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More in Arts & Entertainment
Sucker Punch (Warner Bros.)
Zack Snyder has already proven himself to be a very legitimate director in the past 10 years with films like 300 and Watchmen. He puts the characters in fantastical worlds and situations with stunning visuals and a unique sense of storytelling. He likes his audiences to embrace his imagination no matter what the story calls for. His newest film Sucker Punch is a combination of everything he did in the past with an original script he wrote with Steve Shibuya. So how does his new movie stack up with his other blockbusters?
The lead character is a young girl named Baby Doll (played by Emily Browning from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), who went through a traumatic event when her mother and younger sister is murdered by her wicked stepfather (Gerard Plunkett). The stepfather frames Baby Doll for the killing of her sister and sends her to a mental institution owned by the sadistic Blue (Oscar Isaac), which doubles as a brothel. The girls of the asylum have been taught to survive through interpretative dancing by Madame Gorski (Carla Gugino). Once there, Baby Doll befriended some of the other inmates including Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), her sister Rocket (Jean Malone), Blondie (High School Musical’s Vanessa Hudgens), and Amber (Jamie Chung).
While Gorski teaches her to escape through dancing, Baby Doll imagines herself in her own reality where she and the other girls fight many types of enemies as a means to escape. They are mentored by a Wise Man (Scott Glenn) to retrieve different items like a knife, a key, and a map to help them escape. The girls must make their escape plan before Baby Doll gets a lobotomy by the High Roller (Jon Hamm from TV’s Mad Men), while they try to evade the ruthless Blue.
When watching Sucker Punch, there are some things to try to understand in order to enjoy this movie. First of all, it’s a visual feast which the director is known for. When the girls fight different otherworldly enemies like robots, Orcs, and undead WWI soldiers, it’s not meant to be taken seriously but can be a rocking good time. Plus, the story and characters has to come first before we get to the action. Once you get yourself acquainted with the story, it becomes easier to latch yourself to the girls and their escape plan. When all is said and done, this movie can be seen as a bold, innovative, challenging, and different kind of movie experience.
Besides being a visual experience, the movie has its own share of performances that help sell the movie. They aren’t too bad, but all the girls did a nice job conveying the courage and emotion of their characters. Isaac’s performance in the movie on the other hand is similar to his performance as King John in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood; he chews scenery frantically as over-the-top villain, which some people might find irritating. Another thing noteworthy about the movie is the soundtrack, which mixes hard rock notes with orchestral beats, and includes songs by Queen, Bjork, and Iggy Pop. Browning also sings in three songs including her rendition of the Eurythmics’ huge hit “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” which can be heard in the opening scene.
The movie may not be for everybody, but Sucker Punch is refreshing in its own way. It combines the style and substance of Snyder’s past films along with different genre elements like fantasy, science fiction, war, and prison drama. The movie won’t have the same instant gratification as some of the more recent blockbusters, but it’s one of those films that might become greater-appreciated years from now. Snyder will continue his blockbuster success with the Superman reboot titled Superman: Man of Steel, which is scheduled to come out Christmas 2012.
THE MOVIE’S RATING: PG-13 (for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language).
THE CRITIC’S RATING: 3 Stars (Out of Four)