Sucker Punch is worthy of the hate being fired at it – but I still kinda enjoyed it.
If Watchmen ate Burlesque and mated with Girl, Interrupted, Sucker Punch would be the misunderstood spawn.
The problem with this flick is a fundamental one: it’s designed for girls, but packaged for boys. It wants the fanboys to be turned on and the ladies to be inspired to kick some ass, but it’s just going to alienate everyone. The girl-power message the film flaunts will be too loud for the Y-chromosomers and too smothered in scantily clad goddesses dripping with glitter eyeshadow for the XX crowd to take seriously.
The story revolves around Babydoll (Emily Browning), who gets a load of shit dealt to her and then is sent to an asylum, where she mentally checks out/into Zack Snyder’s wet-dream comic-book fantasies of burlesque clubs for runaways & orphans where her dancing abilities are so epic they bring on male tear-shedding and the slow clap. Never mind that we don’t actually get to SEE the dance. The girls, like the movie, are a tease. Babydoll has a second set of fantasies that descend into another level where she and the other inmates kick some serious Nazi/samurai monster/robotic alien ass. It’s as ridiculous (and slightly awesome) as it sounds: Chicks running through a castle that looks an awful lot like Minas Tirith, fighting what look to be an awful lot like Orcs, with tons of awesome sparkly makeup on, wielding huge guns & swords with their asses hanging out while an electronica version of “Search & Destroy” plays…
All of that being said, I enjoyed this bizarre, warped, mostly senseless story. But sometimes I like things that are bizarre, warped, and mostly senseless.
I dug all the main female characters (besides Vanessa Hudgens. I can’t ever see anything but the aura of HSM floating around her), despite their physical beauty. (Yes, these chicks inspired raging jealousy within my poor, fragile psyche). Emily Browning is kind of lovely and I could stare at Abbie Cornish for hours; her symmetrical face reminding me that yes, some people are just fucking perfect. I always like to see Carla Gugino, but since this is the second time she looks hot and gets manhandled in one of his films, I have to assume Zack Snyder has some sort of violent/sexual fantasy involving her. About 3/4 of the way through something amazing happened: OMG JON HAMM IS IN THIS MOVIE! AS A LOBOTOMIZER! Why didn’t I know about this?! Due to my great intense REAL love for the man, I did not fear his ice pick and hammer, so not sure if that was the best casting choice. Unless they were looking for a dead sexy charmer to violently remove a piece of the ol’ frontal lobe.
There’s a Kill Bill-type zen master/guide, a few other nefarious men, a rockin’ soundtrack (if you’re into electronic remakes of rock standards, which I AM), a twist (I think) at the end, and some pretty great CGI –which at this point I do expect from this guy, but overall it kind of didn’t work. Still, I liked the you-can-do-anything-as-long-as-you’re-willing-to-fight-for-it message, the overall look of the film, and all of the awesome eye-makeup.
I have to say that I’ve found Snyder’s films to generally be going down in likeability/credibility since the days of Dawn of the Dead and 300. Still, I think he’s got enough talent to pull off the next Superman installment, but if he continues to churn out disappointment after disappointment, we’ll be heading into Shyamalan territory.