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Friday, 9 September 2011

Sucker Punch

"It's less high brow and more Xbox"


Following the recent trend of my reviews, Sucker Punch is another new DVD release, yet the problem with reviewing it is that the critics have said it all, really. Sucker Punch is a mess of a film that director Zack Snyder should not list on his CV next time he is pitching a film. I ended up checking the plot of the film on Wikipedia as it never seemed sure what it was doing and only acted as the background to predictable and repetitive action sequences

The story starts with a 20 year old nicknamed "Babydoll" (Emily Browning) who is sent to a mental institution after her mother and sister are killed by her sexually abusive stepfather (Gerard Plunkett). The institution and her stepfather convince the authorities to have Babydoll lobotomised, and upon waiting for this to happen Babydoll spirals into different fantasies which consume almost the entirety of the film. Babydoll fantasies she is in brothel run by a mobster character called Blue, where she befriends other girls and plans an escape. On being forced to dance Babydoll fantasies she is fighting a variety of characters from wartime Nazis to futuristic robots.

When the action scenes come to a climatic end everyone is impressed by the apparent standard of Babydoll's dancing although Snyder never lets us see the presumed highly sexual dance. I refuse to waste any more time describing the plot. The action/fight scenes play like video games and the constant use of music during these adds to the overall nauseous feeling you get from watching them. Although Snyder clearly knows his way around a green screen, his previous films 300 and Watchmen prove his idea of a film is to place CGI above script and any intention In his first original screenplay it is apparent that Snyder has a vivid imagination, yet after a while this seems to come to an abrupt halt. Only when the film remembers it must have a script somewhere does the the story hold any interest, but there is a feeling it is too little too late.

Snyder may have had some intention to make a film led by a young woman that kicks ass, but instead he just objectifies all the female characters. I have to agree with St. Petersburg Times critic Steve Persall who made a very accurate assertion about the film that it "suggests that all this objectification of women makes them stronger. It is supposed to be reassuring that men who beat, berate, molest and kill these women will get what is coming to them. Just wait, Snyder says, but in the meantime here is another femininity insult to keep you occupied."
All in all, I want to say this film is awful and what it says about its female characters should make Snyder ashamed, yet unfortunately there are many even worse films. It is less high brow and more Xbox. Give it a miss.


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