Sucker Punch
I’ll be done in a minute, this daydream is good stuff.

Theatrical Release Date: 03/25/2011
Director: Zack Snyder
Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn
Rated: PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language.
Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes


Do you want to live forever?!?

If there was any doubt that director Zack Snyder cares more about the image than the script, that debate can be put to rest with “Sucker Punch” (and I mean the kind of rest you get in a deep, deep, DEEEEEP, FUCKING GRAVE).

Yeah, it’s gonna be one of those reviews. I’d like to remain calm and methodically dissect what happened when myself and others were subjected to his latest opus but the bottom line is that just when I thought all the worst films of the year were behind us, out comes “Sucker Punch” (so named for the number it does on your wallet).

The film is about five girls in a mental institution, who retreat into a fantasy world where they’re “dancers” flaunting their cleavage on behalf of a shady dude named Blue (You’re NOT my boy, Blue), who then retreat into another world where they’re badass chicks flaunting as much cleavage as they can squeeze together while wielding guns and swords. Think of it as the dumbest, stupidest, worst, bastardization of “Inception” … and then multiply that monstrosity by 1000 … you’re then getting close to what this film is. (Save me “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never“, save me!)

Look, I’m all for lovely ladies kicking all sorts of ass, but rather than a film about female empowerment, this is far more likely to set the feminist movement back 91 years and start a discussion about recalling their right to vote. Snyder clearly enjoyed putting a whole host of women in tight clothes, with such non-sexualized names as Baby Doll and Sweet Pea, and asking them to cheat their ta-ta’s to camera (who wouldn’t?) but that’s not exactly the best way to make a movie worth watching – unless that film plays on CineMax at three in the morning.

The sad thing is that I went into “Sucker Punch” with such very low expectations. All I wanted was hot chicks kicking ass and taking names (along with maybe my phone number). But don’t let the skimpy clothing fool you, remember that this is PG-13 so there’s not much of a titillation factor (I again refer you to early morning CineMax programming for scratching this itch). Then to make matters worse, Snyder and team try so hard to shoehorn a half-baked story into this and it feels like 30 minutes have gone by before we even get to the first “action” scene. In fact, once all was said and done, it feels like there are MAYBE 20 minutes of true action in this film, which if my math is correct, means that 18% of the time we’re in the third layer of the fantasy world; and you DO NOT want to be in the other two layers, “MIND-FUCKINGLY AWFUL” doesn’t begin to describe them.

Now maybe, JUST MAYBE, the brief action scenes would have been enough had they been astounding. Sure, I saw the trailer just like everyone else and was hoping to be awestruck but instead I found myself laughing at the action because it was so utterly unrealistic; and yes, I realize this is a fantasy film, but acknowledging that context, the CGI and “tactics” used by the girls could still at best be described as ridiculous. There’s even a scene where three of the ladies are mowing down robots on a train, which sounds like a good idea but it’s dizzyingly and poorly done, going on and on and on and on and on AND ON, making me wish the computers spewing out the effects would catch on fire, be put out by firemen, and then catch back on fire again, all before I get to urinate on them and toss them into the La Brea tar pits.

I’m not going to bother mentioning the hammy acting, they had no script to work with and it appears Snyder was much more concerned with how he’d drop in special effects than in how their performances played on-screen. And from the opening set-ups, which I would re-title “Repo: The CGI Opera”, Snyder’s use of music over soft focus shots of the girls doing one inane thing or the other made me wonder if this wasn’t just a collection of YouTube mash-ups. Hell, that actually might have worked better. I’ve seen better filmmaking in a middle school slideshow of some kid’s family trip to Disney World … made on a Windows Vista machine no less.

Beth Accomando of Cinema Junkie mentioned to me that she thought that Snyder “shot his wad” with “300“. Well, I for one would rather have watched him do exactly that on-screen than have to sit through another viewing of “Sucker Punch”. Honestly, this deserves to be on a double bill with “The Spirit” and used for interrogating inmates at Guantanamo Bay.

The only “Suckers” here are those who fork over their cash to see this … and make no mistake, by supporting this film, audiences will be telling Hollywood that they can continue to make empty, soulless films as long as there are tons of overused CGI effects. There’s definitely a place for brainless blockbusters but this is such a fucktarded attempt by Snyder at intellectualism that it’s insulting.

I’d say my brain hurts but I wasn’t using it while in the theater and I doubt it comes as any surprise given what you’ve read already that I’m giving it a 0 out of 5. The film constantly alludes that these fantasy worlds are an expression of how the girls strive to be free of their physical and psychological confinements but all that does is remind the audience that their freedom lies in walking FUCKING SPRINTING towards the exit!

Looking ahead, I’m now VERY worried about the Superman reboot (on a scale of 1 to 10, a 23) and am hoping that the producers of that film get to see this one so a new director can be brought on board before it’s too late. I’m all for imbuing a film with a sense of style but if Snyder couldn’t see here that his visual wanking amounts to nothing without a script worth the paper it’s printed on, what hope does the Man of Steel have? I hope one of his superpowers includes Final Cut because otherwise Metropolis, and all of us, could be in for a very bumpy ride.

0 out of 5