Movie: "Sucker Punch"

Eunos_Cosmo

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I went into the movie ready to accept that it wasn't going to be very good.

It completely exceeded my expectations of how bad it would be. Ken Kesey on acid....wait...Ken Kesey was on acid.

I just wanted all of the characters to die by the end.
 

JohnnyRacer

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So... where to start....

When I first saw the visuals of this movie back in July, I thought "There is no way this movie is going to suck.". I wasn't right. I wasn't totally wrong either.

To be fair, let me start with the good. And yes, there is good here.

-The action scenes are fantastic. Each is a nod to different action film styles. It's great visual candy.

-Speaking of visual candy, the girls a hot. Especially Abbie Cornish (Sweet Pea). She is absolutely beautiful in this movie. And they all have guns. Yay guns!

-The music is used well. The scene when Baby Doll starts fighting the Samurias, Bjorks "Army of Me" comes on. A song I have liked for a long time.

The bad...

- The story. It's VERY weak. Girl gets thrown into mental institution because of en evil step-dad! OH NOES! But her dancing is so amazing, people shit themselves, drool on the floor and forget where the hell they're at! That's when the super awesome action happens! Really? This ends up being a Lifetime movie with some action scenes. When we're not in those action scenes, it's girls crying over their situation.

- It try's to be smart. But in trying to do that, it looks dumber than Corky trying to figure out calculus. The story suddenly changes it's setting. While you figure it all out in the end, there is no reason behind the change. It's so forced, it's like watching Sasha Grey take a massive dildo in her tiny snatch. Sure, it went in, eventually. But only after a lot of lube and some tears. Tissue, Sasha? Here, just open your mouth and... sorry. I got off track.

In the end, I'm glad I got to see the action in the theater. But, I won't recommend it to anyone to see it there either.

Rental.
 

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The comments are more and more telling me it?s only worth watching in a movie theater, or else I?ll miss all the great visuals.
 

JohnnyRacer

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And that's the struggle the movie gives. Do you pay for the amazing visuals or do you watch it at home and be happy you didn't pay theater prices? That's for you to choose.
 

_HighVoltage_

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- The story. It's VERY weak. Girl gets thrown into mental institution because of en evil step-dad! OH NOES! But her dancing is so amazing, people shit themselves, drool on the floor and forget where the hell they're at! That's when the super awesome action happens! Really? This ends up being a Lifetime movie with some action scenes. When we're not in those action scenes, it's girls crying over their situation.

Yes, the story is very weak, but if you think about it like it is a video game, it makes it watchable.
 

JohnnyRacer

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Yes, the story is very weak, but if you think about it like it is a video game, it makes it watchable.

But, it's not a video game. It's a movie.

I know where you're going with this. Games can get by on a weak story because it's your interactions that make a game fun. Modern Warfare 2 has a terrible story. But I still enjoyed the game play mechanics of the single player game.

Movies can't use that crutch. You have zero control of what's going on as far as the action goes. All you can do is watch.
 
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It got 6.8 on IMDB, which is pretty low. I was hoping it would be good, but now I think I'll wait for a rip or smtn.
 

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Mark Kermode reviewed this earlier today on BBC News and really ripped into it. He said that the film was bad, poorly written and badly directed but the biggest crime of it all was that the film was just boring.


i don't often agree with Kermode's opinion on films but i really think he's on the money with this one.
 
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Dr_Grip

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I finally saw this... thing yesterday. I will not complain about ouvert sexism, as anyone who buys a ticket for a film that has girls in lingerine in combat situations on it's posters voided any right to do this. Still, the reason why i think the whole sexism debate that's going on in this films reviews is misguided leads to the heart of it's problems.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. There are some good, even very good things about this film.
-What impressed me most was the handling of dreams in this film. The way Baby Doll's dreams work is much closer to the way my dreams and dreams of people i know work than the "Bond-style snow landscape firefight" dreams of "Inception". The dream's cast consists of a mixture of people from real life and made-up people, you are in some situation and have to fulfill some objective both of which you don't question in the dream's context, no matter how silly it looks when waking up, and the whole things draws heavily from motives of your real life, picking up settings and items. At first glance, i was impressed how this explained why the fight sequences are a pastice of nerd culture standards, drawing from D&D (the dragon), Steampunk (steam-operated Wehrmacht zombies), LotR (Orks), Firefly (the whole "The Train Job" episode) etc: Many people integrate aspects of movies, tv series and books they saw into their dreams. When we were marathon-watching "Ashes To Ashes", the show's cast were a staple of my girlfriend's dreams, for example. But.... well, the "but" will go down in the "bad" part.

-The girl's outfits are brilliant in an sexy-and-impractical-superhero-outfit way.

-I really liked the visuals of the fight sequences, especially the machinery, both fictional and real, was impressive.

