Sucker Punch

Posted by ron On April - 17 - 2011


Emily Browning aka Babydoll stares into the abyss of her mind or is that the inglorious mess of this movie?

Five anonymous young ladies with nicknames you might expect to get lap dances plot to escape from an asylum in Sucker Punch. Like something out of Mathew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle, Zach Snyder manifested his own multiple worlds within one body as the ultimate forbidden planet for fan boys. From the mind of one imprisoned girl, young sexpots in costumed high heels fought 10ft samurais, robots, a zombie Kaiser, and a dragon. Unfortunately, all these fictional food groups from so many genres of geekdom were randomly shuffled into a linear format reminiscent of standardized video gaming. When the impact of the reality didn’t measure up to the fantasy, the CGI spell was shattered and left behind a cathartic unidentifiable mess of a movie.

Director Zach Snyder has always had an eye for rich, captivating visuals that were capable of creating awe. Complemented with strong source material, he’s able to navigate a story and at least observe the traffic lights that serve as transition points in character development. The direction in Sucker Punch more closely resembled the Lindsay Lohan School of Driving. Intoxicated with imagery, he ran too many red lights, and went off the bridge of no return. Unfortunately, his 7th feature film served as a cautionary tale when a box office name brand was allowed to run wild without any inhibitions. With Man of Steel, Zach Snyder has raised the stakes even higher and one wonders how does Warner Brothers feel about him directing one of their flagship characters?

Unlike the Usual Suspects, there’s no source or reference for the wild imagination a little girl who lived in a house more closely resembling the Adams Family in what looks to be some time before 8 tracks were replaced by cassettes. So where do the ideas for all these creatures and imagery come from in Baby doll’s mind? Never mind that. Why wouldn’t a girl sentenced to lobotomy by her stepdad, fantasize about getting revenge? In an asylum where molestation and rape of women seemed implied, one has doubts that its victims imagine themselves as burlesque combat machines.

This film aimed to encourage empowerment and fighting for control over your life as a defenseless girl but the themes were an afterthought after it was revealed Baby Doll (Browning)’s doorway into the fantasy world was performing a shimmy that entranced her victims. As the dance number distracted them, the other girls could carry out their plan to escape. Fortunately Snyder spared the audience from watching a barely legal girl dance provocatively in front of the slimiest men caught on film.

Note to the producers of Sucker Punch, in order to make a successful movie you’re going to need 5 things:
1. Plot
2. Screen play
3. Direction
4. Acting
5. Ativan
For movie lovers everywhere, you might need a prescription of Valium before indulging this painful mess of a movie.

If I had to rate Sucker Punch, I’d give it a Four Loko Red Bull suicide note.

Cheers,
Ron

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Thoughts on Cinema is dedicated to film reviews. An uncompromising opinion on the intellectual, artistic, and entertainment value to the consumer. With rising ticket prices, we dedicate ourselves to present to you content regarding what you should or should not be viewing. -Ronald H. Pollock Founder and Editor in Chief

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