Sucker Punch (2011)

There’s a lot of bad press about Sucker Punch. A lot. Zack Snyder’s tale of a young girl, simply known as Babydoll (Emily Browning) who is incacerated in an asylum by her evil step-father is not a simple beast. That’s not to say it’s deep. Oh no, it’s as deep as Dexter is a well balanced portrayal of deep rooted psychosis.

As Babydoll is about to be labotomised, at the behest of her step-father so he can get his evil hands on her inheritance, she retreats into a fantasy world where she is Babydoll, a young woman who has been incarated in a brothel by an evil catholic priest who just happens to look like her evil step-father. In the brothel, she is befriended by sexy but cute Amber (Jamie Chung), sexy but trying to pretend High School Musical didn’t happen Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), sexy but good-natured Rocket (Jena Malone) and sexy but tough but sexy Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish). With their help she tries to escape both the brothel and the machinations of its owner, Blue (Oscar Isaac). This is randomly achieved by Babydoll dancing to distract people, which is a giant metaphor for sex and is interpreted by Babydoll retreating into another fantasy world where she is Babydoll, a tough but basically dressed as a schoolgirl soldier who along with her buddies from the brothel and led by Scott Glen, fight steam-punk Germans, dragons and samurais with fucking machine guns.

The most interesting parts of the film are those set in Babydoll’s second fantasy world of guns, tits and explosions. If you’ve seen a Zack Snyder film, then you know what to expect…

Soooooooooomeoooooooooooooooooooone ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuunning reaaaaaaaaaaaaaally sloooowly befooooore punchingtwentypeopleinthefacewithahammerreallyfast.

They are extremely visceral, showing that Snyder is a man who truly wants to take you for a journey when you go to the movies. Whereas, 300 and Watchmen were intepretaitons of others work, this is his baby and it shows. The fight scenes are expertly crafted with the soundtrack as much a part of the proceedings as those on screen.

Shame none of it really makes sense. Actually, no, that’s not true. It does make sense. As I say, it’s as deep as the Spider-Man reboot is necessary. The problem is that once all the pieces fall into place, you realise that Snyder has wasted your time to simply show you how clever he is. The title itself coming from how the final ten minutes of the film treat you. Saying all this, I’m aware that I’m opening myself to numerous insufferable people telling me that ‘you just didn’t get it’. These people are wrong and completely unaware that ‘you just didn’t get it’ is a response used by people who are unable to defend their reasons for liking something that everyone else believes is tripe.

Snyder’s script layers ambiguity upon ambiguity to the point of absurdity. This becomes a genuine concern at the end when you’re asked to forget nearly 95% of what you’ve just seen. There are some good ideas hidden within it’s two hours, it’s just shame they’re from other films.

So, overall is it a bad film? Well, like Snyder, I too am going to be ambugious. I’ll let you decide. Is this a bad film or a good film?

Bad or good?

Bad or good?

Bad or good?

…It’s bad.


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