-To make Baby Doll's seductive dancing a major plot point without showing a single frame of it was a bold move. While "you can't have something that can't be seen as a major plot point" still is a general rule taught in film school, not showing something that could be seen is... bold.

Which brings us to the bad aspects of the movie:
-Aformentioned not-showing of the seductive dance feels like cheating the audience. I'm uncertain that i really think it's good.

-Why introduce several pop-culture staple villain classes (zombies, robots, Orks) just to not differentiate them in any way. How do we know that the Wehrmacht soldiers are steampunk zombies and not the guy from Sodom's covers? Because the commander dude says so, not because they got any special features related to this. All enemies in the fight scenes behave the same way and are killed the same way. Having two brilliant villain concepts and Orks to play with and making nothing out of it is a major letdown for a movie that's whole reason to exist seem to be the fight scenes.

-The combined sub-plots of "luxury brothel" and "run-down asylum" added nothing to the film in terms of storytelling and were only a lackluster motivation for the battles. One could have done away with them and simply get on with the battling, especially as....

-Both settings were equally unconvincing. The asylum was as generic as it gets (see this 2006 film school project, for example), the "all male characters eeeeeeevil" was as unconvincing as were their motivations. The brothel made no sense at all, either (high-class showgirls/hookers having to do physically demanding domestic work in their time off while wearing lingerine), but that could be explained away by the fact that it's all in dream.

-By the way, making Baby Doll's background "dystopian 1950s USA" means that the explanation offered above for all the pop culture staples in her dreams does not work: All this pop culture staples Baby Doll's imagination supposedly draws from are available to us, the year 2011 viewers, but were not in existence in the 50s. And no, i don't think the dystopian parallel 50s of the film would have come up with this rich pop culture sixty years early. Does not work.

-if there was a strong message against forced prostitution and white slavery in there, it was lost on me (and i someway doubt it).

Spoiler Text: (Click here to toggle display)
- Explaining all the things that went on in the dreams (again, in dialogue, not by showing it) by things Baby Doll did in the week between being brought into the asylum and her lobotomy, with her sacrificing her brain for bringing down the evil wardens' rape scheme and helping what-was-her-name escape felt like cheating the audience onc eagain.


But most of all, and that brings us back to the sexism debate of the beginning, the film left me cold, emotionally. Because of the style before substance look, the unneeded slow-motion shots of everything, the unbelievably bad dialogue and the non sequitur plot i never had any emotional connection to anyone on screen. It all felt completely plastic (not to mention the fact most reviewers pointed out: As the whole film takes place in Baby Doll's mind during the seconds before the inevitable lobotomy, nothing's at stake for any character at any time) The girls and their plight never seemed real in any way, they were more artificial than Bambi or Wall*E. Thus, sexism (which requires some kind of humanity in it's victims) never was a category this film could be fit into. "Meh" is the only fitting category for it.

EDIT: I don't think i am overintellectualizing this movie. I just don't think it delivered the "action movie with hot chicks in it" the way it should have. Even the Charlie's Angels movies did a better job there.
 
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Eunos_Cosmo

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Well said. I agree with just about everything you wrote.
 

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Gah.
Tomorrow is my last chance to watch it on theaters, and that sounds like something worth watching in a movie theater only.
 

_HighVoltage_

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I finally saw this... thing yesterday. I will not complain about ouvert sexism, as anyone who buys a ticket for a film that has girls in lingerine in combat situations on it's posters voided any right to do this. Still, the reason why i think the whole sexism debate that's going on in this films reviews is misguided leads to the heart of it's problems.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves here. There are some good, even very good things about this film.
-What impressed me most was the handling of dreams in this film. The way Baby Doll's dreams work is much closer to the way my dreams and dreams of people i know work than the "Bond-style snow landscape firefight" dreams of "Inception". The dream's cast consists of a mixture of people from real life and made-up people, you are in some situation and have to fulfill some objective both of which you don't question in the dream's context, no matter how silly it looks when waking up, and the whole things draws heavily from motives of your real life, picking up settings and items. At first glance, i was impressed how this explained why the fight sequences are a pastice of nerd culture standards, drawing from D&D (the dragon), Steampunk (steam-operated Wehrmacht zombies), LotR (Orks), Firefly (the whole "The Train Job" episode) etc: Many people integrate aspects of movies, tv series and books they saw into their dreams. When we were marathon-watching "Ashes To Ashes", the show's cast were a staple of my girlfriend's dreams, for example. But.... well, the "but" will go down in the "bad" part.

-The girl's outfits are brilliant in an sexy-and-impractical-superhero-outfit way.

-I really liked the visuals of the fight sequences, especially the machinery, both fictional and real, was impressive.

-To make Baby Doll's seductive dancing a major plot point without showing a single frame of it was a bold move. While "you can't have something that can't be seen as a major plot point" still is a general rule taught in film school, not showing something that could be seen is... bold.

