Sucker Punch (2011) - Can't Stop the Movies
Can't Stop the Movies
27Mar/112

Sucker Punch (2011)

Lately I have been trying to read my older daughter chapter books.  Whenever I take out the book and start reading she stares at the book with a half confused/ half disgusted look.  She is always asking and searching for the pictures.  Although I try to tell her to listen to the story and use her imagination she just wants the pretty pictures.  Sucker Punch is the equivalent of what my 4 year old wants, pretty pictures with no story backing it up.

The little story that exists and Sucker Punch revolves around Baby Doll, a young woman who is committed by her evil stepfather after a tragic accident involving her sister.  When she is committed she finds out she only has five days before a special doctor is coming to give her a lobotomy so with the help of four other inexplicably hot women in the asylum she plans her escape.

Apparently having this story be told in the setting of the asylum would be too depressing so Babydoll fantasizes she is in a different world, one where she is sold into being a stripper/prostitute.  How becoming a trapped women required to dance and do other things with men is less depressing than an insane asylum I don’t know but my guess is director Zack Snyder needed a reason to put all the young women in the skimpiest outfits he could.

War world, level 1, please press start to continue.

In this second level of reality Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino), who is actually a doctor but now a madame in this reality, explains to Babydoll that each girl has to perfect their routine, which I am going to call their whoredance.  When Babydoll first does her whoredance  she is brought to a third level of reality, which is the equlivent of video game worlds.  We don’t know what and how she is dancing since the viewer is treated to Nazi Zombies, dragons, robots and samurai swords but apparently it is something quite hot because all men are transfixed by it.

The first time she does her whoredance, Babydoll meets Scott Glenn who tells her to escape she needs five things.  Scott Glenn is the actor’s name but the movie doesn’t have time to give him a name or even explain his purpose in the film other than to give directions to the girls before each one of their “missions.”  After learning of the five things she needs and battling giant robot and samurai thingys Babydoll enrolls the help of Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie and Amber (I loved how they didn’t give the fifth one a clever name, but they also forgot to gave her any personality so it is fitting).  The four girls will have to steal the items they need to escape while Babydoll is doing her mesmerizing whoredance for the men. After they get all the required items the movie shifts into a very dramatic film that feels sudden, out of place and wholly unearned.  Surprisingly this shift in tone actually makes the film worse and highlighted the shallowness of the whole endeavor.

To put it bluntly this movie is shallow garbage that tries to distract the viewer from its horrible plot and characters by repeatedly dangling something shiny in front of their face.  The movie pretends that it is all about female empowerment but it forces its characters to wear skimpy clothes throughout the whole movie.  The director, Zack Snyder, is a very accomplished and talented director (whom I am a big fan of) really strikes out in this film.   The film might look cool and has scenes that a film geek like me should have loved but nothing in the movie is earned.

The movie was cool to look at, but that was about it.

The best and biggest action scenes of other movies work because we are involved in the film and with the characters.  We want Neo to learn how to become “the one”, we want John McClaine can save the day and reunite with his wife and we root for Jason Bourne to learn about his past and get the bad guys along the way. In Sucker Punch we just get action scene after action scene after action scene until the movie beats us into submission with slow-motion and cool visuals.  Yet in all of these scenes we were not worried about anything happening to the character because they seemed invincible in the third level of reality.  Even if they weren’t invincible we did not spend any time with these characters outside of fighting robots and flying helicopters  so why would we care even if they all died grizzly deaths.

Since the movie was structured in a quest type way the viewer knows how much longer the movie has until it finally reaches the conclusion.  When in the middle of the film one of the characters remarked that they are half way there my heart sunk because I realized the viewer still had half way to go.  This was about the time I mentally checked out of the film.  While all the pretty pictures and visuals with the remixed music was flying by on screen I started planning the rest of my day. I was thinking about what I would cook for supper and trying to realize the reasoning behind giving Carla Gugino an accent out of Rocky and Bullwinkle.   The movie did not keep me entertained even though the movie was begging and violently shaking the audience to do just that.

Sucker Punch is a shallow mess that does not deserve how many words I have written about it.  It was all style with no substance with an ending that was stupid and unearned.  After I post this review it is a movie that I will not remember or think about most of the time or possibly at all.  I still have faith in the creator of this mess and am looking forward to his Superman film, I just hope that this failure of a film teaches him that making a film equivalent of a picturebook is not the way to go.

Sucker Punch (2011)
Written and directed by Zack Snyder.
Starring Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish,and Jena Malone.

Posted by Ryan

Comments (2) Trackbacks (0)
  1. I actually kind of liked the movie, but have to pose a question to you: what makes you so sure the asylum sections are the reality?

  2. I can’t tell if you are kidding with that question Danny. If you aren’t you must have seen something in the movie that I didn’t because there wasn’t any moment in the movie to make me believe otherwise.


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