Sucker Punch - Review

Since last years comic-con Zack Snyders overstylzed new feature film was extremely hyped from the very start. Of course i was also one of them. Who doesn't want to see hot chicks fighting dragons, nazi zombies, samurais and robots in the same movie?? It was pretty obvious that this movie was about to be very reliant on its style and effects. But what about the story? Maybe this trailer just didn't want to tell us much about it like the inception trailer didn't really tell us anything about the story? But now "Sucker Punch" hit theaters and so how did it hold up?

The plot:
A young girl (Baby Doll) is locked away in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather where she will undergo a lobotomy in five days time. Faced with unimaginable odds, she retreats to a fantastical world in her imagination where she and four other female inmates at the asylum, plot to escape the facility. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Baby Doll and her four companions, as well as a mysterious guide, fight to retrieve the five items they need that will allow them to break free from their captors before it's too late.

The plot has some potential. Snyder obviously tried to kind of mix up alice in wonderland with an inception style story. Unfortunately the pace, the dialogue and the story itself really feel tacked on. The story itself takes place in 3 dream levels: reality in the madhouse, the stripclub and the fantasy war world. First that sounds pretty cool, but those seperate parts/levels of the film differentiate too much in tone and atmosphere so that you often think you are watching two different movies. A second ago you were watching babydoll fighting samurais and in the next you find yourself back in the stripclub where snyder tries to pull of serious drama. The atmospheric transitions are poorly done in this film.

Also the pace of the movie feels weird. At times it feels almost too fast with all those action scenes while other times the moody drama atmosphere of the stripclub gangster level sets in.
Sometimes the sloppy storywriting is accompanied by laughable dialogue (when blue explains about him being a kid in the sandbox).
Also the film totally relies on you to believe that while babydoll is dancing (and entering the fantasy world) everybody is in trance....aaaaalright?

The reason why snyder tries to put drama into this movie is because he wants to make this movie meaningful and deep.
Sure the story isn't the reason why people are going to the theaters to watch this flick. but that's the movie's main problem. it doesn't try to be just entertaining but ALSO dramatic and deep. and for a movie that also features samurai and nazi zombies, that's very lame (except the script would be good enough...but this isn't the case.)
The film had a lot of potential but it more or less seemed like snyder just came up with cool action scenes first and THEN thought about the story around them.
The entire movie would have been way better if it wouldn't take itself so seriously.

You get that the movie tries to deliever a message that women are treated like objects bla bla...but after the final monologue you are sitting there like "is the message that i should play more video games??".

Another thing which is more like a hit and miss is the soundtrack. The movie features many rapings of good cult favorite songs by lousy remixes. Although some of the more unpopular songs of the soundtrack are pretty good like björk - army of me remix.

Now let's get to the acting. There's barely any great acting at all in this movie. As you can imagine, most of the time the acting is centered around the action scenes. Also the cast isn't really the best one they chose concerning acting skill (not looks). Espcially actresses like Vanessa Hudgens barely have anything to say of substance and are just there for eye-candy. But honestly what did you expect?
The only good actress is jena malone as rocket. Also she is the only one which you kind of care about. Neither one of the girls has a deep and gripping backstory, so that you dont give a fuck about them. Rocket is just the only character for which you start to feel kind of a sympathy after a while.

A friend who watched the movie with me proposed that this movie would have been far better as a tv miniseries, in which the director could develop an interesting and good backstory and THEN add all those crazy dream fights. That would actually be a good idea.

Anyway, now the action scenes. The action scenes are pretty good although they are almost too over the top and too CGI. But they give you exactly what you expected from watching the trailer. Unfortunately the action scenes soon start to get tedious. When you see the first action scene with the samurais it looks pretty awesome but the action scenes feel boring after you recognize that the movie's storyline goes like "talking, fight, talking, fight, talking, fight" and nothing more in between.

All in all, Sucker Punch shows that Zack Snyder is a great director but a bad writer. Turns out that the trailer of this movie is better than the actual movie itself (much like Tron Legacy). It was obvious that this movie would heavily rely on style but that's no excuse to totally neglect a good story or characters that we actually care for. I would be lying if i would say that the movie isn't very stylish. But it feels just too empty. Previous  movies like 300 showed that you CAN make a movie whose greatest strength is its visual style but ALSO build a good story and characters around it.
Zack Snyder obviously thought he was such a directing genius that he could get away with such a bad script while still having style in his movie...hopefully he learned a lesson.
He still is a big master of style but well now we at least know that he obviously can't write good scripts. It's very much like the thing that happened to M.Night.Shyamalan who overestimated himself after making "The Sixth Sense".
"Sucker Punch" isn't just a bad movie but more of a disappointment because there was just so much potential that was wasted by a bad script.
For me, this movie has the same entertainment value as Transformers 2. If you want to enjoy this movie then leave your brain at home, cause you really won't need it for this sheer visual-effects fest, also called "Sucker Punch".

Final Verdict: 3 out of 10


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