Runtime: 1 hour, 49 minutes
Director: Zack Snyder
Starring: Emily Browning,Vanessa Hudgens,Abbie Cornish
Genres: Fantasy, Thriller, Adventure, Action, Mystery
Studio: Warner Bros.
MPAA rating: PG-13 (Parents Strongly Cautioned)
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"Sucker Punch" is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vividimagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimateescape from her darker reality.
Had low expectations…loved it.
Here’s the thing about this movie, its demanding. You have to be ableto let go, realize that it’s stylized after a modern comic book (of theadult genre), and just go with the movie. Let it take you on its ride,which is a beautiful/wonderful thing.
You also have to pay attention. This movie is layered in metaphor andis way more cerebral than one might expect. You have to work tounderstand what’s going on and part of that work is letting it take youaway.
If you can do this, and your friends can do this, you will have hoursof conversation afterwards about what it all means, what the metaphorsmean, and what was actually happening in the ‘prime’ reality of theinsane asylum.
If you can’t do this you will probably think the movie is stupid,contrived, and pointless. But you would be wrong.
Oh…and beyond all that stuff above…the fight scenes are an absolutenerdgasm, a sci-fi/fantasy orgy of epic proportions.
Steam-punk Nazi Zombies… I came out of that movie feeling like I justhad a threesome with Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffery.
I absolutely loved it.
Not What You’ve Heard
In a world filled with mindlessly violent movies and flimsy plots withpractically nothing to substantiate the actions of the characters, Iwent into this movie looking for mindless violence and girls-with-gunsescaping reality and an asylum and not much more.
What I found instead was apparently missed by a lot of other people outthere. I read reviews that said this movie was soulless and pointlesssexual fantasy. I don’t know what movie they saw because that wasn’tthis movie.
This movie wasn’t about a girl escaping reality by setting up a fantasywithin a fantasy and using those fantasies to escape an institution inreality. This movie was about a young woman who had accepted a hopelessfate, but is saved by someone she eventually calls an angel told fromthe angel’s point of view. This is not Babydoll’s story. Yet she stillbrought down the beast.
This movie was not about a boy’s fantasy about girls in short skirtsand fishnets holding big guns and a really cool sword. For one thing,boys tend to like bloodshed. Girls tend to like looking awesome.(Please note, I am using the phrase "tend to like" on purpose. I dolike bloodshed on occasion and I am a girl. I know those of the maleset of the species who also like to look awesome. I’m making a separatepoint here.) There is very little bloodshed in this movie. Thesteam-work soldiers did not bleed. They’re already dead. The othercreatures, the robots, the dragons There’s practically no blood shedwithin the fantasy. There is a highly sexual look to the movie.Babydoll is sexually objectified by her stepfather and the orderliesand the guards. Is it any wonder that her firstreality-escaping-fantasy is a brothel? And then, within that fantasy,she uses her ability to dance provocatively to render the menmotionless, thoughtless, and incapable of noticing anything else aroundthem. It’s called a power trip. Every woman wants to be sexy. Everywoman wants to be that capable of holding every man’s attention thatcompletely. It was Babydoll’s way of using that sexual objectivity as aweapon. And that weapon carries into the next level of her fantasy,becoming a handgun with cartoonish animal charms dangling – taking aweapon and adding a distinctively feminine touch to it – and a reallysweet katana engraved with intricate and delicate designs.
This movie was about heroes and self-sacrifice. It was not about womenin lingerie holding weapons. It was about using everything you have tofight for freedom – and that your freedom is not the only freedom worthfighting for. This is not Babydoll’s story. It may not be yours. Butit’s still worth telling.
Oh yeah, and one more thing: If someone fights for your right tobreathe free, fight for the next person’s right. You won’t know whosestory this is until the end.
An action-extravaganza that is haunting, beautiful, polarizing, and brilliant.
After absorbing myself in the world of Zach Snyder’s "Sucker Punch" fora while, including one viewing at IMAX, one in my local theater, andmultiple listens to the soundtrack, I felt the unusual calling to dumpmy thoughts out regarding this haunting, beautiful, polarizing, andbrilliant film.
