The X-Women

Sunday, March 27, 2011

SUCKER PUNCH is a visual stunner...

From director Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen, Dawn of the Dead) comes this innovative new film that blurs reality with fantasy. Set in the 50's, a young girl is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather after the accidental death of her younger sister. Her name is Baby Doll (played by Emily Browning) and once there at the asylum, awaiting a lobotomy, she escapes into a fantasy world of her imagination, where she and four other girls plot their escape. Baby Doll also changes up how she views the asylum as a brothel (kinda weird, but just go with it). And her fantasy sequences correspond with her dancing that totally captivates everyone, mainly the male contingent. The fantasy sequences are imaginative and exciting and there are four of them. The first one involves Baby Doll meeting her guide/mentor (played by Scott Glenn) and then her furious battle with three giant samurai warriors. The other girls get involved with the sequences following this one. The girls are Sweet Pea (Cornish), her sister Rocket (Jena Malone); Amber (Jamie Chung) and Blondie (played well against type by Vanessa Hudgens). The sequences get more elaborate as the movie goes along. I loved the second one the most as our girls are in a Nazi occupied country battling re-animated Nazis that are powered by steam. The girls have to retrieve a map and it's a thrilling 20 minute sequence that is heavy on guns and fisticuffs. The next fantasy sequence has our girls battling orc like creatures and a terrifying fire-breathing dragon. It's cool seeing Blondie cut loose with a 50 caliber machine gun while Amber pilots their plane. The last fantasy is ok but kinda iffy as the girls have to stop a runaway train loaded with a bomb and guarded by killer robots.
Sweet Pea and Rocket, locked and loaded

I like how the fantasy worlds lead to repercussions in the real world as one mistake can cost someone dearly. I won't go into details because I don't want to spoil the outcome but Sucker Punch is definitely the right title, and not in the way you all might think. As far as the cast is concerned, all the girls were good with the exception of Browing as Baby Doll. She reminded me of Neo (Keanu Reeves) from the Matrix films. You know how Neo was the central character in The Matrix, but was the least compelling. Same thing here as Baby Doll has this vacant blank look for most of the movie that you really can't get past. I know she has been through a lot but so has the other girls. Abbie Cornish is awesome! I thought from the moment she appeared in the film, the movie really took off. She handles the dramatic scenes the best out of the girls and kicks ass like a professional. Hudgens was a surprise with her tough talk and bad demeanor. She is a long way from High School Musical. Jamie Chung is pretty good as Amber as she gets to do some crazy pilot stuff a few times. And Jena Malone is solid as Rocket, kind of quiet but also compassionate and a true friend.
Baby Doll leading the girls into battle against some Nazis

Sweet Pea about to wreck some shit!

Baby Doll going all samurai

All in all, Sucker Punch is one of the best looking movies I have ever seen. But it is not Snyder's best film. That still remains Dawn of the Dead. But he is definitely willing to push the envelope in terms of cinema magic. I think Sucker Punch will be the type of movie where people will either love it or hate it, there is no in between. Well I loved it.

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