Monday, April 4, 2011

Review: Sucker Punch

Directed by Zach Snyder, the director-demigod of slow-mo action, and tons of CGI, Sucker Punch is an action movie with no heart. Remember 300? Yeah, that movie had heart. Like here's this army of scantily-clad men standing up for freedom and stuff by running around with swords cutting off extremities and watching the blood spurt. Ah, that's heart. This movie was supposed to be something similar. Scantily-clad barely-legal girls fight for their freedom by standing up to the Man. Literally, though, they're standing up to the men subjugating them. That's heart, right? Well it could be, but somehow it gets ruined.

Look, Zach Snyder's movies are all about the awesome special effects and the action and what's happening on the screen. I mean did you see 300? It's all blood and guts and abs and swords okay, the plot kind of gets lost in the mix and you don't really care about it by the end, you care about a single theme: freedom. But Sucker Punch kept trying to push its plot back into the picture and make it about this twisty Inception-dream story, and we all just wanted to see Emily Browning fight some dragons, okay.

And you know what? The plot looks awesome from the outside! This girl
gets committed to an insane asylum against her will, and is treated like crap by the people inside
like this creeper, and so escapes into the fantasy of her mind to escape

Wow, sounds pretty amazing right? Yeah, well it would be except Emily Browning just really doesn't sell her role as Babydoll. At least a third of the movie is close-ups on her face, no joke, and she seems incapable of making any other face besides this
Seriously. That photo of her crying up there? It's the only time she ever has a different look on her face.

"Being in an insane asylum makes me dress like a sailor and have perfect skin
I guess? I'm not sure though because I'm just so sad"
It's so annoying it was hard to identify with her, or look at her, or focus on anything except her sad face all the time. She's supposed to be a tragic character, but seriously. So like, if this were a drama that would make sense. But um, it's not. It's an action movie. Speaking of that...

I'm confused by Snyder making Sucker Punch a PG-13 film. It's an action movie in which scantily clad insane asylum inmates are forced to be hookers, and are beaten for insubordination, so they escape into their minds to fight...well, anyone who happens to be there. They slit throats, hack off limbs, shoot people in the face, and by the end of the film these hooker/inmates must have a kill count of like several hundred guys. If you want to kill that many people, and make a movie about hooker/inmate/killers, you're going to have to have an R. Otherwise you water everything down and it's booooring. How could I have been bored during a Zach Snyder movie?! I was just a teensy bit disappointed.
"AAAAAAGH CANCEL CHRISTMAS!"
I recall naming this as one of the movies I anticipated most this year, and the movie is just like the trailer, so I was right about that, but the badass factor went way down with Emily Browning.
"OMG I'm half naked, I have a sword and pistols, and I'm
STILL BORING. How is this possible, Zach Snyder?"
Actually, the other girls were great, even Vanessa Hudgens, but particularly Sweet Pea. In truth I wish they'd cast Abby Cornish as Babydoll.
This is why.
In that same post I recall writing something like, "Five girls, who have starred in a few movies, including High School Frickin' Musical are about to become the newest team of action heroines. Hopefully they think for themselves instead of blindly following the orders of some guy on the other end of the phone, like a few Charlie's Angels who will remain unnamed. " My "hopefully they don't do THIS 'cause that'd be lame" turned out to be EXACTLY WHAT THEY DID.

"Hey, I'm a totally unnecessary character, what's up?"
This guy shows up in like every other scene to tell the team of action heroines their mission. Honestly, I could not believe the amount of time they spent standing around listening to exposition by this guy. I thought Babydoll was going to be the leader, and have some great lines. Like remember Leonidas yelling "THIS IS SPARTA!" It was like the catchphrase of the year. But no, instead this guy shows up and after telling the girls  their mission in the most horrible monotone like it's the intro to a video game quest, he spouts off one or two one-liners. I think the writers thought it was like, gonna be cool to have this old ninja guy saying stuff to these girls, but mostly it was just... boring. There'd be this dramatic pause as the five girls are about to rush an entire army of Nazi demons (yeah, they make it into the movie) and the old guy's like "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."

Wow.

Profound.

Thank you for that lil' tidbit as we head out to battle to DIE. Couldn't you say something like "Give them nothing! But take from them everything!"

Look, I didn't want to have to say this, I really didn't. But I'm sensing a certain decline that starts with M. and ends with Night Shyamalan. And I really hope that's not what's happening, because I like Zach Snyder, I really do! I love his effects and his vision, and the themes, and the action, but something just isn't translating to the screen.

In conclusion. It's entertaining if you know what you're getting into and don't expect much but what looks like a Zach Snyder video game adaptation.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Because i adore your posts i thought i would show my appreciation by making a comment. Thanks alot for the excellent times you give :)

Jimmy Jarred said...

Its a well made action film that will please you at many levels. Soundtrack of this movie is also nice. I liked it.
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