Sucker Punch (2011) Directed by: Zack Snyder. Stars: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens and Abbie Cornish. Verdict: SUCKS. Sucker Punch (aptly titled in my opinion), follows a group of young women trying to break out of the mental institution in which they are kept. The movie sucked and here’s why:
Continuity: So for those who haven’t seen Sucker Punch (count yourself among the blessed), it opens up with Baby Doll, played by Emily Browning, trying to defend her younger sister and herself for their abusive father. Things go awry, and Baby winds up killing her sister and being sent away to the mental institution. Without giving too much of the story away, to cope with her conditions, Baby Doll “escapes” to other “worlds” (which we will talk about later). This aspect of Sucker Punch gives it an Inception‘esque feel to the movie that it in no way delivers on. To watch Sucker Punch it feels as if Snyder was juggling all these realities and he lost track of them- so much so in fact that are huge blaring holes in the storyline, i.e. characters who show up in the fake “worlds” aren’t represented at all in the main one. This really killed the movie for me, if the creator can’t keep the story straight, how can the audience?
Worlds: Aside from the fact that Sucker Punch‘s story is more disjointed than a Chinese Olympic gymnast, these dream sequences they throw at you didn’t help. As beautifully executed the scenes where in grandeur, there was just no depth or substance to them. I have two theories when it comes to these dream sequences. The first is that Zach Snyder had a composition book full of scenes he wish he could shoot, pulled out his favorites and used the thinnest thread he could find to tie them together into a movie. My second (and favorite) theory is that Snyder asked some kids from his neighborhood what was cool and they told him Call of Duty, ninjas, guns, the future, swords, and titties. The rest is history.
Acting: Aside from all the female leads being breathtakingly beautiful, they didn’t do a thing for me. The best actor on the screen was Jon Hamm and all he did was say 3 1/2 lines. These actresses made me feel absolutely nothing for their characters; some would be fatally wounded and killed for no reason and all I was left with was “her makeup was cute”.
My mother always told me that you should never knock a person down without offering them a hand up, Sucker Punch should be glad I heed her advice. The one thing I can’t take away from Sucker Punch is that it has drips with visual style. There was so much on the screen to take in and absorb. The greatest attention to detail was given to the action sequences, they were tight and mesmerizing, I just wish they gave an inkling of that focus to the story. Even with all that it had going for it, Sucker Punch stills sucks, let this movie be a lesson (or more like a cautionary tale) to all future writers and directors, an ounce of substance is always better than a pound of style.