From the first trailer I saw, I’d been anticipating the release.Usually this is bad, as it means my expectations are built up and itwill take an outstanding performance to meet those expectations. Turnsout, Sucker Punch is everything I’d hoped it would be, and more. Somewould say that in art we see what we want to see, though maybe it’strue also that we see what we are prepared to see. Here’s what I sawand felt about the film, why it resonated with me and why many peopledidn’t like it: Within the first five minutes, I knew I was in for atreat. The film opens with an excellent cover of "Sweet Dreams" by thefilm’s lead actress. The initial scenes are otherwise silent and thestorytelling is all visual. Yes, you’re about to experience a film thatis basically a 120-minute music video. But that’s not all. It’s also anaction extravaganza AND it’s cerebral to boot.
Right out the gate, from as early as the opening sequence (where weenter through a state and later rain on a car window forms the movie’stitle), this film announces that you should shut off your disbelief.It’s fantasy at all levels and doesn’t have to make sense to entertainor ask provocative questions, both out loud and suggested.
Thank goodness for the fantasy elements as had this been a movie aboutan escape attempt from an abuse-steeped asylum, it would have beenimmeasurably depressing. Snyder’s vision protects the audience fromwhat Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, and the rest were experiencing in the"reality" of the film probably more effectively than Baby Doll’sfantasies protected her from those horrible experiences. As it is, thefilm is sad enough in its portrayal and suggestion of certain negativethemes like incarceration, lobotomies, aggression, rape, corruption,and betrayal. On the other hand, it’s also a film that is bothempowering and moving.
In contrast to the dark themes, we also have several positive themeslike the individual’s search for freedom, teamwork, giving, love,forgiveness, risk, and courage. This film likely upsets many viewersbecause it doesn’t exactly have a happy ending. (An approach whichtends to spell failure at the American box office.) I enjoy theapparent contradictions it presents to the audience. One popular debateis whether the film is empowering to women. I think this debate inparticular misses the point of the film, and takes too much at facevalue, but it does show how polarizing the movie is.
The conversation, both internal with yourself and external with others,about what is portrayed in the film can be difficult for one toconsider, which is likely why it’s a turn-off for so many. The criticsmay be upset by the questions it provokes about themselves. Cognitivedissonance encourages them to just forget all the issues, label thefilm a piece of garbage, and move on. Other viewers were likely upsetby the film’s darkness – it certainly made me uncomfortable, but thatdoesn’t mean the movie was bad. For those of us looking deeper, thereare all manner of important questions provoked.
People are being abused. What are you doing about it? Is reality aprison? If reality is a prison, as the trailer for the film states,what does that make you? Why are you here? Are you here to be"corrected" or to escape? Do you want to be free, or should you justshut up and let the guards continue to take advantage of you and theother prisoners? What will it take to escape? Are you willing to riskyour life in the quest for freedom? Is Sucker Punch really just aaction-extravaganza with no plot (as many critics would suggest), or isit a subtly and cleverly presented art film about your evolution andself-empowerment? The film even asks a series of provocative questionsout loud in the final narration. I’m a panentheist, and I don’t claimto know what Zack and Deborah Snyder believe, but my interpretation ofthe final narration is that it is reminding people of the divinedichotomy. We are individuals, but we’re all connected to all-that-is.The world’s horrors and beauty were created by us, collectively. Whatwe see around us is a reflection of our collective beliefs. Thecontrast exists so you can continue to choose what you want. Will youconsciously choose to evolve, expand, and therefore grow all-that-is?The film explains this by announcing that you have all the weapons youneed and encourages you to "fight". Leave the realm of living life bydefault, and begin working towards freedom. Gather your tools (map,fire, knife, key) and don’t forget the fifth element – love. Prepareyourself to lose everything and gain the perfect victory.
The fight is not with swords and guns against horrible monsters outsideyou, but inside yourself. It’s your task to vanquish your fear. Thatwill set you free internally, which eventually will help free you (andthe rest of us) externally. You may not make it out alive, butall-that-is will benefit from your efforts.
Sucker Punch wasn’t a mind-blower like The Matrix, but it was anentertaining, well-made action film with an intellectual layer anddepth, for those who were prepared to receive it. I left the theaterwith conflicting feelings about what I’d seen. I liked that. It’s astunningly beautiful and poignant film. It was exactly what the trailerpromised and more. Oh, and the soundtrack is pretty great, too!Consider me a fan.
4.5/5 for the theatrical version. I’m looking forward to the director’scut.
Sucker Punch Be amazed, be struck by lightning, see this fantastical sci-fi
Sucker Punch is totally out there, and probably the only way to combineso many different things in a single story.
