Last year, I saw previews for the movie Sucker Punch, and instantly felt this was the greatest movie I will ever see! It had everything; explosions, giant samurai robots, fire-breathing dragons, sword fights, women in prison and more...!
So here we are after a year of eager anticipation, and I see many negative reviews. Yikes. What went wrong?!?
Let me first say I disagree with a lot of the negative reviews. I enjoyed it quite a bit, (although it's not as perfect as I'd hoped), but this is much more of a cult classic than easily accepted general public eye-candy.
I think for the average moviegoer, the story was a bit too cerebral. Sure the setup is easy enough: Baby Doll (Emily Browning), is sent to a mental institute by her psycho stepfather a la a very cool music video style intro. And that's about where common sense ends... Well, if you call naming your main character Baby Doll 'common sense'. From there, her mind sends her to work in a 1940's brothel with other girls who just want to escape. During their escape attempts, Baby Doll dances, which transports us into an almost anime style steam-punk world where all the super ass-kicking happens. Um... yea.
Zack Snyder wrote it, as well as directing and while the writing isn't bad (although maybe a bit pretentious at times), maybe he should stick to making comic book movies like 300 (where my bromance with Zack began) and Watchmen. I also wonder if focusing so much on the writing, affected his directing. Zack loves his slow motion and generally in past movies, the action was very fun and exciting to see. This time however, some action scenes felt like he was falling into the Michael Bay trap of quick close edits. Oh don't worry, nobody is that bad!
The characters are all interesting to watch, and women should appreciate it because the girls aren't dressed gratuitously. I still think they could have made the outfits a bit more sexy... but I only say that cause I like a bit of sugar in my eye-candy. Oh relax people, they made a point to show the girls are over 18!
These legally aged adults consist of Baby Doll in her blonde pigtails and school girl outfit swinging around samurai swords, (if you're into that sort of thing). We also have Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), and my personal favorite's Amber (Jamie Chung), and Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens... who I hear has naked pictures of herself on the internet somewhere, again if you're into that sort of thing).
In a world where all men are awesomely evil, we do get one Wise Man played by Scott Glenn. While he did a fine job, all I could think was how perfect David Carradine would have been for this. Oh David, why did you have to pleasure yourself to death?!?
Sucker Punch is a unique movie with a look and style all it's own, feeling like a very fun mash-up of video games, and anime set to a great soundtrack. Much respect to Zack Snyder for filling in that steam-punk gap that has been missing from our movies for so long now making me very eager to see what he will do with Superman when it's finished sometime in 2012.
One last thought...
While we never got to see Baby Doll dance, I think maybe this is okay. I would be very disappointed to discover that the dance that mesmerized the bad guys so deeply was only the Macarena.
Terrified of the world I would be transported into if I tried to dance,