SG Flix: Sucker Punch

March 30th, 2011 at 9:00 am · 11 Comments

If you came to me and asked me if I would sit down and watch an hour and a half of women in skimpy outfits fight dragons, Nazi zombies, and samurai warriors, I would actually say yes!

However, I put off watching Sucker Punch because a part of me felt that the movie would have no actual substance to it and would somehow mess up the action-packed flavor that the trailers delivered. Call it women’s intuition? Or it’s probably me being cheap for not wanting to pay $12 for a movie ticket. Given the hype the movie received, I decided to go back to my earlier reaction and say, “What the heck, I will watch it! Let’s see some women kick ass and maybe chew bubblegum!”

Well, I was disappointed, so I hate you all. Yes, I blame you.

Sucker Punch is the story of “Babydoll,” a young woman who is sent to a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather. Something about angels is uttered during the opening scene, and then were told that Babydoll is to meet certain doom. You see, in 5 days, there’s an under-the-table scheduled lobotomy to keep her quiet and the police away.

The movie starts off promising, but the moment it transitions into Babydoll’s (first) fantasy world, I realize I’m not in for a great ride. Babydoll uses her mind to escape the pain of reality of being locked up, and apparently the best escape is a brothel. That’s definitely where Jax would go! Here is where we’re introduced to her fellow ‘dancers’ Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie, and Amber.

Babydoll decides to escape, and with the help of the other girls, plan to steal several items to accomplish their feat. The manner in which they steal all the items is the “interesting” part: Babydoll has the natural ability to allure men with the way she dances, and that gives the other girls time to steal what they need. However, the movie teases you by never showing you Babydoll’s dance, for this is the moment Babydoll retreats into her mind once more into another fantasy world where she’s fighting dragons and robots.

As the movie goes on, the story doesn’t progress much, and the characters don’t evolve either. Despite knowing Babydoll’s horrendous state of affairs and how she got there, I never really felt compelled to care for her. Her character had no emotion, and that goes for the rest of the cast. Some of the characters like Rocket and Madam Gorski showed promise, but it never fully developed.

The parts of the movie that were meant to pull on our heartstrings didn’t do it for me (that’s what she said), simply because we never stayed in one fantasy world enough to really get engrossed. And after some time, even I found the teasing of Babydoll’s dancing annoying. Show me what I’m missing already!

Had this been just a cool movie mixed with action, fantasy, anime, steampunk and futuristic warfare, it would have been great. I liked some of the action scenes and it had good visuals. But because the movie tried to add a touch of seriousness to it, it fell short. It actually made the movie a bit boring, even taking away from the sexy women and gun-totting.

If you can make this boring, you did something wrong

In fact, director Zack Snyder is getting more flack for the movie because of this statement:

“Our hope is we were able to modify them and turn them into these power icons, where they can fight back at the actual clichés that they represent.  So hopefully by the end the girls are empowered by their sexuality and not exploited.

Umm.. did he watch his own movie? That’s exactly what Snyder did. The main weapon in the movie is not the guns and samurai swords the girls possess in the 2nd fantasy world, it’s seduction (a.k.a. Babydoll’s dance). A dance described to have lots of moaning and gyrating, meant to be titillating. When Babydoll closes her eyes to go down (not like that pervs) a second dream level, she looks as embarrassed and ashamed as Frawlz does after his wild weekends in the New York alleys.

The women all look beautiful; at no moment are they “slutty”. But again, the women don’t have the power here. The evil men are looking to use them as sex objects, and that’s what the women play into. They’re not owning their sexuality, they have no choice. Even in the fantasy world where they have the skill to kill numerous Nazi zombies, a ‘Wise man’ is the one instructing them on what to do.

It may sound I’m being ‘feministic’ here, but that’s actually just one big way the movie dropped the ball.

Alas, the film should have skipped the grim story and gone for what it was: a non-sense action flick with great-looking chicks whooping butt. Had it tried this, and cut back on some of the soundtrack bleeding over in every scene, it probably would have been a lot better.

The wise man says, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” I stand for not watching movies that can’t make up their mind on what they are, so I won’t fall for watching this type of movie again (hopefully).

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    11 responses so far ↓

    • Droozy says:

      The movie was a complete trainwreck. The Graphics/Visuals and audio was nice. Thats about it. lol

    • Jitterbug says:

      Great review. I was excited to see this movie, until I started reading the reviews. What a shame.

    • sparki says:

      I stopped reading this review about the same time I do other reviews when the reviewer misinterprets the first fantasy world.. the brothel.. as being Baby Dolls.
      Heres the spoiler disclaimer, if you havent seen the movie and dont want this spoiled skip to the next. If you are the reviewer or someone else that has seen it and want a different perspective please read:

      I believe the brothel fantasy is Sweet Peas fantasy escape from reality. A very grim reality where the orderlies are abusing the girls. We are only introduced to the brothel world only when Sweet Pea gets off the stage at the beginning. And at the end of the movie we are asked (subtly or not, the movie does get clumsy with things that should be subtle).. we are asked who is really pulling the strings, whos fantasy is this? And if you think about it

      When the girls are dancing they are being abused. The fighting scenes are probably Baby Doll, as an escape from her being abused as they happen whenever she is dancing.

      Not saying it makes the movie any better or revamp your opinions, the movie still has some flaws but I would say it may be worth it to rethink of the movie in a different way, and see if you come up with any thoughts.

      • Esmeralda says:

        Well considering you stopped reading my review around the fourth paragraph, I shouldnt bother to finish reading your comment :)

        [SPOILERS] Even with that perspective that it is Sweet Peas fantasy world and not Babydolls (since, yes, at the end of the movie it insinuates the story was always about her/Sweet Pea), it still doesnt take anything away from my review. The manner in which they escape the pain of reality is still a brothel. That doesnt change my opinion of the movie or make me rethink it.

