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'Hanna' Director Joe Wright Calls "Bullshit" On 'Sucker Punch's Faux Feminism

Photo of Drew Taylor By Drew Taylor | The Playlist April 3, 2011 at 7:20AM

One of the many things that we took particular umbrage with in reviewing Zack Snyder’s unerringly nasty, totally boring “Sucker Punch,” was its horrible gender politics. Keep in mind that this is a movie in which a bunch of young girls, to escape the psychic and physical pain of getting regularly raped by a swarthy orderly, zap themselves into a make-believe fantasy world in which they wear next-to-nothing, engage in adolescent male videogame theatrics and take orders from a gruff older man (played, with some aplomb, by Scott Glenn).
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One of the many things that we took particular umbrage with in reviewing Zack Snyder’s unerringly nasty, totally boring “Sucker Punch,” was its horrible gender politics. Keep in mind that this is a movie in which a bunch of young girls, to escape the psychic and physical pain of getting regularly raped by a swarthy orderly, zap themselves into a make-believe fantasy world in which they wear next-to-nothing, engage in adolescent male videogame theatrics and take orders from a gruff older man (played, with some aplomb, by Scott Glenn).

Well, it seems like others are getting similarly rubbed the wrong way. At this weekend’s WonderCon, “Hanna” director Joe Wright called the movie out (without actually using its stupid name) for its troubling politics. And we cheered. In our hearts.

Wright was there with his frequent star Saorise Ronan (who also appeared in his adaptation of “Atonementmay be up for a part in his forthcoming take on “Anna Karenina”), talking about the title character of “Hanna,” a pintsized assassin looking for revenge. He spoke about the character using her hunting instincts (taught to her by her loopy father, played by Eric Bana) “in this age of gross sexualization of young people.”

Hmmmm, what could he be referring to?

When the conversation shifted specifically to the strappy underwear style of feminist empowerment that the Snyder film trades on, Wright said, straightup, “I think that’s bullshit.”

And he’s right! What’s particularly interesting about Wright’s assessment is how deftly he handles the title character’s sexuality in “Hanna.” There’s certainly a sensuality to her relationship with a young tourist (played by Jessica Barden), but there’s nothing overt or leery about the way Wright depicts their friendship. It feels natural and bittersweet, and not once do either one of the young girls exclaim, “We should wear corsets and fire machine guns at robots!”

You can compare and contrast Snyder’s vision with Wright’s when “Hanna” opens on Friday. [via Heat Vision]

This article is related to: Films, Actors, Actresses, Zack Snyder, Joe Wright, Anna Karenina, Hanna, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan


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