We were all up on the Sucker Punch trailer ever since we first laid eyes on it this past summer at Comic Con. After 300 and Watchmen, faith in director Zack Snyder was strong. Sucker Punch certainly had every far flung element needed to be a great flick, and maybe that’s the problem. Miss Madeleine reports…
Directed by Zack Snyder, Sucker Punch is an empty mess of a film that’s shifts between three worlds with such clumsiness that even the clichés are awkward.
The opening of the synopsis reads ‘Close your eyes. Open your mind. You will be unprepared’ This is the kind of cheeseball dialogue and voice over you are fed throughout the entire 109 minutes. The rest of the slightly altered synopsis reads something like this: Baby Doll is taken against her will to an Insane Asylum where a lobotomy will be performed on her in five days. But she has not lost her will to survive and she organizes a team of four conveniently young and beautiful fellow crazies to help her find five items that will allow them to break out of the mad house. Five days, five girls and five items… get it.
The film opens with a melodramatic montage of Baby Doll (Emily Browning) running back and forth between rooms crying, cut to evil step father reading dead mothers will and then attempting a sinister plan to kill Baby Doll and her sister. This is all implied through Bold And The Beautiful-style acting with long pauses and pained facial expressions. Then as if the audience hadn’t already been asked to ‘Open our minds’ far enough to follow this disjointed tale the mad house turns into a quasi Brothel and Baby Doll’s fellow patients become orphaned strippers (Think Moulin Rogue as a video game) apparently this is how Baby Doll deals with her circumstances, by creating a fantastical world in her imagination… a brothel… really? Then begins the journey into yet another part of Baby Doll’s imagination as the five girls become Martial Arts and weapons experts who can also operate heavy machinery i.e. a giant flying robot with a pink bunny rabbit painted on the front.
The acting is almost as bad as the plot, and when I say bad I mean horrific. The stand out performance has to go to Vanessa Hudgens who must be the worst actress on the planet; the girl couldn’t act her way out of a Snuggies commercial. She delivers each line as if it’s a late night sex text advert. The others follow closely behind, but I have to cut them some slack — mainly Scott Glenn who played Wise Man, as his dialogue was especially rotten (for which Snyder, as the writer, must take full blame).
Watch the pretty visuals below, and hit the Jump to continue reading the Sucker Punch review…
The film is described as a female empowerment film with badass girl heroines and this is very misleading. The female leads cry in every scene and that is no exaggeration. I put this down to the wooden dialogue, as they had to convey emotion somehow so they turned on the waterworks, I’m sure a large portion of the budget was spent on onions. Apparently the leads also said they spent six hours a day for three months in training yet not one of the girls had any definition to show for it. There was not a six-pack in sight, or even a two pack for that matter. Its not the whole girls in school uniforms with samurai swords that annoyed me it’s the fact they don’t live up to their badass name. Kill Bill opened up a plethora of possibilities for female protagonist of this kind when Uma Thurman wore skin-tight yellow leather and flew across the world serving up her enemies Sashimi style. Thurman showed fear, anger and pain and kept the tears to a bare minimum yet she was still utterly feminine.
Edgar Wright nailed the video game fantasy film genre with Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, it has everything this film is lacking: witty dialogue, a forward moving entertaining plot and decent acting. Sucker Punch ultimately falls flat as Snyder attempts without much success to shift in and out of Baby Doll’s imagination. Just as Wright used fighting the Seven Deadly Exes as the conflict and plot driver Snyder also has his five items, yet it grew tiresome after the first item was recovered all too easily and without so much as an eyelash out of place. Another element that both films share is the aggressive soundtracks; although Snyder’s felt forced, I did enjoy the cover that Emily Browning did of Eurythmic’s ‘Sweet Dreams’ and a Bjork cover was a nice surprise, as was ‘White Rabbit’ sung by Emiliana Torrini.
Overall Sucker Punch didn’t deliver anything we haven’t seen before, but if you’re only interested in the eye candy you won’t be disappointed — because this is all your going to get out of this film, a long perv.