Hello, Spongey here.
It’s time to look at a film i’ve been interested in for the longest time. Ever since I first heard about it before release, I was fascinated by it. I thought the idea was interesting…and it promised action and hot chicks. Never a bad thing.
But then the movie came out, and everyone was split. Some dug the hell out of it, some found it average, and others flat out hated it. Hell, it even underperformed at the box officer in america.
To give you an idea of how much it failed: It came out the same day as Diary of a wimpy kid 2…and that wimpy kid knocked sucker punch out!
I am so sorry for saying that.
Anyway, I’ve been wanting to check it out for awhile, and since Director Zack Synder has …some movie coming out that you haven’t heard about, I figured I would finally review it.
Don’t have much else to set up, so let’s just jump in.
This, is Sucker Punch
NOTE: This movie has an extended cut, which was Zack Synder’s original intention before the MPAA cut it down for a PG-13. However, I will review the original cut, cuz…it’s the only one I could find.
The movie opens with narration, that’s so early it doesn’t even wait for the logo’s to finish. Some chicks talk angels, and some other stuff.
After that, we see our main character, apparently named BabyDoll, played by Emily Browning. Her mom has passed away thanks to PCD. Step dad reads in her will that everything will be given to her two daughters, which doesn’t sit well with him.
So of course he tries to beat them. You know, if this scene wasn’t full slo-mo, washed out colors, and a background song, this would horrifying. BabyDoll finds a gun and tries to fire it on Dad.,…but it hits the sister.
…Would it be a dick thing to do the wah wah joke here?
She runs out after that, but it isn’t too long before Step-Daddy decides to throw her in the loony bin. One look around, and both she and I can tell this is not the happiest loony bin ever.
Wait, is there even a happy loony bin?
Step-Dad makes a deal with one of the head guys to give BabyDoll a lobotomy. Geez guy, I know you don’ like her and all , but I think this is a BIT much, don’t you think?
And of course he talks to the guy about the lobotomy…with Baby Doll standing right there! Dude, when you play your step-daughter’s secret lobotomy, do it in another room! And yes, she does not tell anyone about this, or even try to escape.
Hell, she even has regular psychiatrist sessions with the mom from Spy kids and she doesn’t bring it up! Well, anyway, we now cut to the lobotomy.
Huh, that was a short movie. Bye!
So the doctor is about do it…when uh…how do I describe what happens next? From what I can tell, BabyDoll retreats into a…dream/fantasy world where the asylum is a brothel. Uh…i guess that’s one way to cope with a lobotomy.
Yeah, it’s weird. And from I hear, most of the movie takes place here. I suppose i’ll comment on that if it becomes a problem. But for now, i’ll just…go along with it.
In this world, dad is now a priest, and Head guy is a pimp. They talk to the “Star of the show”, Sweet Pea. They say that BabyDoll has been brought her from the orphanage cuz of her…services.
‘I’ll just do a little flower picking”
By the way, the Pimp Is named Blue Jones. Awesome. Sweet pea’s sister, Rocket, pulls BabyDoll aside and introduces BabyDoll to her fellow dancers.
This includes Sweet pea, Amber, and Blondie. Blondie is played by Vannesa hudgens (No comment) while amber is…oh god, it’s that chick from Grown ups and Dragonball evolution again! She keeps showing up…as Mrs Fanservice. I don’t know what that says about her acting choices.
Before we can, you know, build up any characterization, we cut to BabyDoll being all depressed and stuff. This sort of works do it being over…you know, her real life pain so I can’t complain too much about the “Sad background’” scene.
Later, Rocket tries to take some food from the kitchen, but the cook catches her, and of course, tries to rape her.
Not only is that some real Disproportionate Retribution, it’s also a pretty lazy shock moment. Thankfully, BabyDoll rescues her and…the cook doesn’t chase after her and Rocket brushes it off. I know this is a fantasy scene, but…it’s still dumb. Also, it makes that bit, POINTLESS.
Anyway, later we see dance rehearsals, where the asylum’s psychiatrist is now the brothel’s…dance lady, I guess. Dance lady tries to get BabyDoll to dance but she doesn’t seem interested.
But after some “encouragement” she gives in and…it zooms back showing she has retreated into a fantasy world.
…really? A Fantasy within a fantasy? (INSERT INCEPTION JOKE HERE). They were THAT lazy? BabyDoll is THAT insane? I guess it’s symbolic…but it’s…weird and confusing. Perhaps if the movie started with the brothel and the lobotomy thing was the twist, this bit would make more sense. But…nope.
So in THIS world, she is in Japan meeting a wise man. Wise man gives her some weapons to help her start her journey to freedom. But she also needs collect five items: a map, fire, a knife, a key, and some mystery item.
