Sucker Punch Review (2011)

I just rented the movie Sucker Punch and I’m glad I didn’t spend more than a dollar on it. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good.

Here’s how I suspect the movie got created:

Snyder: Hey, I’ve got some really awesome ideas for some scenes but I don’t know how to put them in one movie.
Friend of Snyder: Really, what do you have?
Snyder: Well, I have this idea for these action hero girls and they have crazy fights.
Friend: Like what?
Snyder: In one scene, they fight these really sinister samurai demons, and in another you have them fighting German zombie soldiers during World War I, and in another they fly a B-17 bomber over a castle in a Lord of the Rings type setting and kill a giant dragon. How cool would that be to see a dragon and B-17 fight?
Friend: It all sounds cool, but it sounds like you’re mixing genres. Won’t that get way too confusing?
Snyder: No, I’ll tie them all together. They’ll occur in the mind of a girl trapped in an insane asylum. Her name’s Baby Doll.
Friend: Oh, so it’ll be like a mix of genres and have CGI anime type cinematic styling?
Snyder: Yeah. Exactly.
Friend: I don’t think it’ll work.
Snyder: Sure it will.

$82 million dollars spent later… The movie didn’t do well in the box office. I’m not surprised. I really think Snyder had some really cool conceptual things going on in his mind, but didn’t have a cohesive story idea. He relied on gimmicks to pull everything together.

The movie had all the elements in it that should make every geeky fan boy drool: demonic samurai, zombie soliders in World War I, dragons, World War II bombers, swords, girls in fishnet stockings wearing pieces of plate mail armor. It has a creepy, seedy, and sleazy villain character and pretty girls. And yet… it failed.

Watching the movie I was somewhat reminded of the old Heavy Metal animated film from 1981. Heavy Metal had several stories tied together by a floating green ball. I give that movie credit for trying something different: using animation in a non-Disney or child oriented film.

Sucker Punch has a lot of visually interesting things, but they fail because there’s no contrast between the gray reality the characters live in or Baby Doll’s sepia toned anime video game fantasy world.

Everything is bleak. Which may have been the director’s intent. Everything is bleak in Baby Doll’s world, there’s no escape.

OK. Fine.

Except, movies need to give the viewer hope that things can work out for the protagonist. When things work out, audiences are happy. When things don’t work out, audiences are sad. However, there’s nothing that connects the viewer to the main character.

The movie really was hyper-real, and postmodern in style. It really smacks of contemporary cynicism in today’s Hollywood: throw in lots of CGI, market the special effects like crazy, and laugh as the money rolls in.

I think Zack Snyder had the framework of what could have been a series of cool movies. He should have tied them together in a cohesive manner.

So far, I’ve only watched 3 of Snyder’s movies: 300, Watchmen, and Sucker Punch.

I loved 300. I was not a fan of Watchmen, and I’d have to say that Sucker Punch was a great attempt.

I think Snyder loves CGI and making action scenes. I’m not sure how he is with character development and story.

Snyder is in the process of directing the new Superman movie, and I have mixed feelings. The story is by David S. Goyer, and he’s directing it. Goyer wrote some of the Blade movies. They’re good and bad.

With the new Superman movie I think we’ll see lots of CGI with slowed down action scenes, some cool costuming and very creepy villains. On the IMDB website, it looks like General Zod is going to be our main villain.

Even if the new Superman stinks, I hope they don’t do another origin story. Please! 2011 has been the movie of too many superhero films where we watched yet another origin story. The new Spiderman movie coming out, Spiderman: Holding Onto Marketing Rights, will be (you guessed it) an origin story. Is it too much to ask for some action, suspense, and some old fashioned comic book fun?

I’m ranting in a review… Sorry.

I give Sucker Punch 5 out of 5 dragon embossed magic samurai swords for concepts and special effects. I give it 1.5 dragon embossed magic samurai swords for story.

This entry was posted in critique, fantasy, movies, opinion, pop culture, punch, review, samurai, science fiction, sucker. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Sucker Punch Review (2011)

  1. Vello says:

    Maybe the flick was trying to be Noir. Those films are bleak without any sense that the person has a prayer of getting out. Camus’ L’Estrange is also bleak without offering the reader any hope that he will escape (except, perhaps the release of knowing that escaping doesn’t matter)… as does 1984. Perhaps thinking there might be a hope isn’t all that essential.

    • dashbannon says:

      That would imply the movie tried to have a story, plot, and characterization. It really didn’t have any of those. I’ve played video games that have far more details plot and stories than Sucker Punch.

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