Don’t Get “Sucker Punched” Into Buying a Ticket!

Leading up to the film’s release it has been very interesting to hear everyone’s thoughts on Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch.  I have people in my life that very much oppose the film, going as far to say its subject matter is an abomination of the screenplay format, and others like me who can’t wait to get it on with the all-female cast.  Although I heard about the production some years ago, my first exposure to the world of Sucker Punch was at last year’s Comic-Con (see here).  The exclusive footage Snyder screened to the packed to capacity Hall H audience was riveting, mystical and orgasmic. How can it be all those you ask?  Well when you have martial arts mixed with robots and throw in some fire-breathing dragons for old times sake, how else could one possibly describe it?   Oh yeah, I did use the word orgasmic, didn’t I?  Well duh, did you take a look at that cast?

Sucker Punch prominently features five onscreen beauties, Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung (who can forget that bubble bath scene in Sorority Row).  The supporting cast includes the likes of Oscar Isaac, Carla Gugino (a beauty in her own right), Jon Hamm and Scott Glenn.  The 2007 script, which was penned by Snyder and Steve Shibuya in only five months, was actually supposed to be produced before the Watchmen.  It is also rumored that Amanda Seyfried was once attached to Browning’s lead role.  Damn, that would have been nice!  Look at me.  I’m a Seyfried fan over night.  Too funny!  On the flip side, the one other thing that I was very happy to read was that Emma Stone was also offered the role, but ultimately did not get it.  Thank goodness.  There is a God!

Alright, that’s enough about the history and my initial gut, raw and instinctual feelings about the production of Sucker Punch.  So the reason we are all gathered here today is to find out what I thought of the film.   I mean that’s what really matters, right?  Well, here goes nothing.  As amateurish as this sounds, I am going to recycle my friend’s term from my Tourist review, several months ago, when I say this movie was only “meh.”  So what happened?  Perhaps another viewing is needed to precisely dissect its failures or maybe the initial hype was just too much to live up to, but nevertheless, I think I can put my personal feelings aside and accurately speak on the topic.

Sucker Punch, by all means, is first and foremost an action/adventure film.  Now like most action/adventure films, just because there are plenty of non-stop zany antics and fight scenes doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will be a good movie.  It’s hard to go into detail without spoiling things too much so I will tread lightly here.  I wanted so much more here.  I really did.  I expected the feature to be deeper, psychologically speaking.  The film’s opening was simply incredible (Browning’s cover of “Sweet Dreams” was haunting and just gourgeous), but things quickly fell apart for me when Baby Doll (Browning) goes into her dancing dream state.  Seriously?  Dancing?  The biggest problem I had was correlating how the other girls get sucked into her dream induced action sequences.  I want to say it’s all in Baby Doll’s head, but that does not explain why if certain characters were not on screen at the time before Baby Doll’s dancing dream, how they coincidentally were not in her particular action adventure either.  Does that make any sense?  Probably not, but you will understand what I’m talking about when you see it.  People can say what they want about Nolan’s Inception, but at least he did not fail to explain how multiple people were tied into each other’s dream sequences.   That’s all I got to say on the subject.  Thinking back to Thursday night’s press screening, that huge plot hole still does not sit well with me.  It’s devastating!

Speaking of the plot, do we even really need to cover it here in this review?   Do you really want me to waste your time?  I have no problem doing so, but I’m just looking out for your well-being.  It’s just that it’s so absurd, I really feel stupid even talking about it.   Simply put, it’s the music, the girls and the action that shine here and truly nothing else.  The story is ridiculous, the acting is wooden at times and the plot holes are just flat out unforgivable.  Can somebody please tell me where Scott Glenn’s character came from and how he just happened to be everywhere?  Please, I need help in understanding.  And where the hell did all the snow come from?!  There’s no doubt that this film was an orgasmic feast of sight and sound, but the loud action sequences made no sense.  I think fellow reviewer Aaron Neuwirth said it best when he questioned how futuristic robots and spacecraft cohesively blended with a 1950’s storyline (see his review here).  WTF?!

If presented with the opportunity, I would not mind giving this one a second chance and spin on the Blu-ray format, but in no way can I ever recommend you plop your hard earned cash down on this one in the theater.   I only liked Sucker Punch for the action, the girls and the music, basically, for all the wrong reasons.  There’s not much really here folks except a wild MTV music video set to a pretty divine soundtrack (interestingly enough…much of the cast lends their vocal talent to it).  It’s shallow and dense and unlike Shallow Hal, there’s no real story worth telling here.  It could have been and should have been so much more.  Oh Superman…I’m really scared for your safety and concerned over your intellectual property.  Here’s hoping Mr. Snyder doesn’t cripple you yet again with kryponite.  So heed my warnings and proceed with caution when traveling to the theater.  Sucker Punch is not for captive audiences…. brain dead, maybe, but definitely not captive.   And as Dan Gilbert said when Lebron James left, “You can take that to the bank and cash it.”

By the way…if you do want to read a quick recap of what this film is all about…check out Aaron’s full review here.  As you can tell, I was wrong.  I seemingly can’t put aside my personal feelings here.  I’m terribly affected by how disappointed I was in this movie.  And I apologize for the brevity of this review.  It will never happen again.  Ugh!

The only thing worth mentioning here…


8 Responses to “Don’t Get “Sucker Punched” Into Buying a Ticket!”

  1. Gregg

    Well this is disappointing. The preview at last year’s Comic-Con had me amped for this. Obviously there’s a lot of hotties here, but I was hoping the story would have offered a little more than what you mentioned.

  2. Gerard Iribe

    Snyder has a great track record with previously published material. He falls flat when it come to original material (Sucker Punch), but that makes me excited for Superman, because it’s previously published material.

  3. Brian White

    @Gerard…I hope so!

    @Gregg…tell me about it! 🙁

  4. Aaron Neuwirth

    Nice recap of your appropriate reactions. While I don’t think there is necessarily a plot hole involving the girls imagination and her friends being there, I think the storytelling is so bad that one could certainly get that idea that something has been missed. And yeah, where the he’ll did Scott Glenn come from?

  5. Jiminy Critic

    He’s been hanging around since “Urban Cowboy!” snicker, snicker…

  6. Aaron Neuwirth

    His job at the FBI must have been Silence, after Jodie beat him to the punch. 😉

  7. Sean Ferguson

    I think I will wait to see this until it’s available to rent.

  8. Jiminy Critic

    Saw it… Did not like it… Want my $$$ back…