Some film critics will praise Sucker Punch for being feminist. Others will likely complain that the movie’s misogynist.
And there’s bound to be a few who reckon it’s deconstructivist, hypermodernist, and even a trifle abstractonist.
But the way that I like to look at it is…it’s a lot of fit women running around killing people.
Zack Snyder, director of 300, has gone and made another ‘balls out’ action movie. Although this time there’s hardly a bollock to be seen.
Because Sucker Punch is a film in which five young women from a geek’s wildest dreams, shoot, slice and fly kick their way through a selection of fantasy landscapes…also from a geek’s dream.
It’s basically Zack Snyders own muscle bound Spartan actioneer 300, crossed with that ‘gay as a daffodil’ Cher musical Burlesque.
And to be frank, I’m still not sure whether that makes Sucker Punch genuinely brilliant, or just a mad spangle and bangles fest.
But either way, I don’t really care.because I enjoyed the fishnet stockinged hell out of it.
Emily Browning is our 20 year old Babydoll, who’s packed off to a mental asylum by her scumbag stepdad so he can get his claws into her late mum’s fortune.
Young Aussie actress Em is hardly a big name and had zero experience in the action genre.
But her fragile looks and sinister hints of beneath-the-surface toughness make her a perfect choice for the lead. And her round face makes her look…er…well…like a sexy moon.
At the asylum, Babydoll’s carted off for a lobotomy-an unusual thing for an action hero to get, or even need. However, just before the doctor smacks his chisel straight into her frontal lobe, the film takes its first leap into an alternative reality. Babydoll suddenly finds herself working in a bizarre brothel under the care of Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino). Babydoll and her fellow inmates-Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung)-must entertain leering customers for moustache-twirling pimp boss (Oscar Isaac).
It’s not a great life, so the quintet plan their getaway. And to do this, they retreat into further dreamworlds, where they battle samurai demons, steam-powered zombies, fire-breathing dragons and mirror faced androids on a Final Fantasy style train seige, egged on by a wrinkly wise man (Scott Glen), who aides their escape.
The dreamworld battles are pure, adrenalin drenched action poetry. Kicking ass has seldom been so beautiful. And it’s no coincidence these scenes are triggered by Babydoll dancing. They’re choreographed with the precision of big song-and-dance numbers in which everyone gets gunned down in a demented neon bloodbath.
Despite the stakes in these scenes being zeros (cos they’re imaginary) they’re still utterly absorbing…and that’s purely down to the astonishing visuals and perfectly chosen soundtrack. It’s a film in which everything…the punches, the explosions, the girls…is designed to be ogled. In fact there’s so much slow-mo allowing you to do just that. If Sucker Punch was played at full speed, the film would probably only last for ten minutes.
But in fairness, the skimpy costumes are no different from the Muscle Mary get-ups the Spartan blokes wore in 300.
Plus none of the girls are given love interests to take the edge off and make them more relatable to drooling losers.
The script is clumsy, and the pimp role could have done with a rewrite, along with Carla Gugino’s daft dance-tutor character, who sounds like the Russian woman out of Austin Powers.
But Sucker Punch doesn’t deserve to get a kicking over that.
In short, Sucker Punch looks lot like either a very stupid person has tried to make a very clever film, or a very clever person has tried to make a very stupid one.
Far be it from me to say which this is. Frankly, it doesn’t matter.
by Helena Bryanlith