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.
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).