IzzieBytes Rating: 3/5 , C+
Sucker Punch is one of those movies you that if you go in expecting nothing but eye-candy, you come out with a little more. But if you had high-hopes for an in-depth, moving film, then you’ll end up pretty disappointed.
Sucker Punch is visually stunning; amazing effects, dramatic fights, and boasts one of the best complimentary soundtracks for an action flick I’ve heard in a long time. Unfortunately, not only does it lack in just about everything else, but we kind of getting tricked into believing this is supposed to be about female empowerment, when it feels far from.
The issue is that it has a really get premise to grow from and just failed at that entirely.
The protagonist, Baby Doll (all the girls are known by their stripper names. seriously) is the target of alluded physical and sexual abuse by a vengeful, evil stepfather. When her attempt to save her little sister from the same fate results in an accidental death and framing, she’s institutionalized. Here, young women who have suffered greatly in life are treated to a unique form of therapy which involves acting out their fears and traumas.
A week after being committed, Baby Doll is lined up for a lobotomy in order to forget everything that’s been done to her, which could result in said stepfather being jailed for abuse.
The story takes place in that week. In order to better cope, the girls involve themselves into deep fantasies. This is where it gets a little confusing and Inception-like. There are 3 realities: the real world where the girls are in an asylum, Sweat Pea’s fantasy of them being in a brothel (where most of the story takes place) and then Baby Doll’s highly anime / video-game influenced action world.
Baby Doll’s super power in the brothel-world is her extremely saucy exotic dancing, which allegedly captivates all the men around her. But every time she dances, we’re taken into her world where she is a kick-ass super hero with guns and swords and dragons and explosions. Although it’s never shown or said, my guess is her “dancing” in the real world would be her therapy sessions of acting out sexual abuse.
During that time, she causes a lot of trouble for the brothel. The girls hatch an intricate escape plan to get out and be free again. There are many sacrifices along the way and it all results in a small “twist” to make you wonder, who’s head am I in anyway? The ending is sad and dramatic; we learn what’s really been going on and when you take the time to think about it, it’s much deeper than the rest of the movie implies.
Tangent begins here; it’s supposed to be empowering to women but that’s a huge joke when the girls are basically strippers and run around fighting crime in high-heels and miniskirts in what could only be described as the ultimate nerdy wet-dream.
The acting, though, was pretty good although it’s difficult to really relate to any of the characters. Emily Browning’s tortured child is disconnected, and the other girls are hard to care about, really. There’s so much action that you never get a chance to give too much of a damn about them. The star of the movie was Oscar Isaac as Blue Jones. He translates through reality and sub-reality wonderfully. He’s a creep and a baddie but extremely complex when you realize the he is just as messed up as the rest of them.
All in all, Sucker Punch is an OK flick. Good to see once to kill time and nerds will love the references and nostalgia. Probably worth the 3D effects, but it doesn’t leave a lasting impression.