I saw “Sucker Punch” on Thursday, and for the most part I enjoyed it. It was a flawed film, to be sure, but I think a number of the criticisms are unfair. This review, though, hits a lot of points I agree with. I think the movie pretty much dances on the blurry line between empowerment and exploitation, though. I mean, it is a movie where women get to unapologetically kick ass and take names. It passes the Bechdel Test with flying colors. But at the same time, it does so by putting said women in sexy, fetishy outfits (though not to the same ridiculous degree as something like the appalling DOA: Dead or Alive), and naming its characters Baby Doll and Sweat Pea. But if I were to hazard a guess, the movie was sold to its studio on the outfits, and despite the sexiness of the outfits, the women still fight like it’s an actual FIGHT that they’re in (against zombies, orcs, dragons and robots, at that), rather than a glorified sexy photoshoot with a bit of fighting.
This ties into my core ideas for the Untitled Heroine Project, which I am thinking of right now as a graphic novel project, but that might change. At its base, the idea is for a team of women who fight and struggle and save the world. And it would be the whole team: not a group of women led by a Charlie, Bill, Giles or Wise Man. And how they would be dressed would be dictated by what’s most practical for the tasks at hand.
If anything with this project, my biggest influence is Gail Simone’s runs on Birds of Prey.
But the ideas are still in a nascent stage. I’m starting to come up with the characters, but I don’t quite have a plot yet. Still plenty of work to do before actual writing starts on it.