Review: Sucker Punch

SUCKER PUNCH is a visual and audible KNOCKOUT!!!

….unfortunately, its plot and acting are merely a baby tap.

Here’s a quick synopsis:
Set in the 1950’s,locked away in an asylum run by Madame Gorski(Carla Gugino) and orderly,Blue Jones(Oscar Issac) a young woman named Babydoll (Emily Browning) retreats to a fantasy world where she is free to go wherever her imagination takes her.Determined to fight for her real freedom ,she enlists four women–Rocket (Jena Malone),Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens),Amber (Jamie Chung),and Sweet Pea(Abbie Cornish)–to join her and escape the terrible fate that awaits them.With a virtual arsenal at their disposal,the allies battle everything from samurai to serpents,while trying to decide what price they will pay for survival.
I fell in love with this film last year at The San Diego Comic Con without seeing a single frame of footage.With the promo pics of the cast and the stunning maquettes produced by Gentle Giant Ltd., I. WAS. HOOKED. I knew back then that this movie would not disappoint.
And I was right.(kinda)
“Sucker Punch”‘s director and co-writer Zack Snyder( “Dawn of The Dead”,”300″,”Watchmen”, and the forthcoming Superman reboot”Man of Steel”) describes the movie as “Alice in Wonderland with machine guns.

 

This movie is more scary tale than fairy tale.

 

There are two reasons that make this film entertaining.

 

Visually ,Snyder can frame shots like each one was a painting.

 

The color palette in the dream sequences are rich and delicious.

 

The computer generated images(and there are PLENTY) are breathtaking.

 

Each quest that our heroines embark upon looks more beautiful than the last.

 

Parts of the film were like a video game come to life.

 

Snyder’s trademark slo-mo action sequences( seen as a one trick pony) are well utilized here.

 

I wished that it went even slower so that I could gaze at all the awesome images in the frame.
To steal a term from director Guillermo del Toro…the images are not merely “eye candy “they are “eye protein”…visually ,I wanted more of the fantasy sequences.Unfortunately, there were only four set pieces.
Another aspect that make this film entertaining was its soundtrack
At certain points during the movie ,I felt like it can almost be described as a two hour music video.

 

Supervised by composer, Tyler Bates ..the music that accompanies the film is as much a major player as the effects and the dialogue.Actually several songs are performed by Babydoll herself,Emily Browning.You get the obligatory heavy guitar riffs that were prominent in Snyder’s “300” but the soundtrack on top of the great sound design and effects are well orchestrated here.
Bad Ass chicks ,with knives and guns fighting samurai,steam-punk Nazi zombies,orcs,dragons,and robots.All these elements equal to “Geek-Porn”.

 

What more can a Fanboy ask for,right?
Well there’s a little thing called plot and interesting dialogue(ouch).
The story lacked focus at points.Though the story jumped back from reality to fantasy to hyper-fantasy…it wasn’t cohesive.It felt jumbled and jarring.Hot chicks in a hot mess,indeed.

 

The performances were adequate at best ,Cornish and Malone are stand outs here.Malone seems to be the only one actually trying to “act” here.  One might think that Browning would be the acting anchor. On the contrary, her performance is apropos of her namesake…artificial ,wooden, plastic, not unlike a… babydoll. Hudgens and Chung are merely background scenery.  Casting Snookie from” Jersey Shore” and The Geico Gecko would have been more entertaining, but maybe not as sexy.

 

As much as I knew this film was gonna be a feast for the eyes…I also knew that the storyline and performances were going to leave a lot to be desired.

 

This movie is much like a sexy, stunning, supermodel who can sing her a$$ off…but when you sit down and want to talk to her, everything that comes out of her mouth is utter nonsense and laughable.
If you can overlook the less than stellar plot and performances…this is popcorn escapism at its best.

 

Catch this flick on the big screen..you’ll lose a lot if you wait to see it in the comfort of you own living room.
’til next time,Cabrones!!!
Gary
Gary "El Boy" Deocampo provides insightful profiles & reviews with his own original tongue-in-cheek, macabre, fan-boy style. Gary was born in the City of Angels and raised on a healthy diet of Rod Serling's The Twilight Zone, The Outer Limits, Night Gallery, The Hammer Horror Films, and his favorite, Universal Studio's Monster Movies. But alas, it was a film that was released in the winter of 1973, where his love and perception of all things Horror would personally change him forever. William Friedkin's, The Exorcist was that film. To this day The Exorcist still gives him the heebie-jeebies. Presently, his affinity for the horror genre has broadened and spans the globe. His love and appreciation for director's Takashi Miike (Audition) and Chan-Wook Park (Old Boy) from the Far East to Sweden's Tomas Alfredson (Let The Right One In) to his favorite, Mexico's very own Guillermo del Toro (Cronos, Devil's Backbone, Pan's Labyrinth). In his spare time he likes to exercise and/or exorcise his inner demons. The little devil still resides in the City of Angels, in a suburb founded by Puritans (!) with his lovely and patient wife, his two equally lovely and patient children, two hounds and his pet Cthulhu.

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