The story telling is incomplete, in itself, but not the story. Most ofit is told metaphorically. You get to imagine the rest. An easy thingto do is to dismiss the movie because of the beautiful women, or theintense and fantastical action. That is a grand mistake. The story ispoignant and very sad, yet wrapped in a beautiful cinematographiccocoon. It’s breathtaking. I kept wondering when the hammer blow of badpoorly constructed elements would descend upon me and disappointment,break my heart. It never did.
The dialogs might look simple, and the story line really quick, buttheir complementing information is in the magic of the metaphors. It’san incredible ride led by the excellent acting of those gorgeouscreatures and genius directorial mind, as well as the superb editingand CGI.
Ride the wave, shed a tear, see it.
An institutional drama disguised as an action-flick
Let me be blunt in the very beginning: This movie is not for everyone.It will be excellent to some, and utterly annoying to the others. Youexpect to have an absurd action-flick, with some minimal plot to keepit together, then halfway into the story the movie comes out and kicksyou in the face. It’s a rough story, depressing, uncomfortable andunpleasant. It’s about abuse, affliction, and evil living amongst us,it’s about fighting for survival and struggling for escape. A ratherbitter cup to swallow. It could have been your typical institutionaldrama. But it chose to be something else, it chose to present itself inan absurd way, approaching the theme in dream-like visions. If one canaccept its heavy use of metaphors, one will really enjoy it. Themulti-layer narration also adds to the atmosphere, therefore to thefinal result. Snyder chose to experiment with storytelling methods, andit was an excellent move. There is a certain train-sequence, which isfilled with slow-motion effects. First it is annoying, but only afterthe scene realize that slo-mo is there for a reason. The dreams arevivid, wild, beyond regular imagination. Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish andOscar Isaac are brilliant in their roles. The only thing I missed ischaracter progression, but it is remedied in the extended version.
If you can take steam-powered German zombies and other abstractvisions, and also like harsh stories presented by these metaphors, Istrongly recommend to give it a try. It’s a great movie with animportant theme in the background which can move one’s heart. Also, ithas Jena Malone in it. Come on, only the blind and blear-eyed aren’t inlove with her.
Great Film, well worth the $15 i paid for it
In my opinion the movie was a good movie. It bugs me to read reviewsand have people complaining because it "looks too much like a videogame" or "there was no real suspense" well thats not even the point.The girls cant be hurt when there inside baby dolls dream worldsbecause its all in her head, and baby doll chooses to be strong. Inreality they are 5 girls locked in an asylum with no control over whatthey can do, but the reason for it changing to a club and baby dollmaking up these grand stories is because she doesn’t want to feel weakor dependent, inside her mind shes strong, courageous and able to standup for herself along with her companions.
Maybe im reading too much into it but its a movie about escapingreality and going to a better place, a place that you can control andthat you can be or do whatever you want so maybe thats the point. Theend was a bit disappointing because it left us wondering what happensto "blue" but again in my opinion thats part of it, its left to theaudience to decide what happens. Is baby doll finally at peace in herown mind? does blue pay for what he did? how does sweet pea’s life playout now? its all left to the viewer who gets to (just like in themovie) be creative and decide what happens. The movie was actionpacked, filled with good looking girls and leaves a good messagebehind.
"You have all the weapons you need, now fight"
Struggling to become The BEST MOVIE EVER!!!!
I,m not sure who and why rated this masterpiece so bad, I guess it’sjust that you either love it or hate it…but the movie has everythingand is for everyone. You just have to let yourself go in it and enjoy.Well, half naked and attractive girls kicking ass, dance, strip;fantastic music, flawlessly directed fight scenes, drama, sadness, truenature of man who is just evil and one good girl is giving all to beatit. With every viewing you get something new, cause it’s hard tounderstand it fully. But that’s the beauty of it, the story behind ofanother story, dream within a dream and it’s all wrapped up in a boxwhich is made to entertain and teach you something. That’s what moviesare for, and that’s why I love it!!
"If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything"
Fortunately for me, I watched this film with absolutely zeroexpectations.
I missed all the original hype, and it was purely by ‘chance’ that apiece of music that I’d heard on youtube led me to Sucker Punch.
I fell in love with this film from the very beginning. I let myself becarried along on a wonderful visual and musical journey, a fantasywithin a fantasy laced with layers of meaning that need not be analysed… simply absorbed.
