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Non-Review Review: Suckerpunch

A special thanks to the guys over at movies.ie for sneaking us into an advanced preview screening. My brother Ciaran stepped in to review the film for me at short notice, so thanks to him as well.

“Don’t write checks with your mouth, that you can’t cash with your ass.”

I feel this quote sums up the movie quite well… pointless.

Sucker Punch is about a young woman named Babydoll (Emily Browning) who is shipped off to an insane asylum after the death of her mother by her abusive stepfather. Once inside the asylum, she learns that she has five days until the “high ruler” arrives for her scheduled lobotomy and creates a second reality to help cope with her dark and eerie surroundings which reflects the sexual exploitations of the female inmates. Within this second reality, Babydoll plans to escape but to do so she will need to acquire five items. In the search for each of these items, we are plunged into yet another imaginative world (much like dream level 2 in Inception) that is created by Babydoll’s dancing.

These fantasy worlds are over the top action scenes and quite meaningless to be honest; theirs is no association with the events that are happening in the fantasy world to what is actually happening in the real world. They are just mindless action shots that are dragged out and have nothing to do with anything. Maybe some people will like this, but not me; I felt there was no connection with the audience at all. Not once, throughout the whole film, did I find myself caring about Babydoll’s, or the group’s, well-being.

Even the sequences in the first imaginary world don’t really show any creativity or character development, as if they were rushed and only there as a means to buffer the action scenes. It was more like a checklist: “They’re onto the next item? Ok, queue gunshots and explosions!”

I don’t want to give anything away but I have to mention how horrible the ending is. The ending contains a change in protagonist which again, is needless…. maybe Snyder included it as an expected ‘wow’ factor? Either way, it makes everything that you’re just after watching about Babydoll completely irrelevant.

I’m not going to go into detail on the soundtrack, as I’m not down with the popular music of today, but it was quite predictable and consisted of some terrible covers, including these classics: “Where is My Mind?” (Yoav featuring Emily Browning); and “I Want It All /We Will Rock You” (Queen Feat. Armageddon a.k.a Geddy). The fight scenes just reminded me of a quote from Iron Man 2: “Give me a phat beat to beat my buddy’s ass to.”

Now after all of my ranting about how terrible it was, what does Sucker Punch actually have to offer? Well the cinematography during the fantasy sequences is great, fluid movements throughout the scenes as opposed to chopping and changing through camera angles. The visual effects are also good, nothing you couldn’t see in any other action/fantasy movie, however. That’s about it really… Oh and the outfits, I have to mention the outfits I suppose seeing they’re thrown in your face in every Sucker Punch trailer/advert; they were quite nice, but they weren’t enough to keep me interested.

I really didn’t enjoy this film… I found myself looking around the screening at some moments to see if anyone else was cringing and there were plenty. I’m all for over-the-top films, I enjoyed The Expendables and Punisher: War Zone but that’s only because they didn’t try to be something they weren’t.

Snyder seemed to try to combine multiple genres into one movie and it just didn’t work. There are plenty of good action, thriller and fantasy films out there. This movie is none of the above.

So as you can see, the cons seriously out way the pros.

Would I recommend this to a friend? No.

Unless you like the idea of Emily Browning jumping around in a skimpy schoolgirl outfit, I’d stay clear of this one folks.

9 Responses

  1. I wrote a little ditty about what i think happened when zack snyder approached the boardroom about this project. you miht want ot have a gander!

    http://screeninsight.blogspot.com/2011/03/boardroom-meeting-with-zack-snyder.html

    Simon

  2. “Unless you like the idea of Emily Browning jumping around in a skimpy schoolgirl outfit, I’d stay clear of this one folks.”

    This isn’t exactly the best way to deter folks from the theater…

  3. The feeling I get from the general response to Sucker Punch is that it’s driven home what I’ve been saying since 300, which is that Snyder’s a visual guy with very little patience for or even interest in the process of deploying plot and narrative. So I guess I wasn’t surprised by it, since that’s more or less the experience I expected from it. Not that I thought it was good– it’s a huge mess, a grand catastrophe that I admire for its guts and for its trying but ultimately just could have done without.

    If Snyder had fully realized the film’s feminist themes I think I would have been totally satisfied by it. As it stands, he didn’t meet the expectations he and Deborah Snyder personally set for the picture. Can’t really look past that. I will give credit to Snyder in that he seems to be going out of his way here to tone down the sexuality of his characters during action sequences, and I feel like he and Deborah are trying to say that women can resist male oppression through strength in numbers, but it’s all surface stuff with nothing of real worth underneath.

    • I have yet to see it, but I wonder if there’s anything to admire. I mean, I’ll generally have a softer spot for a noble failure than I typically will for a mediocre success – so I wonder if I can find something in there that might make it… not worth it, but better than everyobne seems to say it is. But that might be wishful thinking.

  4. very sexy, but wtf the plot made no sense at all

  5. Personally i like it But i didnt get the movie until i read this post cuz i didnt under stand how it went from the mental hopspital 2 the club type place so now im wonder how they could have made tht clear instead of just going from reality 2 idk making it easier to finding the way out and having fun tring to have time pass by 2 a completely made up fantasy word tht she supposaby dreams up while shes danceing in the second “world” of hers

  6. This movie was awful. Sheer awful.Thanks for reviewing “Sucker Punch” . I was excited when I first heard about it — its concept, girls escaping violently and stylishly from a mental institution, appealed to me. Will watch it tonight.

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