Which brings us to the bad aspects of the movie:
-Aformentioned not-showing of the seductive dance feels like cheating the audience. I'm uncertain that i really think it's good.

-Why introduce several pop-culture staple villain classes (zombies, robots, Orks) just to not differentiate them in any way. How do we know that the Wehrmacht soldiers are steampunk zombies and not the guy from Sodom's covers? Because the commander dude says so, not because they got any special features related to this. All enemies in the fight scenes behave the same way and are killed the same way. Having two brilliant villain concepts and Orks to play with and making nothing out of it is a major letdown for a movie that's whole reason to exist seem to be the fight scenes.

-The combined sub-plots of "luxury brothel" and "run-down asylum" added nothing to the film in terms of storytelling and were only a lackluster motivation for the battles. One could have done away with them and simply get on with the battling, especially as....

-Both settings were equally unconvincing. The asylum was as generic as it gets (see this 2006 film school project, for example), the "all male characters eeeeeeevil" was as unconvincing as were their motivations. The brothel made no sense at all, either (high-class showgirls/hookers having to do physically demanding domestic work in their time off while wearing lingerine), but that could be explained away by the fact that it's all in dream.

-By the way, making Baby Doll's background "dystopian 1950s USA" means that the explanation offered above for all the pop culture staples in her dreams does not work: All this pop culture staples Baby Doll's imagination supposedly draws from are available to us, the year 2011 viewers, but were not in existence in the 50s. And no, i don't think the dystopian parallel 50s of the film would have come up with this rich pop culture sixty years early. Does not work.

-if there was a strong message against forced prostitution and white slavery in there, it was lost on me (and i someway doubt it).

Spoiler Text: (Click here to toggle display)
- Explaining all the things that went on in the dreams (again, in dialogue, not by showing it) by things Baby Doll did in the week between being brought into the asylum and her lobotomy, with her sacrificing her brain for bringing down the evil wardens' rape scheme and helping what-was-her-name escape felt like cheating the audience onc eagain.


But most of all, and that brings us back to the sexism debate of the beginning, the film left me cold, emotionally. Because of the style before substance look, the unneeded slow-motion shots of everything, the unbelievably bad dialogue and the non sequitur plot i never had any emotional connection to anyone on screen. It all felt completely plastic (not to mention the fact most reviewers pointed out: As the whole film takes place in Baby Doll's mind during the seconds before the inevitable lobotomy, nothing's at stake for any character at any time) The girls and their plight never seemed real in any way, they were more artificial than Bambi or Wall*E. Thus, sexism (which requires some kind of humanity in it's victims) never was a category this film could be fit into. "Meh" is the only fitting category for it.

EDIT: I don't think i am overintellectualizing this movie. I just don't think it delivered the "action movie with hot chicks in it" the way it should have. Even the Charlie's Angels movies did a better job there.

Woooow, hang on there. Charlie's Angels is much, much worse than Sucker Punch. At least this movie didn't try to be funny.

In general I agree with everything you said there, but the fact that it provoked that much thought into you (and everyone) else means it wasn't such a bad movie after all. It made you think! I've seen at least 6-7 new movies in the past month, and I hardly remember what was going on with them. They were just so dull, bland and generic. Sucker Punch was refreshing...in a bad way, but it still provoked the audience to think about it.
 

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I watched it and I liked it. A lot.
Go ahead and judge me. :p

Seriously: since 300, critics have been badmouthing Zack Snyder?s movies before they?re even released. Give the guy some credit.

It?s Watchmen all over again. I can?t see why it got such bad press and abysmal reviews.
 
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jedd_kenobi

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Watchmen is alright, but the original comic book is far better. The problem with Snyder for me at the moment is that he concentrates on visuals and not on story substance. He's currently doing the new Superman reboot and i really want that to work. I'm hoping that with a Nolan script (think he's doing it with another bloke) it has the chance to be good and Snyder can do all his visuals stuff with the film itself and not damage Nolan's story too much.
 

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Watched that yesterday. I think this movie is like TRON: Legacy. From a filmmakers aspect, it is rubbish, weak story etc. BUT, and that's a big BUT, if you see it as a 2h long music video/entertainment, it works. I enjoyed it, although it was pretty random :D. It was just 2h of sitting back in my chair and getting blown away by action scenes accompanied by a brilliant soundtrack. Just like TRON. I liked both, in their own way :)
 

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i started watching it last night, got through a hour of it before getting bored of it so completely that i just turned it off and put something else on instead. while the special effects and fight sequences are indeed. incredibly good. the whole problem that i have with this film is it feels badly structured plot wise. in that there is no plot. its just a loose thread of story held together by flashy effects and girls in lingerie.

without a doubt, one of the worst films i've seen. if i wasn't in a complete panic over how Snyder is going to ruin Superman. i certainly am now.
 
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