Monkey Migraine: When I saw this movie, I imagined that when the writer-director Zack Snyder sat down with his writing partner Steve Shibuya to create the script, they had the following conversation...
SHIBUYA: Okay, so what do you want your movie to be about?
SNYDER: Well, I want to do a movie where there are these steam punk German zombies. And I want to do a movie with giant samurai warriors with machine guns. And I want to do a sort of "Lord of the Rings" thing with orcs and dragons. Oh, and I want to do a story where there are these hot babes trapped in a strip club. No, scratch that. They're hookers. But I want it to be something grounded with an emotional thing, like the heroine is trapped in a mental institution by her evil stepfather, and she has to escape.
SHIBUYA: Well, yeah, those are all good ideas for movies. Which one of them did you want to do?
SNYDER: I can't decide. How about we do all of them?
That, I imagine, is how Snyder came up with the movie Sucker Punch. It's about a woman known only as Baby Doll (Emily Browning) trapped in a mental institution by her evil stepfather. To survive, she escapes into a fantasy world where she's trapped in a strip club that doubles as a brothel, but whenever she dances, she goes into a fantasy world where she goes through all sorts of action sequences with the aforementioned zombies, dragons, samurai warriors, and more.
Maurice: One of the most pointless movies I've ever seen. Visually, it was stunning. The story was ridiculous. The idea of an escapist fantasy was a good one, but it went nowhere. The three worlds had a common theme in the objects. Other than that had no other connection. No one would even imagine that there was intended to be any connection if they hadn't been in the same movie. Plus, the individual stories had no satisfying ending or narrative. Just a series of action scenes strung together.
The acting was horrid too. Everyone looked bored. No one looked more bored than the main actress Baby Doll. Her only expression was childlike terror even when she was supposed to be a world class fighter. She was hired because she looked like a teenager. That was it.
Did you think the women were hot?
Monkey Migraine: I agree on all counts. Just to address a few...
I found the movie fascinating in that it was full of explosions, gun battles, sword fights, and all the stuff that should be exciting, but I felt no excitement or engagement whatsoever. It was actually boring. Like you said, the fight scenes had no narrative. We would be dropped into this scenario with no idea who they were or why they were fighting for the things they did, then they would fly away with no real understanding of what had been achieved. The fact that the fantasies had no connection to their "reality" (which was itself not a reality, but a brothel fantasy) made it even harder to feel engaged. The whole fantasy-inside-a-fantasy structure was a terrible idea. It made it impossible to care about anything that happened, because everything was layered with a feeling of disconnection.
I thought Emily Browning's performance was genuinely disturbing. I want to see her in other movies to see if she is able to act at all or if this is her standard fare, because I can't imagine an actress in Hollywood delivering the performance she gave in "Sucker Punch" and still having a job. Like you said, throughout the entire movie, she had only one expression, one of a deer looking at on-coming headlights. She must have had permanent creases at the end of the day from the way she kept her brow knitted the whole time.
To answer your question, I didn't find the women hot at all, really. They were pretty, but their outfits were like sexy from the 1950's with corsets and garters and full-coverage briefs, so they actually seemed overdressed. Just like I felt like the action sequences should have been exciting, but wasn't, the women should have been hot, but weren't.
Let's talk about the actual story - not the fight scenes, but the story of Baby Doll and her amazing friends. Did it make sense to you? Were you confused?
Maurice: It wasn't confusing to me. The standard hero's journey. What was confusing was the purpose of it.
Last point: the ending was so obvious I thought there was something I was missing something. It also made the whole movie pointless.
I give it one and a half star. That's only because of the special effects.
Monkey Migraine:Yeah, the ending was bad. Not to give anything away, but it really was a downer. In some cases, a downer ending can work and give the story pathos. This ending just made an already depressing movie more depressing.
Snyder needs to get on antidepressants or something, because the whole movie from beginning to end was like swimming through sewage in terms of the recurring themes of rape, molestation, death, imprisonment, exploitation, brutality, and just plain misery.
But I did think the movie was more confusing than it was at first glance. In many ways, it makes even less sense than it did on the surface.
For instance, why would Baby Doll create a fantasy scenario that was even more depressing and miserable than her real situation? And why did the movie open with her on a stage, implying that the entire story was a fantasy on its own? And what exactly happened in the beginning - did she kill her sister or did her stepfather kill her sister? If she shot her sister, then why did they show the bullet hitting a light bulb on the ceiling and busting a pipe? Why did they go through so much trouble when escaping was, in reality, so easy as walking out the door?
Anyway, I agree with the one star. Nice special effects. Disappointing movie.
Your turn. What did you think of Sucker Punch? Let us know in the comments!
[Image Source: Scifind ]