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Sucker Punch Analysis
arrowSucker Punch Review

Sucker Punch Review
Vik Mackey (03/27/2011)
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Sucker Punch Review HeroClix WorldNow it’s during her first forced dance session that Babydoll (and all the girls have cute little monikers like “Rocket” or “Sweet Pea” applied to them in lieu of real names) summons the “alternative reality” that will lead to her freedom, but the internal logic of the film is this: Babydoll’s dancing in the "real world" (which runs concurrently with her action set piece fantasies) is supposedly so erotic and so entrancing that no man can take his eyes off of her. And at the beginning of that fantasy sequence, she encounters Scott Glenn in a thankless role as the mystical mentor, who gives her the list of the five items she needs to escape, setting in place the whole film’s misguided m.o.  -- that Babydoll needs to do her little sexy-time dance as a distraction while her new friends steal the various items they need from her hypnotized marks (Ironically, the fantasies Babydoll is projecting in her mind, the ones being used to seducing said chumps, are so distinctly, unremittingly male). Surely Nina Sayers wasn’t envisioning the ultimate MMORG wet dream when she was seducing her teacher in BLACK SWAN, right?

What makes it all truly laughable is that all the film ever shows us are the big fantasy scenes, and never the “actual” dancing. Given the complexity and actions within the fantasies (usually running, jumping, stabbing and shooting), what does her dancing really look like? Is she pantomiming what she’s going though? Is her audience not entranced, but bewildered and bemused by the train wreck before them, like the type of sick reverie induced by women’s bodybuilding?

Sucker Punch Review HeroClix WorldThe actors do their best, but there’s only so much from them to work with outside of the physical requirements of being action heroes (with which they all acquit themselves nicely with a little assist from digital doubles and wire work). With her delicate porcelain face and wide set eyes, Emily Browning fits her character’s name to a T (no wonder Stephanie Meyer once envisioned her for Bella while writing the Twilight novels), but her arc as a whole isn’t convincing or even moving, because she doesn’t really stand for any ideal more definable or complex than “You go girl”.

As the sister duo, Jena Malone and Abbie Cornish get the best of limited material, but are unfortunately undercut by a lack of crucial back-story and a bungled resolution to their storyline (especially during the “twist” ending).  Maybe some of that was contained in the deleted musical numbers...

Based on its various trailers, I expected SUCKER PUNCH to look great and have a terrible story, and I was not very disappointed in those respects. Say what you will about Spielberg’s fetishes, but not being able to emotionally move an audience has never been a issue for him (in fact, he’s been accused of being all too good at that). That’s one fetish Snyder’s has yet to regurgitate successfully -- perhaps he’ll dream about it one day. That and more chicks with guns.

Grade: C-

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Your Comments:
TOTALLY agree with jwas. This was just one persons OPINION! And as we all know "opinions are like a*******, everyone's got one". I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Confusing? Yes, especially if you over analyze it. Huge message of female empowerment for victims of abuse. IMOHO.

Posted by: tonysking on 4/18/2011 6:20:07 PM
@John white: LOL. Absolutely. As a matter of fact, I pay a standard freelancer fee to accepted submissions. I'll contact you shortly.

Posted by: The Le on 4/5/2011 2:30:09 PM
Hey The Le: may I offer a counter review?

Posted by: John white on 4/4/2011 9:17:02 PM
Great visual movie but could not take top spot at box office nor scheduled against the other blockbusters. Nice eye candy though :-)

Posted by: Joe G on 4/1/2011 9:17:24 AM
I also saw it at IMAX (my first non-educational IMAX experience) and was completely entertained. It appears that most movie goers seem to think that movies should be first person shooters the entire time. If they want that, they should just stay in their bedroom and play the 95% of XBOX 360 games that come out (oh wait they already do, and stand in line to pay $65 for the next one and the next one, and...) I agree with harveytwoface, it was a good time.

Posted by: x.law22 on 3/30/2011 5:18:43 AM
Oh well. The institution was located in Brattleboro VT. About 16 miles away from where I live. That's something I suppose....mmMMmmaybe not.

Posted by: Danzig01 on 3/29/2011 6:44:09 PM
Jwas is right it is the opinion of one person.
Here's another: The movie sucks-pretty but sucks.

Posted by: Mary on 3/29/2011 8:01:35 AM
Moviegoers suffer from preview fatigue I believe. We see a great preview and think the whole movie is going to be like that or the best part was in the preview itself.
Suckerpunch is just a visual movie to watch w/kids and for what it is it is great. Plot or acting is lacking so you know what your walking into IMO.

Posted by: Larry M on 3/28/2011 2:47:22 PM
as with any review this is the opinion of one person, so if you want to go see a movie then do it, if not then don't. Don't let someone who you don't even know influence your decision about a movie. It seem that over the past few year no one has fun at the movies anymore, I think its because people over research a film before they see it, and that ruins the whole experience for them.

Posted by: jwas on 3/28/2011 1:02:10 PM
Even a good supporting actor would have made this film delightful.
Makes Avatar looks like The King's Speech.

Posted by: TommyA on 3/28/2011 12:51:32 PM
I thought the movie was very good. visually it was outstanding. The story was also very creative.

Posted by: mark on 3/27/2011 6:45:38 PM
I for one thought it was a very good movie. The visuals were awesome and my wife actually liked it too and this is not her type of movie.

Posted by: Lantern 2814.5 on 3/27/2011 6:38:59 PM
I for one disagree with this review. I saw it on imax and was blown away. the story had much more substance than I expected for a movie with "girls and guns". very dark and amazing atmospheres, brilliant concepts, and awesome ideas. I will say that the movie does lose steam towards the end, but Its definitely worth seeing, even if its a rent

Posted by: harveytwoface on 3/27/2011 6:11:12 PM
As with many things, if it looks too good to be true, it probably is. I wondered if all the best scenes were right there in the trailer and they likely are. I can't stand movies that are just a con job to take your money and run. Set up to be more flash and eye candy than anything else. Thanks for the review, I've heard a lot of the same on this so far. Won't be going to it and may not even rent it.

Posted by: Thewildeman2 on 3/27/2011 12:55:45 PM
hmmm out to DVD in a week then......

Posted by: scourge101 on 3/27/2011 9:09:48 AM
Went in expecting to love it, left kinda disappointed. My girlfriend felt same way. Kinda flat, a bit pretentious, but still cool to look at.
Was worth the discounted ticket price we watched it on, but otherwise just wait for DVD or Netflix.

Posted by: Andrew on 3/27/2011 8:46:17 AM
I love how other sources of movie reviews don't ever just come out and say a movie is terrible. Don't want to hurt the economy or the studio's take. Or so PC as to not "hurt" anyones feelings. This movie should be given a trophy like kids in soccer-9th place participant.

Posted by: Bdazzle on 3/27/2011 8:31:15 AM