Sucker Punch is a work of Art that will surely become a cult classiconce the haters have finished tearing it apart and gone away to findother films that give them what they want without ‘sucker punching’their linear minds.
It’s an unfortunate human trait that people feel the need to deride anddestroy that which they don’t understand. They can’t simply say "Idon’t get it", or "it isn’t for me". Somehow they feel threatened …they feel that they should ‘get it’, and if they don’t ‘get it’ it mustbe inherently bad.
And it’s not as if there’s much to ‘get’. The film won’t reveal ‘themeaning of life’ to you, although it might just reinforce the ‘meaning’of your life. I guess that some people are looking so hard for deepermeaning that they miss the simple and obvious.
If you’ve never seen Sucker Punch, please give it a try, and as youwatch it, simply let it play out before you without trying to analyse.And if it really doesn’t hold any great ‘meaning’ for you … so what?… you’ve just been treated to a beautifully filmed fantasy with someof the coolest fight choreography/dancing you’ll ever see!
"If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything." (ScottGlenn, Sucker Punch)
Snyder’s misunderstood fascinating masterpiece
An impressive and inspiring fantasy movie with impressive visuals andimpressive cast, a fascinating movie that tried to speak to you outsideof reality, a movie that inspires you to dream, to live in a realitywhere you can control everything, a movie that deserves to be called amasterpiece, a movie that teaches you that it doesn’t matter where youare the mind will always be our home sweet home.
Strong and solid performances in the movie, worth to mention EmilyBrowning as the lead character that connects with the audience andAbbie Cornish as the fascinating strong headed deuteragonist, CarlaGugino outshined half of the cast with her solid performance as Dr.Vera Gorski, but Scott Glenn and Abbie Cornish are the ones that trulyshine in this fascinating movie with strong and solid Golden Globeworthy performances.
Looked like a blast… ended up being a whole lot more. (spoilers at bottom)
First off, I’ll say I would have given this movie an 8 except, havingseen it 4 times now, I keep seeing new stuff every time. It remains anot-quite-solved riddle. I don’t mean I’m seeing props or action I hadmissed before; I mean I’m seeing more and more what the writer’s reallygetting at. What’s even better is the mind-"frying" never lets up. Istill don’t know whether to feel happy or sad about the ending! To me,that’s a sign of a film’s greatness.
I’m a big fan of mind"fry" movies, I’ll admit. But this one is special.It’s like a huge, drawn-out sleight-of-hand trick. You will almostcertainly be looking in the wrong direction for most of the film thefirst time through, but it was meant to be experienced that way. Thisain’t no action flick with hot chicks blowing stuff up, but it playsone on TV.
As I mentioned, I’m still not entirely sure of the ending. Way too muchsymbolism to take it at face value! One thing I will encourage you todo is: watch the extended version, if you have the chance. It fills ina few bothersome gaps, and has a really fun musical number added.
I knew this was going to be a film I would love forever from the momentI heard the opening note of "Army of Me" during Baby Doll’s firstdance. If you enjoy mind"fry" movies, or drama, or action films, orcomic book adaptations, put Sucker Punch on your short list. Oh, andone more thing: keep your eyes open!
*EDIT* *SPOILER ALERT* I read some of the other reviews of this film,and decided I should go ahead and add some spoilers, because withoutthem, you might not know WHY you need to see this.
I’m a student of psychology and human behavior. What’s going on here,is that Sweet Pea is telling her story, but the story starts withsomething happening to her "Angel". I am not sure, but I think BabyDoll and Rocket (as well as Amber and Blondie) are repressed aspects ofSweet Pea’s personality. I think Sweet Pea is Schizophrenic in a bigway. Probably due to trauma. None of the girls have names that make anysense. You expect a girl named Rocket to be hot stuff, right? She’s notso much. You expect a girl named Amber to be anything but East Asian.You expect Sweet Pea to be sweet, but she’s not! She’s mean andfearful. Blondie’s not a blonde, and Baby Doll is the only one with aname that makes sense, but only as an OBJECT. That’s why I’m thinkingthat Baby Doll is the persona used to interact with the outside world.The clue is in the ending of the extended version. After the lobotomy,Sweet Pea gets on the bus (with a character from the fantasy world) andrides past a sign that says "Paradise Diner" (there are a lot of usesof the word "paradise" in here). Also, one of the movie posters says"My dream is yours" and several say "Gold diggers". Sweet Pea, as theysay, is gone, baby!