..Then he shows her some bad guys, tells her to fight them, then runs off. A wise man who cuts the “wax on” crap, gives you a quest, a weapon, and bad guy and runs off? Finally, a wise man kids want to see!
She sees three giant Samurai dudes, one of which hilariously kicks her back into the wise guy’s temple. This turns into a big battle, a rocking soundtrack, rocking visuals, rocking pantyshots…and …boredom?
Not that it’s dull, it’s just…there. The visuals, while good, seem a bit too…cartoon-y at times, and BabyDoll flips more than fights, and on top of that, SO MUCH SLOW-MO. Zack is often mocked for this, and I can see why. It’s like he only shoots 40 minutes worth of film, and he justs shoots it all in SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW MOOOOOOOOOOOTIOOOOOOOOON.
But, this fight is kind of fun thanks to the awesome enemy and some, at times, decent choreography. So I can’t bitch too much. Also, it’s kind of video game-ish, and after the last game movie I did…i’m not keen on that idea. At times in this fight it’s in a good way…but at others it’s in a bad way, like when the bad guy turns on FPS mode.
Still better than the spy kids 3 game scenes of course. Anyway, long story short, she kicks ass and we get back to the brothel, as she finishes her dance. Wait, if that scene didn’t happen, that means it had even LESS tension!
Hell, what’s going on back in the asylum? Is she dancing and fighting there too? No clue, so far, they weren’t giving us a hint. But maybe it’s all a mystery until the end.
Anyway, her dance was so amazing almost everyone is speechless, but in true cliché fashion, one chick is unhappy with BabyDoll’s attention.
‘The dance is more than titillation”
Yeah, that thing we are forced to do to turn men on is more than just titillation!
Baby Doll is gonna escape cuz even she wants out of this movie, and she wants to explain it. But before that we see the other dancer ladies talking in a bit that seems to be building character…but only comes across as weak. It amounts to..
“I don’t like this place and I think Babydoll might be right”
‘But no one has escaped?”
Not exactly new or complex.
Though at least Rocket was given a reason due to that rape scene, but it’s hardly new characterization here. But it makes that rape scene…un-pontless, I guess.
So BabyDoll shows up later to show them her plan. It’s…to get the items from that last fantasy scene. Not much of plan. Oh wait the map to know how to escape, the fire is a distraction for the big escape, the knife is for protection, and the key is…well to open the doors. Okay, that works but it didn’t take much thinking like it seems.
To get each item BabyDoll will…distract the owner of the item with…you know what while the others get the item. The others is in cuz if they get caught…well this is all not happening, so who cares?
So the plan goes into action, and Blue Jones and Spy kids mom gather to watch BabyDoll while Sweetpea tries to take the map. But again, we don’t get to see It and jump into another fantasy scene.
This time, the other whores join her for a World War 1-type scene where they have to take a map from the enemy bunker by going through the trenches.
Of course they work in STEAMPUNK ZOMBIES. …Yes, I am sober. But I’m not sure Zack Snyder is. Amber pilots a giant robot…why do the trench thing when YOU HAVE A FREAKING ROBOT but hey it’s a fantasy.
I like this action scene a lot more, since there’s a lot more going on with the gun fire, planes , robot and such. It’s…actually kind of fun. However, the same issues still apply. Slow-mo, flips, and video game shots. Actually, this one is even MORE like a video game, but like I said, this action scene isn’t too bad. There are some quick cuts (like any modern action film) but I can think of worse films that do that.
It even has some stunts done by the actual actors, which I always love seeing. The effects are great, and it’s at least fast paced enough for my tastes. Though it gets some weak shakey cam near the end, it has dumb parts (BabyDoll deflects bullets with a sword cuz ?) and I think it goes on do too long since getting a map isn’t that hard in this case.
It’s…fine, and semi-decent and kind of fun, so it can be a lot worse.
So the dance end and we are taken back to the brothel. The movie attempts to develop when BabyDoll talks to rocket about the whole “orphan” deal. It amounts to “Rocket didn’t like it when Sweetpea came along, boo hoo”. It literally ends at that. Geez, this movie is just…there.
Anyway, now Amber has to get the “fire” aka lighter from the mayor, who is visiting. Even the mayor is a perv in this brothel world? So every man is a perv, and every women uses sexuality to get what they want from men, who they see as all pervs cuz they are.
At least this movie is equal opportunity sexist.
So while Amber Is on the mayor, BabyDoll dances for him, so that means it’s fantasy time again. This time, it’s a medieval thing where they storm an orc castle to get some fire producing crystal from a baby dragon.
What I said about the last one applies here, only it’s much better. There is less slow-mo, and less wire jumps, plus it’s short. It’s only a few minutes, just enough to pack in some pretty cool moments. Though it’s odd that the more urgent one was shorter than the..less urgent one. Ah well, it was a decent action scene.
