This was a complete mind-trip. Seriously.
Sucker Punch (2011)
Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens and Abby Cornish
Written by: Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya
Directed by: Zack Snyder
Synopsis (courtesy of imb)
A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the mental facility.
This warranted two trailers:
I’m going to upfront with you. I cheated. Babygirl and I were sitting here watching it and within the first half-hour, we were looking at each saying WTH? I made the executive decision to look up the plot online. Usually when I try to do that, my daughter is right there with a “That’s cheating, Mom” but given the fact that we were both confused as hell, it was okay (point for me :))
After being falsely accused of murdering her younger sister, Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is locked away in a mental institution. Her dear step-daddy makes an arrangement with the head orderly, Blue, for her to have a lobotomy. Blue forges Dr. Gorski’s signature in order to make this happen. He’s a nasty bugger, that guy. That was the part I got to before it all became a complete mind-warp.
When Baby Doll went to her first alternate universe, I wasn’t expecting it. I asked my daughter if this was the same movie. She told me she was about to ask the same thing. Then we wondered if this was based on a video game but its not.
Anyhoo, in this alternate universe, Baby Doll envisions the nut-house as a bordello, her co-patients (for lack of a better word) as dancers, Blue the orderly as a pimp and Dr. Gorkski as a dance instructor. (Confusing, right?)
Baby Doll wants to escape but she doesn’t know how. She ends up saving Rocket (Jenna Malone) from being raped by the Cook. Baby Doll is then invited to join the other dancers. Actually, she doesn’t have a choice in the matter because Blue the Pimp has other ideas. Dr. Gorski tells Baby Doll that she’d better dance like her life depended on it. While Baby Doll does her sexy dance, she goes to her second happy place which is set in Japan.
Stay with me, okay?
While there, she meets the Wise Man (Scott Glenn, whom I simply adore) When she tells him that she is trying to escape, he gives her a list of things she must gather in order to do so: a map, fire, a key, a knife and a fifth one which is unrevealed at the time. He then gives her a cryptic warning, some bad-ass weaponry and sends her on her way. This isn’t the last time she sees the Wise Man. Her journey to freedom has only just begun.
Baby Doll and her posse are slicing, dicing and plugging bullets into any and everything. One minute they are jumping out of airplanes, the next cutting open a dragon’s throat. You see World War 1 infantry men battling against some Robo-cop-looking thing that soars into the sky with Baby Doll hanging off the end. There’s a train ride into the sunset with the planet Saturn just over the crest of mountains and Nazi Zombies are thrown into the mix as well. These girls are hardcore (I hate the term “Kick Ass Women”, its been used to death). The fight scenes remind me of the Matrix films and I’m sure that its a subtle nod to them.
I know this sounds crazy but once you figure out what’s going on, the movie is actually one that I would watch again. Aside from the initial confusion of where the plot was going , the storyline is not bad but it is the imagery that makes it. It’s simply brilliant. I wouldn’t have thought up half of what I’d seen to try and make it into a short story let alone a movie. I don’t know if this is a result of a week-long drinking binge or what but I tell you, it works. Set in the 1960s, Sucker Punch is a wild mixture of sci/fi, fantasy, steampunk, with lots of action and violence.
The opening song was a haunting rendition of Sweet Dreams which set the tone for the rest of the movie. I have to confess, the last soundtrack CD I bought was for Sleepless in Seattle.
Oh, shut up 🙂 That was a pretty good CD, lol
As much as I loathe today’s music, I am definitely putting the soundtrack for Sucker Punch on my To-Buy list. Its that good.
I’ve read several reviews where there were complaints about the lack of plot, the degradation of the female characters in that they were dressed to either fuel the school-girl fetishes of sick men or to cater to the fan-boy demographic only. I’m neither one so I don’t give a rip about that. If I had to stop and think about all the movies I’ve seen where women were either scantily clad or cast as the typical too-stupid-to-live blonde bimbo, I would drive myself crazy.
Yes, the young ladies are definitely beautiful and look sexy in their costumes but when’s the last time you’ve seen a group of bad-ass women fighting and doing what they did dressed in Versace with Steven Madden shoes? Oh please. I tell you, if I looked like them, I would run around in a corset and fishnets, too.
What was important to me was the message that the director, Zack Snyder, was trying to convey. In my opinion, it was pretty simple: You have the tools needed to make a change. Use them.
And that’s exactly what they did.