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Sucker Punch back to reviews
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Two positive reviews and no negatives?
It would be dishonest to call Sucker Punch a trashy movie. It is not a movie, it is a two hour long cut-scene from a bad videogame. It is hard for me to find a single facet of this movie that isn't god awful, and I'm struggling to even begin describing how it all goes so wrong.

The thing that stands out the most about this movie is just how excruciatingly boring it is; quite an achievement for a movie about scantily dressed babes fighting robot samurai. The problem is I don't give a damn about the vacuous protagonist and her implausible situation so there is no tension to the CGI heavy, anime-esque action sequences. The "real world" is more ridiculous than the dream sequence action scenes. It is a world in which a young lady can receive a lobotomy within days of being spuriously accused of murder, without any police inquiry (let alone a trial).

But why look for logic in something that is clearly meant to be dumb fun? Because the movie forgot to provide the fun. The action is an intangible clusterfuck of green screens, trashy rock covers and Zack Snyder's patented slowmo abuse. The first ten minutes of this movie is entirely shot in slow motion (I shit you not). The final insult is that in its desperate attempt to get a PG 13 rating, much of the violence and sexiness is curtailed and the cussing is drowned out. This movie just doesn't have the balls to give the goods.

I think the worst thing though is how the movie dresses itself up as a female empowerment allegory. These women are meant to use their looks, their imagination, and their strength of character to over come their real world and dream adversaries. But would the victims of rapists and murderers have fantasies about Lolita outfits, trench warfare and mecha? This isn't empowerment, it is exploitation. And these aren't escapist fantasies for women; they are the wet dreams of a 13 year old boy.

It might seem like I've been heavy on the hyperbole in this review, but I am honestly not not exaggerating. No one should watch it. If you're really tempted towards seeing this movie, just don't. You'd be better off with anime and internet porn.

Yes, because all anime is hyper-violent over-sexualized nonsense.

Ahem, that pet peeve out of the way. Yes, some people won't like this movie, that's fine. But I'd hardly call this movie a failure, it was a deliberate homage to cheesy video games and hyper-masculine fantasies, if you don't appreciate that sort of thing, you won't enjoy this movie. The problem is with the source material, not the presentation.
comment #7146 Phrederic 1st Apr 11
I never said it was, but if you want hyper-violent, over-sexualised nonsense then there are plenty of anime out there that provide it far better than this movie can.

I don't think blaming the source material is any excuse for the movie, especially when the source material easily surpasses such a clumsy mess. This movie is devoid of self-awareness. It never once suggests that it might be anything other than an adolescent brainstorming session about what would make a totally cool movie.

comment #7147 maninahat 1st Apr 11
It's completely aware that it is entertainment for geeks. I'm not sure why you expected it to be any different, or how you didn't pick up the points where it referenced what it was.
comment #7149 Mastodan 2nd Apr 11
That isn't the same as being self-aware. Self-aware is when a movie nods to the intrinsic flaws to its own genre or story. I could clearly see that Sucker Punch is meant to be entertainment for geeks and the anime/videogame/sci fi references are as plain as day. But references are not the same as self-awareness and Sucker Punch is certainly not aware of its own stupidity or flaws.

My review discusses the movie as a piece action entertainment, and describes its failure to be entertaining. I don't see what it is I must have missed.
comment #7153 maninahat 2nd Apr 11 (edited by: maninahat)
Why are people so hung up on it being female empowerment? All I saw were women with guns, and no feminist message here.
comment #7156 Jackerel 2nd Apr 11
It's pretty obvious stuff: There is the whole thing about them being in a brothel and the men (with the exception of one) are all perverts, murderers or fantasy monsters to be fought off or eluded. Then there is importance of securing Baby Doll's virginity (and her ability to deny sex to others), and the ability to overcome the constant threat of rape. And the entire premise of the women trying to gain "freedom" by escaping the male dominated ward and whore house. That even the most senior women in the institute has no power or sway with the pervert warden (who regularly subverts what little authority she has).

comment #7160 maninahat 3rd Apr 11
One sees what one wants to see dude.

I saw the world's longest music video. That's what I put into it, and that's what I got out of it.

And the reason they view themselves as prostitutes is because that's very similar to their current situation, they have no control over their life, and the person who controls them rents out their bodies for money. It's symbolism, brah.
comment #7162 Phrederic 3rd Apr 11
Someone's been listening to Mark Kermode.

I didn't go into this film expecting high art or brilliant storytelling. If that's all you want from films then of course this is going to offend your sensibilities. Me? I knew I'd love it as soon as the blonde schoolgirl threw the big-ass sword at the giant demon samurai with the minigun. The characters in the film occasionally wanted nothing more than escapist entertainment; why should viewers be denied the same privilege?

Also, your criticism of the rapid lobotomy? Missed quite a few points. Yes, under normal circumstances there would be an enquiry and a trial, and probably no lobotomy. These were not normal circumstances. This was Babydoll's stepfather hiding her at Lennox House precisely to prevent her giving evidence at such an enquiry, and paying a corrupt member of staff to expedite the procedure by forging signatures. Those ten minutes of slo-mo you complained about? Slo-mo is used in film to draw attention to a scene, in much the same way that dynamic shifts are used in music and storytelling for the same purpose. Occasionally it's useful to pay attention to that.