After the dance, the girls chat, Blue jones is sleazy yada yada. Blue suspects them of wrong doing, and puts on his best threats and villain speech. I will say, Blue’s actor is the only one putting any impression on me. The rest of the acting is fine, but they do so little that anyone could play their part. But blue is really good at being this sleazeball, and he’s kind of fun.
So it looks like their plan has halted, but BabyDoll thinks they can go it before “The highroller comes”. Though Sweetpea is less than pleased. So much so that we finally we see another actor make an impression! But Sister Rocket doesn’t care and picks Baby’s side.
‘You’re gonna choose her? Someone you barley know?”
“After all I sacrificed for you”
…What did you do? Not gonna explain? Okay. So Before any development can happen, SweetPea walks away. Why don’t they ask her to stop being a bitch? Why don’t they chase after her? It’s lazy writing, I mean a dream! It doesn’t have to make sense.
Anyway, later, Blondie let’s her emotions get the better of her and breaks into tears in front of spy kids mom and Blue. So shes’ overemotional? I don’t know, these characters are so dull i’m just filling in the blanks.
The other girls notice Blondie is gone, and..well..let me use my own words.
BABYDOLL: I give up
ROCKET: We made it this far, so we can do it.
God, this is lazy.
And then Sweetpea shows up to help them. Guess that last bit was pointless. Sure, she hasn’t changed her heart, but come on. So now they must get the knife from the cook, so that means it’s dance time again.
And THAT means fantasy time! This one is in the future, where they must stop a bomb that’s on a train from blowing up. Knife equals…bomb? Zack ,are you okay?
“The bomb, codenamed kitchen knife..”
This time we see them fighting robots and stuff. Sadly, the problems from the first couple action scenes are back…including the biggest one.
It’s the hardest one to watch since there also happens to some shakeycam and such. Though like the last one, it has it’s fun moments so I guess it’s a perfect sum up of the action scenes. Also, it has tension as all four girls are getting the knife in “real life” so if one dies here, I assume they die for real.
However, unlike the last few, something actually happens in the plot. They fail, and the bomb goes off. Then there is an abrupt cut to the real world, as the radio playing the music Baby was dancing to shuts down. So the cook catches Rocket taking the knife.
Oh yeah, real tension!
The cook takes the knife, and then the radio turns back on and the fantasy scene turns back on as well. The girls escape the bomb except for Rocket who sacrifices herself to save Sweetpea.
- Why did Baby so back to dancing? They are caught, it’s game over!
- Something that resembles development again..and it’s still kind of lazy. Typical “siblings who didn’t get along then one dies for the other”. Kind of lame.
Yes, Rocket died for real at the hands of the cook. Gee, maybe if Baby had stopped dancing…
So yeah, another dull character bites the dust. Say, I just realized this whole brothel is kind of …not real. What’s going on in the real world? Baby is getting a lobotomy but how does all…this translate out there? Did she escape? Is there even a rocket out there? None of this real! Why should I care?!
Anyway, Blue Jones come in to see this. Did I mention how much I love this guy? He shouts at Sweetpea to LOOK AT WHAT SHE DID and it’s funny. He needs a better movie..
Sweetpea is thrown in a closet, and Amber gets her spot in that night’s show. I’ve failed to mention that a guy called the highroller is coming that night, and Blue wants the girls ready for him. So that night (no one is punished?) he gives a speech which I guess counts as the “ I KNEW YOU WHAT YOU DID” speech.
It turns out Blondie told Madame dance lady what they were doing and Blue picked it up. He rages in his normal hammy fashion, and it seems that dance lady is on the good guy’s side. There was a scene I skipped earlier when Blue basically told Dance lady she was his bitch. Ew or not he’s still fun.
Then he shoots Amber. That death was even weaker! At least Rocket almost had an arc! Amber just…cried and existed. And then he shoots Blondie cuz he saw Beastly…also she’s a snitch. Yeah, she kind of helped you by doing that but eh, it’s lazy writing. I mean a drea…no, it’s just lazy writing.
With that, Blue tells the girls they have a show to do. They all leave, except BabyDoll. Then …he tries to rape her. Ugh, another rape Scene. I hate having to see rape in a movie like this, especially when I review it. Granted, if I squint I can say it’s assault…which doesn’t make it that better, but still.
Thankfully, it’s short cuz earlier Amber did swipe the knife and Blue took it back and put it on a table, so Baby stabs him with it. Cool but you must be a moron to rape someone when a knife is right next to them.
So she takes his key, gets Sweetpea out of the closet (no comment) and decide to make their escape. They use the fire to distract the rest of the people. So they’ve use the fire, knife, key, and I guess map so now what? The mystery item? Okay, what is it?
..BabyDoll, that’s not what objectify means…oh wait you mean…metaphorically, oh yeah. She says she must sacrifice herself as Sweetpea needs a normal life more than she does. Cuz..Sweetpea has a family? Whatever, lazy writing.
