Tuesday, April 5

At the Movies: Sucker Punch Review

This past week, I went out to the movies. Two times to be exact, and both times I saw the same movie: Sucker Punch. I had been anticipating this film for some time, so my expectations heading into the film were high, which left the door open for disappointment. The rest of the review is after the break.

I'll grade the film in two categories: Action and Story.

Story: To summarize the main plot of the film, a young woman who is known only as "Baby Doll" has just come through a traumatic series of events. Following the death of her mother, she is framed for the murder of her young sister by her evil stepfather. She's sent to a mental institution in order to cope with everything that's happened to her. In a short time, you'll find out that this isn't a mental institution at all, and this is where the movie soon begins to spiral out of control into Baby Doll's a lost void of dream sequences.

With the help of her new friends, Blondie (who looks similar to Snooki from Jersey Shore), Amber (who reminded me of Tila Tequila), sisters Sweet Pea and Rocket, the young Baby Doll ventures into her vivid imagination in order to escape her tortured reality.
The dream sequences were honestly the best part of the film. In the first introductory dream, Baby Doll learns that in order to escape this institution that she's been placed in, she has to find five items. A map, knife, fire, key and a mystery item that she'll only find for herself. At this point in the movie, it feels like this could be going somewhere, but it really isn't. The fact that nearly every male character in the movie were made out to be evil, sex-driven animals continued to remind me that I was watching an episode of Dr. Phil. Here's a poor young woman. Look at all the evil men that are trying to ruin her life and take advantage of her. The only good male character in the film was "Wise Man" played by actor Scott Glenn, who helps Baby Doll throughout the four dream sequences.
By the end of the film, you're left with an empty feeling, almost like you've been sucker punched, no pun intended. When the screen goes black and the credits begin to roll, you feel like the past two hours were pointless. Baby Doll's character doesn't exactly develop throughout the film as you had hoped, and neither do her friends.

Action: As with previous Zack Snyder films (300 and Watchmen), the special effects and action sequences are fun to watch. The dream sequences are where the majority of action and special effects take place, which really make these the best part of the show, as I've said before. It's enjoying to watch Baby Doll slice, shoot and run her way through these crazy fantasy worlds, but in the end they only turn out to be brainless cinematic adventures filled with excellent CGI but no significant importance to the rest of the film.

By now you may be wondering: Then why did you go to see it twice? Well, I thought I missed something the first time around. For some reason, I thought there was more to the story than I got the first time. But even through the second showing, the story still didn't pack any real message or have any character development.

In summary, I would say this movie is fun to watch, but don't go in expecting to be blown away. The soundtrack, however, was a nice plus for me, with redone versions of Jefferson Airplaine's "White Rabbit" and The Beatle's "Tomorrow Never Knows." Emily Browning, who played Baby Doll, lends her vocals on a few of the songs, showing that she really is a talented actress.

Overall rating: 3 stars out of 5


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