No, the film is not perfect, and you've raised some very valid criticisms. The PG-13 (well, 12A over here) rating hurts it horribly - they really shouldn't have cast Vanessa Hudgens -, the acting is not spectacular, there isn't enough actual story to drag over a ninety minute film, and as Phrederic intimated, if Zack Snyder wants to make music videos he should just bugger off and make music videos.

But there was enough there for me to find some entertainment in this film, and as such I can't agree with your conclusion that it's a failure of entertainment. It clearly failed to entertain you, but that's not the same as it being intrinsically unentertaining.
comment #7164 Kinitawowi 3rd Apr 11 (edited by: Kinitawowi)
But would the victims of rapists and murderers have fantasies about Lolita outfits, trench warfare and mecha?

I kinda resent that. Some rape victims repress, some victims go hyper-sexual and some gain power and/or control through pain fantasies - people cope in many different ways. I don't doubt that a hefty amount of the audience don't give a crap and just want to see hot ladies, but that sentence annoyed me slightly.
comment #7168 emeriin 4th Apr 11
I'm sort of getting tired of people defending this film, considering just how many flaws it has. And when someone points out these flaws (like in this review) and gives their opinion everyone just dismisses stating things like: "you don't get it..." acting like understanding this juvenile story proves their intelligence. If you were really paying attention to the film you probably would have been laughing at how absurdly bad some of the scenes were, especially the ending when they reveal the groan inducing twist. Its over the top action that takes itself to seriously unlike other films like "Hot Fuzz" or "Shoot-em-Up", that have awesome action while simultaneously making fun of themselves. In my opinion this movie could have been so much better and was an all around terrible outing to the theater. A lot of people share that opinion and I guess the die hard fans are just going to have to live with that.
comment #7172 cafiwam 4th Apr 11
Yes, how dare people defend a film, those puppy drowning assholes! What's their problem?

This film wasn't a parody, so why the hell would it be like Hot Fuzz or Shoot Em Up?

And people not enjoying a film isn't going to make my experience any worse.
comment #7182 Phrederic 5th Apr 11
I agree with maninahat and their review. Movie can be allowed to be dumb but not in such an awfull way that debases the audience and the characters by using cheap, pandering, fetishes.

The movie commits the crime of trying to have a message when it shouldn't. It can't try to give a message about "empowering" when it is so utterly stupid about it, just leave out the message altogether or do it in a parody/satire.
comment #7185 shinfernape 5th Apr 11
I'm sort of getting tired of people defending this film, considering just how many flaws it has.

Why do you think Twilight fangirls continue to defend the franchise? Because they like it. They have their own opinions on it, and they are aware of the flaws but don't care, or don't see them as flaws. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all - why should everyone have the same opinions? Sucker Punch is an art film at its heart, and many people don't get art films. There's a reason we have the Love It Or Hate It trope, and it's not because we all love Ke$ha's music. If you didn't like the film, fine. You're free to say that. You're free to attack it all you like. But for people like me, who actually got the empowerment message everyone seems so intent on ignoring or devaluing, it's offensive to be attacked simply for liking the movie.
comment #7188 Absynthe_ 5th Apr 11
"I didn't go into this film expecting high art or brilliant storytelling. If that's all you want from films then of course this is going to offend your sensibilities. Me? I knew I'd love it as soon as the blonde schoolgirl threw the big-ass sword at the giant demon samurai with the minigun. The characters in the film occasionally wanted nothing more than escapist entertainment; why should viewers be denied the same privilege?"

I expected a dumb fun action movie, as I said in my review. The problem is that Snyder saw fit to cram a feminist message in to a movie it shouldn't belong in. What Zach was going for was too sophisticated for the type of movie it is and the feminist message often contradicts what actually goes on in the film. It loses points for poorly manifesting the message, and for trying to stick it where it don't belong.

"This was Babydoll's stepfather hiding her at Lennox House precisely to prevent her giving evidence at such an enquiry, and paying a corrupt member of staff to expedite the procedure by forging signatures."

But there were clearly policemen there to take her away as well. I seriously doubt they would have just allowed the girl (accused of murder) to go off with the step father in the white van. It also doesn't make sense that the female doctor (apparently the only one able to authorise lobotomies) doesn't realise that there is a lobotomy about to take place which she did not authorise until it is too late. What, is she just really absent minded or something? She clearly hated lobotomies!

"Those ten minutes of slo-mo you complained about? Slo-mo is used in film to draw attention to a scene, in much the same way that dynamic shifts are used in music and storytelling for the same purpose."

Slow motion has two uses: to allow you to see something which would otherwise have moved to fast for the audience to make out, or to add extra emphasis to a moment. This movie was using it for the latter reason in the opening scenes, but the movie fails to realise that emphasis only works if you use it sparingly. If you place emphasis on everything, you prevent important elements from standing out. Likewise, I use italics to emphasis certain words, but if I wrote this entire paragraph in italics, the words I really wanted to emphasis would blend in to the rest.

