Saturday, 30 June 2012

Sucker Punch: Review

Zack Snyder. A name that is associated with dark, gothic and incredibly stylish productions. Now comes Sucker Punch, the story of Babydoll. A girl, abused by her father, who is put into a mental asylum. With a group of friends, she plans to escape, but she needs a series of items in order to do it. And so the action begins. She and her associates enter an imaginary world, where finding and retrieving the items is a lot more...exciting. But can this action flick live up to Snyder’s reputation? Honestly? No.

At some points, the movie really shines. The performances by the cast are good, the dark, stylish art style that Snyder is known for is back again, and some of the action sequences are really awesome. But without a decent story to back it up, all of these good points get pushed aside, and what we see is a jumbled mess of swords, guns and legs.

The main issue we had with the film, is that there isn’t much of a narrative. Whilst it sounds like a great idea on paper, when put into practice, the film just felt like Rugrats but slightly more mature. It’s sometimes hard to determine what is real and what is in their head, as they sometimes are in the asylum, and a little later on, they appear in what appears to be a burlesque show club, and are also planning to escape from there.  Whilst watching the film, I was unsure whether the burlesque club was part of the asylum, or another figment of the girls’ imagination, as there was another imagination sequence from inside the burlesque club. It all felt too much like a dumbed down version of Inception.

Also, the film tries to tackle issues that it is unprepared for. The opening of the film shows the main protagonist receiving abuse from her father. He is violent, and it is not entirely clear, but there does seem to be an element of more...serious things below the surface. But after this deep, serious opening, the film descends into a ridiculously over-the-top heap of fighting and short skirts, that clearly exploits the actress’ good looks.

Finally, I feel the need to comment on the fact that whilst awesome, the action is unnecessary, and eventually becomes repetitive and boring. Each of the items the girls need to get resides in a separate ‘world’.  Don’t get me wrong, the different look of each of the locations keeps the film interesting, but what happens in these worlds starts off great, but quickly becomes dull. After fighting some stone demon samurai...things, all the following imagination sequences follow the same formula. Enter world, fight through hordes of baddies, relevant to that world’s theme, grab the item from its resting place, and return to reality. Rinse and repeat. The action scenes revolve around the five girls fighting hundreds of enemies, from robots, to orcs, to zombie Nazis, before a dramatic, climactic event at the end of each one.  But as I said before, they’re awesome, but it seemed like Snyder was only including them for the sake of having a group of girls run around with guns and swords.

This is a film with a very specific audience in mind. Teenage boys would probably pay top dollar to see this movie, but for any other audiences, it’s just a mindless bullet-fest, with little narrative or theme behind it.

6.5 - OK


  1. Hi, I'm an avid Tim Burton fan and have been for a long time, but recently I seem to think his standards are slacking, his inability to move away from the same actors, ridiculous storylines (Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter?!)
    It would be great if you could do a review comparing his classics to his newer films, is he losing his touch? Or is he altering his style to suit a new audience?

    1. Sweeney Todd vs Edward Scissorhands? I could do that :)