Movie Review: Sucker Punch

The Five Badass Chicks from the Movie Sucker Punch

Sorry it’s been so long but I’ve had a busy couple of weeks. In those weeks, however, I had enough time to take a break and watch a movie I’ve been wanting to see since I saw the first preview. If you don’t know what movie I’m referring to, you might want to reread the post’s title. I guess I’ll start with the positives.

Well I have to say that I absolutely loved the movie [except for the ending, but I’ll get to that later]. It was an interesting sci-fi flick with a group of girls that can seriously kick CGI butt. The storyline is interesting, the outfits are interesting [especially for heterosexual men, if you catch my drift] and the effects are amazing. I guess I could give a basic plot summary as well, so if you haven’t watched it and don’t want it to be ruined, look away.

A young woman [later referred to as Baby Doll] is sent to a mental institution by, what can only be called, her evil stepfather. Once there the movie starts into her dream-like sequences where she is in a brothel and has to dance for men so they can choose her to do the deed with. However, she is being saved for a rich man who will come for her in five days [in the real world her five-day deadline is for her lobotomy]. So she devises a plan to collect five items in order for her and her new friends to escape. Her friends are listed in the picture, names under the corresponding girl. I won’t give up how the movie ends just yet, that’ll come later.

Alright so that’s the basic plot and I have to say that I liked the way it was done, but it was definitely flawed. First of all, while this might not be a bad thing, the movie gave me this sort of anime vibe, especially Baby Doll’s character. Throughout the movie she wears her hair in pigtails, wears short little skirts [yes, even in the snow] and gives off this overall cutesy, anime feel. I really don’t know how to explain it, it’s just one of those things that you have to be familiar with anime clichés and patterns in order to understand what I mean. Also, the movie is quite repetitive after the first 45 minutes or so. Once they create the plan to gather the items you can predict what will happen next. The girls sit with the man who Baby Doll is distracting with her supposedly mind-blowing, amazing, sexy dance moves. I say supposedly because we never see her actually dance. Instead we go into her mind and see that while she’s dancing she’s really thinking of incredibly detailed missions where she and the other four girls must retrieve the item. These moments are a nice release from any suspense the film has created. That may seem like a good thing to those watching the movie [as it first did to me] but after the first two or three missions you find yourself losing interest in the movie and especially those fantasy missions.

Now on to the characters, although I could add more above I’ll spare you the rant. The people in this movie are incredibly one-dimensional. Meaning that they never really develop. You learn a bit of background on Sweet Pea and her younger sister Rocket but even that’s a little vague on the details. You learn nothing about anyone’s personalities, history, thoughts, feelings, desires nothing. The four supporting girls are little more than minions that all share one thought: to leave the ‘brothel’ where they are held prisoner. I like to watch the characters of a movie develop. Sure, maybe not everyone [like the evil stepfather and, obviously, Baby Doll’s little sister] needs to be developed, but the five main protagonists? I think they should be. Also the villain can be summed up in three words: creepy but unthreatening. He’s played by Oscar Isaac which if you’ve ever seen a picture of the man, he’s not that scary of a man. He’s pretty small and the only time I’d ever fear him is when he had a gun in his hand, which happened once so overall, not that bad. Creepy and annoying? Yes. Making me shake in my slippers? No.

Finally I come to the ending. In a nutshell: it made me really, really angry. After I slept on it I realized that while it was still lacking, I understood why everything happened, happened. So again, spoilers so you know, shield your defenseless eyes now. Oscar Isaac [or Blue as he is named in the movie] lives instead of dying when Baby Doll shot him [which I knew would happen because she only shot him once in the shoulder before running away. You think she would have learned after letting her evil stepfather live but I guess not] Although Blue is arrested, it’s only after he lobotomized Baby Doll so it kind of cancels out his arrest. Yeah, you read me: Baby Doll gets lobotomized because she sacrificed herself to let Sweet Pea live. Which also bothers me; why is the only survivor of this entire plan the girl who didn’t even want to go through with it in the first place. Baby Doll mentions how only Sweet Pea would have been able to live normally in the outside world. I must say, that seems like a load of bull honky because everyone else would have done just fine. So the entire mission was in vain because four girls had to die [or in Baby Doll’s case, become brain-dead] for one girl to live.

That is a less angry [although still bitter] version of my initial reaction. After thinking about the ending I’ve come to realize that while I still don’t like the ending, it’s not as terrible as it seems. Baby Doll wanted out of the asylum but realized that only one could successfully escape and that she had nowhere to go, so she decided to let Sweet Pea escape because she still had parents she could go to. So instead of live with the horrors of the asylum she was glad to be lobotomized in order to escape into her own world. So in the end Baby Doll was ‘set free’ and Sweet Pea was able to live her live normally. So although the ending made me both sad and angry, I can at least understand why everything happened, even though I don’t agree with it. Would I watch the movie again? Maybe, depending on what kind of mood I am in and if I’m prepared to feel terrible when it ends. Again. Well anyway that’s my [incredibly long] spiel about the movie Sucker Punch. Now you know how I feel about it and maybe got a new perspective that you didn’t think of before. Speaking of which, feel free to tell me yours in the comments. As always, new opinions are accepted with open, enthusiastic arms. Adios!

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