcomed. The core of the film (in my opinion that is, not saying that I am right, just my take on it) is about one girl, who invents another “strong” girl (Babydoll) and 3 realities to gather up her strength, face her demons and tackle head on, with her head up high, what’s coming to her. So yeah this Extended Cut added meat to the core of the film. The action was amplified too of course (the castle scene for example was much longer and so was the WW2 bit), there was further "out of line" content while the graphic violence was jacked up too.  But the biggest add on IMO, was without a doubt the Jon Hamm character. Now I am gonna try to not go into SPOILERS territory here, but the way the theatrical cut had it, Hamm had a cameo and what was suggested as to our heroine's fate was pretty rough.

This Extended Cut gave me more Hamm, but more importantly, although the final outcome as to our heroine's journey was the same, it was VERY different in terms of the HOW.  Her destiny wound up being on her own terms here, by result the character retained her dignity. Polar opposite to what went down in the theatrical cut. So I am somewhat baffled as to WHY, the Studio snipped all that down and actually made the outcome even worse when it comes to morality.

The only thing that grated me in this Extended Cut was that ONE musical number they slapped back in. By rule of middle finger up, I loathe musicals or/and song and dance numbers in films. But that's just me. On that, it was a ballsy move in a flick of this ilk and I respect Snyder for it.  Other than that, much like the theatrical version, this cut was once again an audio/visual feast! The fly framing, the dream like mood, the kinetic shots, the knee tapping music (SWEET DREAMS, WHITE RABBIT, WHERE IS MY MIND…. the soundtrack OWNED ), the the wild costume/set designs, the bang on casting (Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Carla Gugino, Jena Malone)…DAMN!

I always say that I’ll take somebody that tries something different and fails in places over somebody that plays it safe and gives me the same old "safe" shit. Well Snyder went all out here in terms of ambition. Moreover, he threw the standard narrative rules out the window and did his own thing. RESPECT! There was way more than meets the eye with SUCKER PUNCH, you just have to pay attention beyond the striking imagery and the short skirts to get it. In closing; where else you gonna see Nazi Zombies, a rail gun wielding Samurai and steampunk tendencies left and right all in one flick? Exactly. If you hated the theatrical cut with a passion, I doubt this extended cut will sway you, but if you felt there was something there in cinemas, then I urge you to check out this Extended Cut and get a fuller meal.  This movie is so f*cking off the wall - that I can’t help but love the shit out of it.  



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