April 5, 2011

Sucker Punch Review

"Sucker PUNCHED"

“Sucker Punch” is a fantasy telling of a tormented girl’s quest for freedom from an insane asylum. Cast includes Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm and Scott Glenn.
My “Sucker Punch” experience can be best described as a bad trip to an amusement park. A Zack Snyder movie like a theme park; holds high expectations by principal alone. “Sucker Punch” is overflowing with large attractions (action sequences), big flashing lights (explosions) and cotton candy (major sex appeal). But instead of limitless enjoyment audiences are plagued with huge lines (shallow and ineffective exposition), broken rides (disconnected plot) and clown gimmicks (too much special effects and corny one-liners).
“Sucker Punch’s” monster viral campaign lead by ridiculously enticing trailers, propelled worthy hype and basically acquired pre-conceived approval. So, despite its many flaws I tired really hard to like this movie; but by the end I was frustrated and overall let down with only a hand full of exciting moments (sexy cast, badass rocket, snow samurai and germen trenches scenes).
“Sucker Punch” misses its target on several occasions. Despite the lengthy music paced exposition, there's never a real connection made between the audience and the main character. I understood the intent and direction of the film but I don't believe that the average viewer or non-Snyder fan will fully grasp and/or enjoy the films overall concept. I think this film would have benefited greatly from a R rating, lighter special effects budget and about 2 months more pre-production work on the script. Personally, I thought that the fluidity of the film was sporadic, lazy and disconnected.
Random speculation could suggest that the problem is related to the fact that Snyder's recent films were visual marvels (300 & Watchmen) having neither film presenting extensive storytelling obstacles. “The Watchmen” being an acclaimed graphic novel offered the best storyboards ever and “300” was just a fantasy embellished retelling of ancient Greco-Roman mythology with a few additions: doggy style scene, ugly deformed traitor, and an amped, greasy man beast named Gerald Butler. (Also a graphic novel from renowned author Frank Miller) I think the film suffered greatly from Snyder's lack of storytelling practice. He hasn't really faced difficulties in this area, since his directorial debut with the great remake of “Dawn of the Dead”.
If you had high expectations for this film you indeed will be "unprepared" for what you are about to see. “Sucker Punch” is a visually stunning, sometimes self-indulgent, original epic; lead by a variety of sexy subtle talents, through a fragmented, frustrating and pointless plot.
Despite my semi-professional and deeply analytical criticism, I still found enjoyment within the film and will most likely buy it on Blu-ray. A couple insanely visionary action sequences, a few surprisingly well-acted scenes and a strip club atmosphere save this film from total devastation; and round a potential epic, into an average 2 hours. “Sucker Punch” has everything movie goers could dream of, but unfortunately it was all disgustingly mishandled.

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