Saturday, April 9, 2011

Sucker Punch, A Monumental Failure

I want to start off this review with a quote from The New York Times review that really stuck with me and made me laugh.

"You could go to see “Sucker Punch” this weekend — a lot of people probably will, and a few may even admit as much back at the office on Monday — or you could try to make it yourself, which might be more fun, though not necessarily cheaper. Here’s what you will need: a bunch of video-game platforms; DVDs of “Shutter Island,” “Kill Bill,” “Burlesque” and “Shrek”; some back issues of Maxim; a large bag of crystal meth; and around $100 million. Your imagination will take care of the rest. Zack Snyder’s imagination is certainly feverish, though not exactly fertile."

That quote from the review by A.O. Scott sums up the movie. I was really looking forward to this movie from the very moment I heard about its inception. "Zach Snyder, the ultimate fanboy, is making a movie for fanboys?" I said to myself "I am so there". I tracked the movie for months and months until the first trailer came out. Hot chicks fighting dragons, robots, nazi zombies, what else could anyone want? Then the reviews started pouring in. The movie was complete shit. I needed to go see for myself where such an awesome idea went so wrong. At the risk of wasting my $11 for a noon showing, I went. I saw Sucker Punch the best way I could have seen it, in IMAX. I took my seat with an open mind and got ready for the show.

I'll start with the positives.

The movie could not have looked any better. It was visually stunning in every aspect and it was those effects that really kept me from walking out. Snyder holds true to his title of being a "Visionary Director". The action scenes are fun to watch but you forget them the moment that they are off the screen. I like Snyder's directing style and his use of the camera. He does something that not many others do and that is film action scenes in one long take. When you do that, the viewers really get a sense of the scope. If he brings this type of flare to 'Superman' I will be very pleased.

Now, on to the negatives.

For the love of God Zach Snyder please don't ever write again! The dialogue is just down right awful. There are a set of voiceovers that bookend the film and the only thing that came to mind was SHUT UP! The movie tries to tell this deep, compelling story and falls flat on it's face. If you remove the voiceovers I think the film goes over a lot better. The whole premise bothers me too. To escape the happenings of a corrupt mental hospital, our lead Baby Doll, retreats into her mind and imagines that she is held captive in a whore house. Like that is any better. Then to escape her imagined whore house reality she imagines these fantastical worlds where all the action takes place. If it sounds confusing, don't worry it is.

It's in these fantastical worlds where our heroines hunt items that will help them escape the whore house and, in turn, the mental hospital. The acting of our leads are so bad and stale that I did not care if they lived or died. The only one that you can really connect with is Abbie Cornish's Sweet Pea. There is a theory I have on why that is but I won't go into that because it involves spoilers. The supporting cast of Oscar Isaac, who plays the villain in the movie, Scott Glenn, and Mad Men's Jon Hamm are very good. Carla Gugino sports an awful eastern European accident much like Cate Blanchett's in Indiana Jones and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I am not just bashing this film to bash it. I really wanted to like this movie. I am fan of Zach Snyder and have enjoyed almost all his movies. I like to think of my experience with the film like this.... I am on a desert island with no food or water. A message drops from the sky and says that some delicious food and refreshing drink is on it's way. I wait for weeks and weeks eagerly awaiting the arrival of my treats. The day has finally come and what is it that they bring me? A shit sandwich and a tall glass of urine. So I take a bite and a quick sip just because I am so famished. I'm not calling anyone an idiot for liking this movie nor am I calling it the end of cinema as we know it. All I am saying is that I fell like I wasted my money watching this monumental failure, but that's just my opinion of course!

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