The title of this blog isn’t a good thing. As you might have guessed, this is going to be a review of ‘Sucker Punch’. Really, not so much a review as a scathing rant on one of the most terrible movies I have seen in the past 5 years.
Without being too spoilerish, the movie is about a girl named…shit, it doesn’t really matter what her name is because they never really say. She is called Babydoll and she’s real sad n’ stuff. Her mother dies and the all too stereotypical ‘evil stepfather of death’ takes her mom’s money and has Babydoll committed to an insane asylum. She of course is framed and what not. She is taken away to this terrible place; part crazy house and somehow…all go-go dance club.
Yes, you read that right. Babydoll is sent to the worst titty bar in the universe. There weren’t even any titties!!!! So she longs to escape and be free of course because it’s terrible and tragic, dammit. You would never really know because Emily Browning’s (the actress playing Babydoll and I use actress loosely) expression never changes even when she is fighting 40 foot stone samurai with mini-guns. I’ll get to that in a minute. Babydoll is sold by her evil stepfather to an equally clichéd and evil orderly who makes her…dance. Before that she meets the other cookie cutter one-dimensional girls. Sweet Pea, Blondie (who has black hair?), Rocket, and for the love of God the rest doesn’t matter. They’re scantily clad throughout the movie and I suppose you are to be turned on, but the setting is so completely un-sexy and un-erotic that any kind of boner would have made you a saint because it would have been a miracle.
At this point I was already lost. Zack Snyder gives no link or connection to why this god damned mental house is also a fucking burlesque club. Seriously, it just…switches. It was like being in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest then turning a corner and you’re in Showgirls. No explanation or warning whatsoever. Did I mention this is PG-13 and there isn’t a lick of nudity? Might have helped. The movie hints that terrible things are happening to these girls but besides being locked up and having to dance for their supper, I didn’t feel like they were ever really in danger. So the girls are under the supervision of a Dr. Vera Gorski, played by the super hot Carla Gugino. She is given nothing to do in this movie other than look hot and talk in a terrible polish accent. I really kept expecting Rocky and Bullwinkle to show up so she could yell, “Curses you Muse and Skwirl!!”.
Dr. Hot-with-bad-accent is trying to teach these girls to escape through their own minds. If your mind is somewhere else, then the horrific realities of your situation can’t hurt you. I guess that’s what was happening. We are supposed to believe that the go-go show is all occurring in Babydoll’s head so she can cope with what is actually going on, but I don’t know one person who would imagine a strip joint where you jiggle for giblets as a mental escape while you are being oppressed, bludgeoned, and held against your will. Maybe that’s just me.
I know what you are saying..”So when do we get to the awesome action scenes?!” I’ll tell you. After Babydoll and her new buddies make what is probably the dumbest and simplest escape plan in the existence of ever, she dances and POW…the action sequences start. DANCES. Yes, her dancing is so god damned awesome that it mesmerizes men and allows the girls to act out the parts of the plan. Each action set piece is imagined inside her head while she is dancing and in reality the other girls are off stealing the shit they need to run away. Through the course of this movie Babydoll and the other ‘goils’ fight giant stone samurai, Huns, zombie Nazis, Orcs, a Dragon, and robots. In that order. To do this they use a mech, a WWII bomber, a Huey chopper, and a hell of a ton of out-of-place weapons. None of which even existed in any of the imaginary eras in which they were fighting. At least in The Matrix the imaginary land they were in had rules that you had to adhere to. Yes, maybe I’m being a stickler, but I kind of like my action to have some structure.
Now I know you’re saying, “Mindless action that makes no sense is awesome!” I say no it isn’t when it is also pointless. Battle Los Angeles had mindless action but there was a reason for it. It was tangible. Babydoll was daydreaming while she was sitting on Daddy War Boner’s lap. The fact that each action piece started with Scott Glenn dropping in and laying down stupid Yoda-isms like “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything!’ just makes it worse. He is supposed to be her subconscious directing her what to do and how to do it. If my subconscious did this I’d have to kick it in the taint and tell it to shut the fuck up. Each sequence felt as if I was playing the worst video game ever with a broken controller and I couldn’t skip the cut-scenes. So the girls are all in Babydoll’s imagination and they fight like empowered women!! These women are supposed to be empowered? I honestly think this movie was trying to make women feel bad-ass and strong. None of them had any depth. They were throwaway characters and they were used as such. I couldn’t feel anything for these girls because I don’t really think I was supposed to. They weren’t even given names.
I loved Zack Snyder’s previous efforts like 300, Watchmen, and Dawn of the Dead. You’ll notice those are all properties created and written by people with far better story-telling abilities than Mr. Snyder. He can direct a movie, but by ODIN’S RAVEN he cannot write one. You know how when you let a 4-year-old kid decide what they want to eat for dinner and they say “Pancakes, sammitches, candy, cereal, hot dogs, and chocolate milk!!!”? This movie was just like that. Zack couldn’t decide what he wanted to put into this movie so he put EVERYTHING in it. That is never a good thing. Structure, storytelling, and coherence help, they REALLY DO. After watching this 2 hour mess I realize Mr. Snyder needs to work on these aspects. God help The Man of Steel.
The commercials for the movie give snippets from reviews saying, “IT WILL BLOW YOUR MIND!”, and it will. You’ll spend the next two hours trying to put your brain back together after this abomination stomps through it. “KILL BILL MEETS INCEPTION!!” I’ve seen also. Whoever wrote that probably has not seen Sucker Punch. The only way this movie is like Kill Bill or Inception is that they all use film and actors. Save your 10 bucks and watch those instead.