So she must distract the guys in the courtyard while Sweetpea escapes. By distract I mean kick him in the nuts. STRONG INDEPDENT WOMAN.
And then….we go back to the asylum. Wow, I forgot about the place. Yes, FINALLY we escape brothel land and go back to reality, Yes, it’s REALLY abrupt but fuck it, we can go back to being bored again.
So anyway, BabyDoll had her lobotomy. The doctor, played by John Hamm, sees the weird way Baby looks at him when he finish it, so he asks psychiatrist lady why she signed off on this. Oh yeah, I forgot, Aslyum!Blue Jones had to forge her signature to do this.
Oh, and she says this:
“Just one week here, she stabbed an orderlies, started a fire, and helped another patient escape”
Okay, so …Sweetpea is real, that stuff was a flashback to her week in the bin, under a weird lens, only another fantasy showed another…oh no, i’ve gone crosseyed.
I think I see what Zack intended for this film, being a deep sort of psychological thing with metaphors and shit…but if I you have like two metaphor fantasy scenes on top of another ,you have to back down./
Besides, you must somehow explain the REALLY confusing and not the really base stuff. Leave the EASY parts to our imagination, and tell us the stuff we NEED to know to even get the movie. I have to make up so much crap, I think the AUIDENCE needs a writing credit.
ANYWAY, Gorski the psychiatrist lady is shocked to see her name on the sheet, and BabyDoll is taken to blue. With her lobotomized he tries to do…something when the cops show up, cuz Gorski called them. Gee, I guess Blue didn’t know she would look at the paper eventually. Man, Baby’s mind had it right.
Blue is taken away, as Baby narrates us back to Brothel world. Sweetpea boards a bus (did Brothel!BabyDoll get axed?). The police stop her from getting on, but the bus driver saves her. The guy who plays the wise men plays him, and he was in the other fantasy scenes, too. He…did nothing really, but now was a good time to tell you about him.
She gets on, while narration plays about defense and dying or whatever.
“You all have the weapons to break free, now fight”
So, that explained everything…BUT
- Did real Sweet pea escape?
- Is there a real rocket, blondie and amber?
- if so, are they really dead?
- Was Real!Sweetpea actually crazy?
- How did Baby make friends with her in that case?
- Did blue kill those three in real life,and if so how did he do it without the cops knowing or something?
- Will Sweetpea’s family just take her back to the bin when she gets home, if she had a good reason to be there?
- What happened with the high roller? Why build him up if he never shows up?
OH WHATEVER THIS MOVIE MAKES NO FUCKING SENSE.
That…was a movie.
What can I say? It was one of the most interest films i’ve seen…and not in a good way. I see why some may really like it, and I see why a lot of people didn’t like it.
However, after all that…i get what Zack Synder was trying to do. Hear me out. He wanted to make a movie with some deep complex morals and themes with a girl escaping through her mind but dressed it up list a typical blockbuster with the fantasy scenes. He wanted to please the snobby thinkers, and people who want to have fun.
However, he ended up with one hell of a mess. First off, the characters are dull, and Un-interesting. BabyDoll is sympathetic, but only up a point. Eventually, she becomes just kind of there, sniveling in a corner. When she takes action, it’s cool but she’s still not very complex. And she’s the BEST. All the other girls are dull, useless, and flat. Rocket was close, but not quite.
It doesn’t help that they reveal that Sweetpea is the real hero since she is extra dull and just…not interesting. Blue is just kind of a cliché villain, but his actor makes him fun. The rest of the acting is passable at best.
The action scenes, while well shot, are kind of dull with too much slow-mo. Though they are overall the most watchable parts of the film. Also, the soundtrack kicks ass.
But then there’s…the plot. Oh boy, is it a mess. It’s about everything…but in the end it’s about nothing. The main characters plight just ends up being cliché, so I couldn’t really get on board with it, for one.
But do I need to go into all those damn layers?! Upon closer inspection, the movie is what you think it is. If you consider it a sexist fanboy fantasy, that’s what you get. If you think it will be a deep complex inception type thing, you get that.
I expected a coherent movie, and I knew most of the arguments for hating or loving this movie. So why did I get? A MESS. I love it when a movie leaves unanswered questions instead of spoon feeding us, but you still must EXPLAIN if your movie is as odd as this.
They don’t. I’ve found plenty answers in other reviews but this movie is deep in layers and so confusing, that again, the audience needs it’s own writing credit.
The parallels are clunky, the plot when not messy, is cliché, and it becomes too big, bloated and “smart” for it’s own good.
The bulk of the review showed the rest of the movie’s faults, so there you go. I can’t judge this movie too well since it’s mostly…meh with a side order of WTF. It’s not…that bad, but it’s also not good. I hope to never do a movie this WEIRD again.