Sucker Punch review

Zack Snyder
Emily Browning
Abbie Cornish
Jena Malone
Vanessa Hudgens
Jamie Chung
Rated: PG-13

And to think, I was one of the people that defended Zack Snyder after Watchmen.

Sucker Punch is the story of Babydoll “Browning,” a girl who after accidentally killing her sister when she was actually trying to kill her step father who was jealous of her since she was going to inherit her mother’s money (This all happens in the first 10 minutes by the way), is sent to a mental institution. However, upon arrival it turns that she is able to escape into her own dreamscape, which becomes an under ground strip club run by Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac).

Babydoll knows she needs to get out of there and in one of her dreams a Wise Man (that’s actually his name) played by Scott Glenn lets her know that she needs to collect five items to escape. To do so she enlists the help of four of the other girls that are there. When she’s collecting the items she goes into another dream and makes capturing the items extremely over the top.

Sucker Punch’s major glaring issue is that the dream like states that Babydoll goes into, despite how good they may look, are absolutely inconsequential. The story is real lame, too, being nothing more than an escape plot. Honestly, it feels as if Snyder wanted to make some action scenes and just shoved an escape plan to connect the dots.

The reason the action scenes have no consequences is that they are just simple dreams in one characters head, they have no rules at all. Take other movies with this idea, such as in The Matrix, where if you’re killed inside, you die outside. In Inception, if you die inside, it can jeopardize the mission or even leave you in a coma. In Babydoll’s dreams, it’s just her fantasizing, if she gets hit it won’t hurt, if someone dies it may or may not reflect what is really going on.

The film actually gave me a better respect for Scott Pilgrim vs The World. That movie had major action scenes that were inspired by anime and video games the same way that Sucker Punch was, but Scott Pilgrim was never in a dream, that world he was in was reality, making the fights actually have consequences, however at the same time the fights were still able to be representations of what the character was feeling.

The characters were even worse, though, since they had almost no character at all. They were only separable by their hair and looks. I honestly couldn’t distinguish between most of them and when one would die i didn’t feel a thing. Which is really too bad since the actresses themselves didn’t seem to bad. Scott Glenn I felt was completely wasted, though, all he would have are these random saying that didn’t have anything to go with the action scenes he was in. And Oscar Isaac as the main villain was just way to over the top for me.

From a technical stand point, the movie is good. Zack Snyder does have a great vision and can do good action scenes with amazing graphics, and the art direction is fantastic. Yet it’s just so wasted because of the lack of story and character development. Some may say that this was just an action movie to enjoy, but when a movie is taking all of these genres and tries mixing them together, I really want to see something more. Another problem for me also was the music, it just seemed out of place and they had all these remix’s that didn’t sound at all better than their originals.

Overall, Sucker Punch is an idea that possibly had potential had the crew actually spent more than 45 minutes coming up with the story. However the whole thing is just lame, I didn’t get attached to a single character and wasn’t engaged at all. This is a 1 out of 5 despite how good it looked.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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