Sucker Punch (2011)
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When I had first seen the trailer, I thought: "Wow--I'm not a big fan of Zack Snyder but this trailer looks awesome! And seeing as this is his first original story, this could be a worthwhile experience." I really wanted to like it, I really did. But, alas, I didn't--and this was even after watching the Director's Cut.
Apparently this film was supposed to be a critique of the sci-fi fantasy geek fandom and the sexism that is a rather rampant quality of the male-dominated realm. Sadly, the film fails to do such a thing as it instead embodies what it is trying to satirize. The female leads are all acted quite poorly (especially Baby Doll, played by Emily Browning) and their characters are very underdeveloped--not exactly helping the supposed cause. They are reduced to being mere sexual images that must resort to entering their imaginations in order to gain any willpower to fight back against their oppressors. I don't consider myself a feminist at all, but this film becomes quite misogynistic at times and that is a bit uncomfortable.
The visual style is intoxicating--and not necessarily in a good way. All of the computer-generated effects look pristine and sharp, but they are coupled to action sequences that are over-abundant and boisterous, leaving the audience with little breathing room in-between each one. What should've been exciting and fun turns dull and irritating.
The story jumps around from dream world to dream world so much that the fantasies start to blur in one's mind. It becomes random, an unregulated mess of segments thrown together to appeal to those with a short attention span. Honestly, I haven't seen a sci-fi fantasy geek's wet dream bigger than this since Heavy Metal.
Also--this may just be a personal gripe--but I dislike Zack Snyder's use of slow-motion. It wasn't as bad in this film as it was in some of his previous works, such as his adaptations of "300" and "Watchmen", but he seems to use it whenever possible and it becomes tedious to watch as you just want the story to keep moving along.
That being said, the film was a laudable attempt. Failed, yes, but laudable, especially for a director who's been trying so hard to appeal to the geek fandom and finally had enough of their harsh criticism. In addition, the music is surprisingly enthralling. Most of the songs are not original but are redone in a captivating way that tries its best to set the mood for the trainwrecks of scenes they accompany.
In conclusion, Sucker Punch is a film that had potential but got lost in its illusions of grandeur. It's all about the style and lacks the substance. Is it the worst film ever? No, but it is far from being good.
I think there's more to this film than some people are prepared to see/accept. Having for various reasons encountered plenty of mentally ill people, there's a perhaps surprising degree of truth in some of things that the movie is, perhaps, presenting.
That said, I'm not even convinced Snyder's aware of how well he executed that element, and some of the action sequences are too overblown and drag on (the 'distant planet' one especially, I thought).
Mixed feelings on this one, then, but I do think some people write it off too readily. It's not necessarily as mindless as it looks.
If you're not into girls with slutty outfits slashing orcs, dragons, cyborgs and steampunk nazis while in reality sexually abused and raped, don't watch this movie..
to see which of your friends have seen this movie!