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Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Sunday, March 27, 2011  

M. Ovie Reviews: Sucker Punch

I have two introductory paragraphs for this review, so bear with me and you can pick which one you like better.

Intro 1:

Chao and I have gone to see midnight movies at the Uptown Theater a few times. Two of those were 3-D adult films from the 70s. The thing is that the Uptown only has one screen, so when you get to the ticket window you just say, "One, please" without having to state the title of the movie. And thus I feel less pervy doing that than I did asking a ticket vendor for a ticket for Sucker Punch.

Intro 2

Trash doesn't like going to movies in the theater, but she encourages me to go. She knows it makes me happy to see a new release in the dark, loud, distraction-free (welcome to Minnesota!) environment of the cinema. After M. Edium is in bed, she often sends me on my way to check something out, because she loves me. And also because it means that every once in a while, she can collect on these cumulative favors and send me to something like Sucker Punch.

Don't get me wrong, I have plenty of goodwill towards Zack Snyder. I loved his 2004 Dawn of the Dead remake, and credit it with the current zombie renaissance (if the term "zombie renaissance" isn't redundant, heh heh). Unfortunately, it was also the last Zack Snyder movie where he could bring himself to put a normal-looking sky on the screen. Watchmen was doomed to disappoint no matter what, and any other director who filmed it would have made the same crucial mistake, that being to agree to take the gig in the first place. I just wish he'd settle down and tell a story again.

That's not happening in Sucker Punch. Imagine if you took Shutter Island, Inception, Moulin Rouge, Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Kill Bill, and a dash of Showgirls and threw them all into Final Draft. You would then have about one-third of the janked-out kookiness that fills this movie.

The other two-thirds are mostly accounted for by a series of fantasy sequences so literally over-the-top that one sometimes finds oneself looking down at airplanes. As you're probably aware, the heroine of this story is a pigtailed blonde named Babydoll (allowing us to dispense with any feminine empowerment argument in favor of this movie right off the bat) who finds herself wrongly imprisoned in a mental hospital. But is it truly wrong for her to be there? Because as we see over the course of the movie, girlfriend is seriously fucked in the head.

So the deal is that she supposedly escapes into an alternate reality, which is where most of the action takes place, but then she keeps escaping from that reality into even more bizarre realities. And her fellow inmates get to come with her somehow. I don't know, you're probably better off not wasting much time trying to figure out how the various layers of reality interact with each other, because you'd probably be the only one. You're better off trying to untangle the gender politics. There might be a case to be made about women boldly fighting and working together to defeat their male oppressors, if they weren't guided on their quests by an old white male guru character and if they didn't do it while exposing their cleavage and thighs and spectacular hair and makeup. But then, you know, who would see it?

Bottom line, it's all about those fantasy sequences. As a result, it keeps veering back and forth over the line between the fever dreams of a horny twelve-year-old boy and the fever dreams of a self-loathing twelve-year-old boy.

The aforementioned Chao regularly hosts "bad movie nights" at his house, and has been doing so for several years, since several homes ago. He's always telling me about the next ridiculous crap, which is always something nobody ever heard of but it, say, features a gun that shoots fists, or something like Executive Koala, which is a taut psychological thriller about a businessman who has the head of a koala.

I can't wait to tell him about Sucker Punch. There's crap in there even he won't believe.

posted by M. Giant 10:18 PM 1 comments


I ALSO, can't wait to hear about what you "really" think about this movie. Seriously, it sounds like a winner. Plus with the rage that CGI invokes in me, it should be a catastophic event!

By Blogger Chao, at March 30, 2011 at 10:21 AM  

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