Friday, March 25, 2011

Review - Sucker Punch (2011)

I'm still trying to figure it out.  I think I know what happened.  Whatever it was, it was a fun ride - mostly.

Sucker Punch is a movie with a graphic novel feel.  Be prepared for interesting camera shots that emphasize the small things that are important (for example, an extreme closeup of a key hanging around a man's neck).  Also be prepared for in-your-face music meant to emphasize what people are feeling.  This movie is expressionism on steroids applied to the screen.

The opening sequence pulls us in immediately.  With a tricked-out "Sweet Dreams Are Made of This" playing in the background, we see a series of events play out without dialogue showing how Baby Doll ends up in a mental institution.  All we have are facial expressions to tell the story, and it's done well.  By the time someone utters the first words, everyone in the audience wants to see Baby Doll escape.

A lot of the movie plays out in Baby Doll's head, which is both fun and a little bit of a drag - as you know what happens in her head isn't real.  Sometimes it feels like an excuse for the creator, Snyder, to get in some awesome gratuitous steampunk action (beware - fun intentional anachronisms abound).  Hey, I'll watch that cool stuff any day, even if the plot isn't being pushed forward.

Scott Glenn is hilarious as the old wise man, though he starts to get "old" around the third/fourth time he shows up.  The epic fight battles are just awesome (for example, check out the trailer at time 0:58 when Baby Doll jumps up in that robot thing's face).  There is also plenty of Meow.  I'm not kidding.  After you see the train scene, tell me if you don't hear meowing.

I enjoyed this movie up until the ending, which for some reason seemed to come up short.  I would have done something different with the last five minutes.  I think it was just poor execution.  And to rub salt on the wound, the closing credits seemed to make a joke out of the whole movie.  (I strongly suggest you walk out when you see the ending credits start to roll.)

Oh, and one more thing.  Why does Blondie have black hair?

I recommend this movie for the person who loves graphic novels, anime, or in-your-head sci fi thrillers.  This movie would not be good for anyone under 13.  It has no sex, but the girls are put in bad situations that really makes you hate guys.

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