        I still believe it was Baby Dolls fantasy world: we are introduced to the brothel when BabyDoll is in the chair about to get the lobotomy. Even if it transcends to Sweet Peas point of view after, at another point in the movie when Rocket is saved by Babydoll from the cook (both in asylum-gray wear), Rocket takes off her apron to reveal her dancer clothes beneath it. Also, with the focus being on Babydolls dancing, the first fantasy world makes Babydoll the hero, making me believe its still her imagination.

        When the girls are “dancing” they are being abused. You mean abused in the real world? I agree with this, as I felt that was the case myself. At the end, it is revealed the orderly Blue is stabbed just like he was stabbed by Babydoll in the brothel and Sweet Pea does actually escape. Meaning (obviously) that the first fantasy world replaced the real world so the audience never sees the actual abuse, but still follows the story along in regards to the items stolen and the escape. I didnt state that in my review because it was a bit of a spoiler, but again, doesnt change anything :)

        • sparki says:

          Because you were kind enough to read and reply to my comment. I figured Id give your review a second look. =) Besides after watching the movie, a good back and forth of ideas I feel is needed.. as I dont have all mine sorted completely. So thank you for replying I wanted to elaborate on a thing or two, if ok?

          Since Im not good at tags there may be more SPOILERS ahead.

          I think were missing where were agreeing. The kickass fantasys (err 2nd lvl), Id agree are Baby Dolls. That is her way of escaping from wth is going on in her real life, and as such thats why were only being teased with them. When the fantasy kicks in, her mind goes elsewhere.. shes escaping and blocking out real life (so were blocked from it too). She can kick total ass because its what she needs (her last irl attempt to kick ass ended with her sisters death). Were only told about her dance from Sweet Pea as being world that its raw and involves groaning, etc. Others later agree that its raw.. (I think, but its not a big deal)
          Sweet Pea, being someone thats been there a while has come to some kind of terms of whats happening, shes accepting what she must and resolves that theyre in a brothel.. its now ok to her (not sure its the best line of logic, but sexual abuse victims find ways to rationalize and try to take responsibility, even though theyre just the victim).

          While were introduced to the brothel world from Baby Dolls lobotomy pre-view, were introduced to it by Sweet Pea who is probably getting some real world dialog btwn blue and the step dad crossing plains into her fake worldit doesnt make sense in her fake world, she cant figure out why anyone would be into that dance and were tossed into the brothel world when she complains. It takes her mind a few, the priest brings in Baby Doll to somehow be saved at her brothel.. where and the lobotomy dance is replaced with the high roller.

          As for the other points laid out in your review I agree with a number of them. If it was just the 2nd lvl fantasy, without the attempt at a deeper story while it would be only an action packed popcorn movie, Id probably really love it. And the wise man, I just dont get his role at first I imagined it was BDs subconscious guiding her, but I dont understand him at the end.. either way, he really doesnt need to be there. And yes, while its definitely sexy, they arent turned into overly sexualized sluts. They just know how to use their weapons available in whichever fantasy theyre in.

        • Esmeralda says:

          Thanks for giving my review a second look :)

          Now, I always understood why we werent allowed to see Babydoll dancing: the fantasy world is an escape to block out the dancing, like you said. Since the movie hinges on the victims point of view, we have to also succumb to the blocking. BUT that still doesnt mean I didnt get annoyed by it though, lol < This may be due to my wishing the film was more action-packed and not depending on its serious overtone.

          Also, after further thinking, you may be right on the first fantasy world being Sweet Peas considering what I just concluded the film to really be about (Ill explain it at the end). But I still stress it doesnt change anything I think about the actual films delivery (or the review, except for changing Babydoll to Sweet Pea in one sentence).

          The wise man is meant to be the guardian angel they talked about in the opening sequence. He is the one that guides the girls to the items and in the end helps Sweet Pea. Which is actually what confused me in the first place about the entire whose fantasy is the brothel part. The wise man helps Babydoll sacrifice herself for Sweet Pea to redeem herself from the accidental death of her sister Well, he did his job alright, but that still sucks. Even if Babydoll wanted to play hero one last time, she gets a crummy ending. And this also goes back to: in the end, a man needs to save the helpless Sweet Pea, who is at a lost for words when shes confronted by the officers.

          Honestly, the movie was supposed to be: BabyDolls final sacrifice because she failed to save her sister (and accidentally killed her). Her redemption was saving Sweet Pea. It was time for Sweet Peas salvation for being a great sister since she followed Rocket even though she had a great life. This was her reward for all her suffering = escape. Did many people get this from the movie? NOPE! The movie doesnt provoke you to think this far into it The movie failed to convey this all well and had too many sacrificial lambs where it made the audience feel the journey wasnt even worth it What I described would have made for a great movie, but because of the mix of everything, it was lost in the grand scheme of things.

    • Swinger1 says:

      I have not seen this movie because of the reviews from all over It sounds like the title describes the person that bought the ticket, and the hit to the wallet. (No offence to you, Esmeralda)

    • Reikozu says:

      But the trailers look so awesome.

    • Ian Crane says:

      I thought this was going to be a podcast.Esme? Make an audio version plz :)

      • Esmeralda says:

        Dave is the one that decided his new movie podcast was to be named the same thing we use to refer to written movie reviews, lol So my review and Daves new podcast are two different things. I would record myself, but itd just be me reading what I typed above, no point in it.

    • Nick Capan says:

      The trailers for this movie look pretty awesome, but I dont plan on seeing it.

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