Friday, March 25, 2011

Sucker Punch

Much like the jumbled mess that is Sucker Punch, I'm mixed up as where to begin. A promising opening shows us that this movie is nothing more than a farcical tale. Nothing is real (which I guess could go without saying since, you know, it is a MOVIE). There may be different tones in the film, and the bookends are the most "realistic" but even that is only a story. Zack Snyder isn't known for realism in his films. 300, Watchmen, Sucker Punch, they all look amazing but none of them look photo realistic. In all of them there is a heightened sense of reality. And that's about the best thing I can say about Sucker Punch. It looks very cool.

If you've seen the full theatrical trailer, you've been given hints and spoilers to the plot. Baby Doll (oh how cute, everyone gets stupid nicknames) is locked up in an Insane Asylum. While there, she dreams up a world where she and fellow girls are trapped in a whorehouse. Let us pause for a moment. She is so messed up that even in her fantasy she is trapped. Yikes. In the brothel she dreams of another level of dream (hello, Inception) where she's an action star. Here we get to see some great action that will leave you feeling cold because you know there are no stakes. You realize she's fantasizing. So, there is no weight. But remember, Zack told you that in the opening credits. It's ALL fake. Your enjoyment will be based on if you are willing to go along with it or not.

The actors do pretty well. Like the Wizard of Oz (which I think is the best comparison) people in the "real" world play different characters in her dream world. Baby Doll (who we believe is the main character) doesn't have a single line of dialog until about 10 minutes into the film. Scott Glenn gets to be a zen master and commander who gets to give the girls one last bit of advice before sending them on to do their tasks (in the double dream world, ah forget it).

One of the most subtle (as a sledgehammer) points that the movie tries to make is the "men are evil". All the main characters are heroines. All the bad guys (except Scott Glenn) are men. They oppress women. They derive pleasure from controlling them and watching them suffer. I don't have a problem with painting men in a bad light. There should be more empowering films for women. But this is not that film.

The action scenes are cool. The whole film is beautiful, but there is nothing of substance here. Go see it this weekend if you already have been lobotomized and just want to see something with pretty colors.

Did you enjoy it?
No. Plus they made me stay up until midnight on a Wednesday.

Would you see it in theaters again?

Would you buy it?

Would you rent it?

Would you watch it if you saw it was on TV?
Only if it was one of the action scenes. Or if I needed help falling asleep.


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