How do you feel about revisiting Zack Snyder‘s Sucker Punch? Tonight the second-tier, all-media crowd (i.e., people like myself) will face up to the reality of Suicide Squad at screenings on both coasts. I’m a man, I can take it, I can handle anything they throw at me, bring it on! And yet I feel as if I’m about to go to the dentist. Especially after reading Peter Debruge‘s Variety review, which warns of a Snyder-type experience in more ways than one…good God:

Excerpt #1: “Suicide Squad plunges audiences right back into the coal-black world of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice…for reasons beyond Ayer’s control, he’s beholden to the corporate vision of other recent DC adaptations, most notably Zack Snyder’s sleek-surfaced and oppressively self-serious riffs on the Superman legend. [and is] ultimately forced to conform to Snyder’s style, to the extent that Suicide Squad ends up feeling more like [Snyder’s] gonzo effects-saturated Sucker Punch.”

Excerpt #2: “[While Ayer] and Jared Leto manage to invent a version of the Joker every bit as unsettling as the late Heath Ledger’s immortal incarnation, turning the iconic Batman rival into a ruthless seducer (hunt down ‘Mr. Nobody’ to see the origins of Leto’s wicked deep-throated cackle), the character barely has anything to do. [For] the Joker exists only to inspire his deranged arm candy, Harley Quinn.”

Excerpt #3: “Margot Robbie seems to represent what red-blooded, Maxim-reading audiences want from women on-screen in the year 2016: A doctor stripped of her intelligence and her conservative tweed professional attire, squeezed into hooker hot-pants and a too-tight baby T, who walks like a pole dancer and fights like some sort of homicidal cheerleader. Ayer allows Harley Quinn a certain deranged sense of humor, giving her the chance to deliver the sarcastic zinger to multiple scenes, but he only half-recognizes what a tragic character she is, and it’s discouraging to think that the film’s biggest laugh comes at the expense of Batman punching her in the face.”

Excerpt #4: “Like Deadpool earlier this year, Suicide Squad is entertaining insofar as it allows the characters to crack wise and act out, though they can only go so far within the confines of MPAA guidelines and the rigid DC mythology. On paper, this could have been the antidote to an increasingly codified strain of comic-book movies, but in the end, it’s just another high-attitude version of the same.”

Excerpt from my 3.24.11 Sucker Punch review:

“Snyder has said he meant to make ‘Alice in Wonderland with machine guns’…machine guns and thunderclouds and samurai swords and red-eyed, medieval Japanese soldier-giants and hot kewpie-doll babes with false eyelashes, he meant. Either way the putrid remnants of the body of Lewis J. Carroll are now reanimating and reforming and adding flesh and bone and clawing their way out of the grave in order to find Snyder and his wife Deborah and strangle them in their bed.

“Snyder is a kind of visual dynamo of the first order who has created in Sucker Punch a trite-but-fascinating, symphonic, half-psychedlic, undeniably ‘inspired’ alternate-reality world — gothic, color-desaturated, Wachowski-esque. And yet the Snyder aesthetic is ruled by so much concrete-brain idiocy and coarsely ‘mythic’ cliches (i.e., an evil father figure so ridiculously vile and gross beyond measure that he makes the cackling, moustache-twirling villains of the Snidely Whiplash variety seem austere if not inert) and ludicrous, charmless, bottom-of-the-pit dialogue and cheaply pandering female-revenge fantasies that you literally CAN’T STAND IT and WANT TO HOWL and THROW YOUR 24 OZ. COKE AT THE SCREEN.

“Snyder is a masterful visual maestro (loved the proscenium arch ‘theatrical’ touches at the very beginning) but also — this is crucial to the Sucker Punch experience — an Igor-like, chained-in-the-basement, genius-level moron at dumbing things down. The movie is a digital torture device for those seeking at least a hint of compelling narrative, a tendril-ish remnant of logic, a tiny smidgen of story intelligence, and dialogue with a hint of flair or some kind of tethered-to-the-world normality.”