Slow motion added nothing to those first 10 minutes that we wouldn't have gleaned from it going at normal speed.
comment #7194 maninahat 6th Apr 11 (edited by: maninahat)
'''But would the victims of rapists and murderers have fantasies about Lolita outfits, trench warfare and mecha?'

I kinda resent that. Some rape victims repress, some victims go hyper-sexual and some gain power and/or control through pain fantasies - people cope in many different ways. I don't doubt that a hefty amount of the audience don't give a crap and just want to see hot ladies, but that sentence annoyed me slightly.''

Perhaps some victims do have empowerment fantasies, but I doubt a young lady in those circumstances would have a fantasy that looks anything quite like this. I find it rather convenient that the fantasies of a mentally ill young girl happen to have a lot of overlap with the peurile day dreams of a teenage boy.

This movie depressed me all the more because it reminded me of another movie with a similar concept that worked much much better. It is a surreal Korean Rom Com about a crazy girl who believes she is a cyborg, and wants to use her robotic powers to massacre the men in their white coats. It is far more shocking, endearing, charming and plausible. And it even has some kick ass action thrown in.
comment #7196 maninahat 6th Apr 11 (edited by: maninahat)
Do you want to know why so many people are saying "you just don't get it"? Because you're missing the symbolism that is central to the story. As I believe I said in my review, and as is clearly pointed out on the main page, there's much more to this than what first hits the eye. You just need to be able to get past the storm of fanservice and action, which unlike what most people are saying actually has a purpose.

I read Twilight and tried to like it in the hope that it would actually be good. It wasn't really. But at least I made the effort, and I at least uneerstand vaguely why so many people like it. Haters, open your minds a little and maybe rewatch. You might see something new.
comment #7227 Ninjat126 9th Apr 11
"Hater" implies I go out of my way to dislike Sucker Punch, which wasn't the case. I dislike it because I watched it and thought it was a thoroughly stupid and boring movie on its own terms. I don't see how "making an effort" to force myself into liking this movie will make it any better a film.
comment #7228 maninahat 9th Apr 11
Maybe it won't, but opening your mind a bit wouldn't hurt.

I actually had to make an effort to not get turned off the whole thing when the stripper costumes came out. (In case you didn't catch the hint, I hate Fanservice.) I saw this film despite the a
comment #7232 Ninjat126 9th Apr 11
(Sorry, I'm on an Ipod. Hard to type.)

I saw this despite its apparent surface flaws because I'd heard that it was good. I assumed that they had to be raving about something. Your criticisms are valid, but they don't fully stand up on closer inspection.

To avoid a possible flame war, I don't think I'll be commenting on this review again. I think I've said everything constructive I could add.
comment #7233 Ninjat126 9th Apr 11
Haters, open your minds a little and maybe rewatch. You might see something new.

yeah, pretty constructive alright.

I see where you're going with this, man. First, it seems to be packed like an action movie, but the quality of the material it presents is not superior (hell, not even as good) to the source, nor does it bring something new and/or fresh to look at.

The second point, I see it can be resumed as the movie after all was message-packed, but along all satire, and the senseless action, and the fact this movie is running along the "parody" line but stops right in the middle and tries to break apart, without ANY REAL SIGN of the damn movie deciding which of the two sides will it choose, it was all lost and brought out as pretentious in a movie that took itself too seriously in the end.

And you know what? I agree with both. I never felt that "whoa! action" vibe, neither did the message reach to me, not because it wasn't clear, but because a message like this after all the trainwreck the movie went through, just made me ask "why the fuck are they talking about this in a place like that?"

So, granted, Snyder took his movie too seriously and maybe give it a bit too much credit. That didn't mean people would have to behave the same way.

Now, inspired by the user above me: Fanboys, keep the claws apart, they make you look ridiculous. There's people who didn't like the movie; whatever reason they had, as long as it's well-argumented, is not wrong. Keep on gushing about your beloved art film all you want and be able to ignore criticism when you don't like it. You might see a new life ahead of you.
comment #8380 xanderglz 1st Jul 11
Completely agree with this review.

For those who say people fixate on one bad point or went in with expectations, this is simply not true. Every aspect, every piece of this film is bad bad bad. It is a building whose every brick is flawed, whose mortar is none existant and whose blueprints are a garbled mess. I tried to enjoy the action scenes, but the first time a giant robot punts the unlikeable protagonist through a door (cheer!) and she just hops back up again completely unhurt (boo!) I lost all intered. Action is meaningless if there's no weight. If this is a video game, Baby Doll is playing with God Mode on. And that's about as enjoyable as this is- watching someone play Fallout 3 with cheats turned on.

Keep fightin' the good fight, Maninahat. Lovers gonna love, rational people gonna dislike a terrible movie.
comment #8406 KamenReview 3rd Jul 11 (edited by: KamenReview)
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