Friday, March 25, 2011

Box Office Review - Sucker Punch


It is hard for me to write a review for Sucker Punch. The movie is packed from beginning to end, and at the same time everything is forgettable. My memory of the film is not very good, and I just watched it an hour ago. Possibly, this is my minds way of protecting itself against the travesty that is Sucker Punch.

Explaining this movie is isn't really necessary, as it is just a series of action scenes that are linked together by the thinnest thread of plot possible, but here goes. A girl (Emily Browning) accidentally shoots her sister when she is aiming at her stepfather. The evil stepfather admits her into a mental asylum in order to get rid of her. He pays the evil male nurse to get her lobotomized, and it is scheduled to happen in five days. Cut to a burlesque house/brothel/prison where new girl Baby Doll (Browning) is introduced to the other girls in the movie Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanesa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung). They are all dancers who are held prisoner and forced to take choreography lessons from Vera Gorksi (Carla Cugino), so that they can perform in extremely elaborate dance numbers for the rich male customers. It turns out, that new girl Baby Doll is an amazing dancer, who seemingly can cast a spell over her audience. The first time she dances she is transported to a magically world where she meets Wise Man (Scott Glen) who tells her she need 5 things in order to escape from the burlesque/brothel/prison. Oh yeah, she also fights three massive samurais who have rocket launchers and chain guns. All this takes place in the first thirty minutes. What follows are more dance/action scenes and then the movie ends by revealing that the burlesque/brothel/dungeon was all in Baby Doll's head and it is a reflection of what she was doing in the mental institution before her lobotomy. Basically, the film takes place in a dream world, that has a dream world.

To even talk about this film more is a waste of your and my time, but if you want to keep reading, I will soldier on. The action parts of the movie are almost entirely devoid of dialogue, and feature the girls wearing almost nothing while firing big guns. These scenes are a mash together of many popular culture things and are extremely tedious. The first scene involves the girls fighting Nazi steam powered Zombies in trenches with a Mech, all while an air battle takes place over head. The second scene features a castle full of orcs protecting a dragon, and yes the girls still have big guns. The third scene has the girls fighting robots on a train. I forgot to mention. These scenes are eighty percent slow motion. The fighting scenes make zero sense and are not even connected with each other. On there own, they are okay scenes, but in the context of the movie, they aren't great. Sure, they provide a decent spectacle, but at the cost of every other aspect of the film.

Of all the bad choices made throughout Sucker Punch, the music chosen and how it is used, is one of the worst. Lead actress Emily Browning actually does multiple covers for the film, including a song that should never be used in a film again, Where Is My Mind by The Pixies. None of the covers are bad, just used horribly in the movie. Playing Where Is My Mind over top a montage of a mental hospital is so obvious and cliched that I grit my teeth when I heard it start playing.

It is hard to believe that this movie was conceived as anything more than a way to string a few computer generated action scenes together. Anyone that says different, is reading into things that are not there. The movie tries to provide some connecting moral through the use of narration, but the narrator might as well have been speaking gibberish, as what is said makes no sense. I feel if director Zack Snyder spent more time focusing on the story he is trying to tell rather than the visual spectacle, he would be a much more interesting filmmaker.

A Banana Peel

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