Saturday, July 23, 2011

Sucker Punch

Directed by Zack Snyder.
2011. Rated PG-13, 110 minutes.
Emily Browning
Abbie Cornish
Jena Malone
Vanessa Hudgens
Jamie Chung
Carla Gugino
Oscar Isaac
Scott Glenn
Gerard Plunkett

After her mother dies, Baby Doll (Browning) is attacked by her stepdad. Obviously, it was a struggle for him to wait until his wife kicked because he goes on the prowl moments after the funeral. Apparently finding Baby Doll a bit more of a struggle than he wants just then, or perhaps saving her for later, he manages to lock her in her room and then starts in on her younger, much smaller sister. Since our heroine can’t let stepdad get his satisfaction she gets out of the room and gets a loaded gun and confronts this clown. Just to show she’s serious, Baby Doll fires off a warning shot. Oops. Little sis winds up all dead and stuff over in a corner. Daddy Dearest then has BD hauled off to an insane asylum run by some shady characters. He even slips the guy in charge a few extra bucks to make sure she gets lobotomized in five days. I hate when that happens.

All of this takes place before and right after the opening credits. Truthfully, only the end result is relevant. The elaborate set up is interesting, but unnecessary. She could’ve simply been perceived as crazy and arrived at exactly the same place. However, elaborately is the only way this movie does anything. Not surprising since it has the same director, it has a look reminiscent of 300 with nearly as much slo-mo, super slo-mo and bullet-time effects. The heavy metal soundtrack blares brazenly while things onscreen hiss, boom, shatter and pop. All the while, the camera follows a team of girls draped in fetishistic and/or militaristic garb and kicking all sorts of robot tail. If you let it, it can be big fun. That is, until you get to the end wonder what you just watched.

Speaking wondering what you just watched, where do the robots come from? Well, shortly and suddenly our insane asylum transforms into a brothel. I’ll let you figure out the how and why of that one on your own. Anyoo, BD is made to dance. In a total shock for this movie, there’s no pole involved. Still, when she dances everyone in her onscreen audience is so mesmerized they cease all bodily function except for watching her. Unfortunately, or fortunately, we never see BD dance. Along with her, we enter the dreamworld in the trance she falls into. Here, she receives orders from Wise Man (Glenn) about the next object she tries to obtain by fighting her and the team’s way through hordes of robots. By the way, if you couldn’t figure it out the team is made up of other girls in the looney bin. Each object gets the whole crew closer to escape from the real asylum. Get it? The actual connection is made a little better than that, but it’s still convoluted.

Overall, Sucker Punch is a fun looking mess. The visuals are a treat, but the pieces to the story don’t quite fit in a cohesive manner. First off, there are too many of them. A surplus of things that could’ve been discarded are kept. Conversely, we get the feeling plenty of things that should’ve been kept are thrown out. Second, none of the characters are written well enough for us to really care what happens to them. They’re just mannequins in the window striking poses appropriate for the gear they’re wearing. Worst of all, the movie is horribly inconsistent about what happens to people in the room when BD dances. Who is and isn’t effected changes based on what’s convenient for the plot at any given moment. Finally, I have a question. Why on God’s green earth did Zack Snyder allow Carla Gugino to keep going with her ridiculously bad Russian accent after the first day of shooting? For that alone, he should be sucker punched.

No comments:

Post a Comment