So it’s Day 10 of the 30 Day Movie Challenge. Once again don’t forget to check out Rhey of Sunshine‘s blog to see her side of the challenge. Today I’ll be looking at my favourite underrated movie.
So this is the definition I would like to go by for underrated (and the opposite of this definition will be used for tomorrow’s most overrated movie).
With this, I’ll provide a disclaimer. A lot of you who read this post will not agree with the movie I decide as my favourite underrated movie. And that is entirely okay. In fact, I expect it – ’cause unless there is divided opinion, this movie will not be underrated to begin with. So bear with me as I share my favourite underrated movie and why I feel it is more important or valuable than how others (you may be included) consider it to be.
My favourite underrated movie is …
Yes, Zack Snyder’s 2011 film, Sucker Punch. A movie that got 23% on Rotten Tomatoes and 33/100 on Metacritic. From these ratings, it is self-evident that Sucker Punch is not appreciated or considered a good movie whatsoever.
I believe many will agree with this rating – and I can see why. Sucker Punch, at its worst, can be considered incredibly demeaning to women’s sexuality, a movie that has absolutely no message, terrible lines and a weak central female protagonist.
At its baseline, the plot focuses around a girl nicknamed Babydoll whose abusive stepfather sends her to a mental institution. There, she imagines a brothel where her and the other patients are forced to dance for men, and she hatches an escape plan for all of them.
Personally, I love this film. I feel as though critics and audiences alike immediately dismiss the movie and treat it as a messy attempt at entertainment. However, my literature background forbids me from immediately assuming that this film was just made for profit and did it in the most lecherous and convoluted way possible. There are so many levels of escapism involved in Baby Doll’s universe (reality, sub-reality and fantasy), and behind it all there is a desperation for free will in a patriarchal system which represses and seeds madness.
If you want to understand Snyder’s central narrative gambit, it’s right there in the title. He gives us what we want (or what we think we want, or what he thinks we think we want): Absurdly fetishized women in teeny little skirts, gloriously repetitious fight sequences loaded with plot coupons, pseudo-feminist fantasies of escape and revenge. Then he yanks it all back and stabs us through the eyeball. – Andrew O’Hehir, Salon
I love the gorgeous visual effects, especially in the fantasy world with the video-game-esque environments: the Asian anime temple, the World War II battlefield, the medieval dragon-guarded castle and the futuristic android fight sequences. The great soundtrack adds to the high-level of adrenalin-pumping stunts.
Babydoll is such a deeply layered character (me and my cake metaphors) and I feel that it is wrong to instantly dismiss her character as one-dimensional. The way she sees reality as a prison and her imagination as a form of freedom makes one consider what tribulations she’s been through. Personally, I don’t believe she is actually a sane individual; she is very unstable. However, that being said, her instability is the most intriguing part of the narrative.
So for me, I love Sucker Punch and it definitely takes the metaphorical cake as my favourite underrated movie. I’ve watched it countless times and I still haven’t taken the time to try to fully analyse who Babydoll is. One day.
Till next time!