This week director Zack Snyder’s bad-ass, chick-action-flick, Sucker Punch hits theaters with a bang. Snyder described the film as “Alice In Wonderland with machine guns” and there definitely is an aspect of that to the film. This is a dark, imaginative film that journey’s into the mind a young girl who needs to escape — but unlike Alice, Babyboll has a lot bigger threats than just growing up, she has to escape a mental institution before it’s too late. Sadly the film itself doesn’t follow through in terms of story, but it does manage some pretty impressive ideas. Check out our review below…
- Director: Zack Snyder
- Writers: Zack Snyder (story and screenplay) and Steve Shibuya (screenplay)
- Actors: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn
- Original Music by: Tyler Bates and Marius De Vries
- Cinematography by: Larry Fong
A young girl gets caught accidentally commiting some crimes and is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. In order to escape her fate, she retreats into her imagination and envisions a plan which will help her and her new found companions escape.
- The Look: From the flawless skin on all the girls, to the costumes, to the sets and the special effects; this film has a very distinctive look and it’s impressive. One has come to expect this from Snyder and he doesn’t disappoint on visual — though some may not like his videogame-esq special effects, there’s plenty to feast your eyes on.
- All Out: I always prefer a film that takes risks and this film does. It’s great to see a director take an original idea and follow it through 100%. There’s no doubt that Snyder did that here. There is an attempt at a lot of interesting concepts in this film and there are some beautiful moments that really show you how talented Snyder is. Sadly, the whole film doesn’t hold up and that’s mainly do to the story BUT it’s hard not to appreciate and respect the effort.
- The Opening: When the film hit the screen it immediately sent a wave over the audience and I couldn’t help but think “this is going to be awesome!” The start of this film, the idea, the premise, how it sets himself up is beautiful, dark, interesting — this is one of the best starts to a film. Sadly, before we can even finish the first act, things begin to fade.
- The Story: Snyder takes a lot of risks in this film and unfortunately they don’t always add up or mean anything. You’re given this great premise and a lot of metaphorical ideas that at first seem really fascinating; but then you realize that they’re not all adding up, that things aren’t really making sense, then slowly the story starts to fall apart and you’re felt with some pretty images, and that’s about all.
- The Repetitiveness: The film begins with one awesome trick and then repeats it 5 BIG times. Now this isn’t always a problem, films can repeat themselves if they’re clever about it. Sadly, unlike it’s competitor Source Code, which actually repeats itself eight times, this film doesn’t find the differences that keep you engaged while watching the same thing over and over. You need variation, in the characters, their motivation, and in tone in order to keep the story moving and give us something new to watch. The characters never really changed, only the settings. As a result it kept using the same gag just with a slightly different enemy to fight each time. It felt like five of the same short films playing back to back — mix it up!
- Unbelievable Responses: The characters don’t respond like they’re human. Even under the most insane circumstances if there is not something relatable or tangible for us to hold onto, it’s hard to stay invested in the character story. The actors did their best to justify it, but even the greatest actors can’t solve plot holes that big. (Also unbelievable were the eye-lashes — I get the long lashes and excessive make-up in the brothel, but why everywhere else? This is like America’s Next Top Insane Asylum)
- Casting Hamm: Though one can not get enough Hamm, he was probably the worst person in the world to cast as an evil villain that girls don’t want to have sex with. SPOILER When it’s revealed that he’s the “High Roller,” the one coming to take the young Babydoll’s virginity, one can’t help but think that women all over the country would line up for that spot. Now maybe if he was more evil or allowed to really play the villain it would work, but we barely see him in the start and in the end, he’s really not all that bad. If all we get is a sexy Jon Hamm, it’s hard to see what problem is, and if there is not problem, there’s no film.
I can’t tell anyone not to go to this, because there are some really great aspects to this and it’s hard not to appreciate such a unique and interesting idea. That being said, it was not as enjoyable as it sound be and it definitely is no “Alice in Wonderland” story. The visuals were good, but not Snyder’s best. It’s a fun idea that’s never fully accomplished on screen.
Sucker Punch is in theaters March 25, 2011.