***This article contains spoilers. If you are wary of these, I suggest seeing the film first before reading. I suggest drinking a bottle of wine before reading as well, but hey, whatever. ~ Sincerely, Rammfan518***
It’s April, which means it’s Scriptfrenzy, which means I should be trying to write a 100 page script in 30 days, and have no fucking idea why I am typing this stupid review instead of working on my screenplay. Oh well, who cares?
Before I dive into talking about Sucker Punch, let’s just talk a little about Zack Synder and why I LOVED this guy. His directorial debut, the 2004 remake of “Dawn of the Dead”, was amazing. At a time when zombies WEREN’T EVERYWHERE and the weren’t the COMEDIC DEVICE USED FOR EVERYTHING, I thought it was a pretty original and sweet. I even considered it my favorite zombie film of all time before I saw Tommy Wirkola’s “Død snø (Dead Snow)” and it blew my sokker off. Anyway, I still love 2004’s “Dawn of the Dead”, but I was excited for his next film even more.
If you read this blog regularly (which I’m pretty sure you don’t), you know I have had a long, loving relationship with the film “300”. In this article, I am stoked about it, in this one, I give a glaring review, and in this one, I get pissed at people who get pissed at it. Looking back some four years or so, I still think “300” is fucking baller. The imagery. . .man! So badass! The story. . something SIMPLE IN A TIME OF OVERCOMPLICATED PLOTS! I love “300”, and at this point, I was thinking Mr. Snyder just might be one of my favorite new directors.
Then he made “Watchmen”. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t HATE “Watchmen”, I just didn’t really like it. I’m not a huge comic book fan, nor was I a huge fan of the graphic novel when I was given the opportunity to read it after seeing the film. I don’t really like politics, either, and Watchmen was about politics and superheroes and what the fuck was that thing on Mars? And that fucking blue guy talking all stupid all the time?
Alright, so maybe I didn’t really like Watchmen (all 75, 000 hours of it). I did like Rorschach and his two best lines: “Men get arrested. Dogs get put down!” and “None of you seem to understand. I’m not locked in here with you. You’re locked in here with ME!” Awesome stuff, but the rest was MEHHHHH.
Alright, so even though I didn’t like “Watchmen” hardly at all, I didn’t cast away Blake Snyder and was still looking forward to his next project. I heard about “Sucker Punch” a while back, and when seeing the posters of some girls shooting shit, I thought “alright, cool.” It looked like a Zack Snyder movie and looked very stylish, and knowing that it was his original idea was even more interesting. Alright, cool!
And then I saw the movie. . .
“Sucker Punch” takes place in 194. . .uh. . .something and is about a girl who. . .uh. . .alright, let me try this again. Sometime in the 40s, this girl Babydoll is. . .damn it, let me look up the synopsis for this shit. (. . .) Alright, so I guess it actually takes place in the 1960s (whatever), and in the beginning, the main character, Baby Doll, is committed to a mental institution after an incident involving I think rape and murder. Babydoll’s stepfather bribes the BAD GUY WITH THE MUSTACHE to lobotomize her so she can’t spill the beans about what really happened or claim her deceased mother’s fortune (or something). Alright, some deceit goin’ on here, alright, cool. . .
The lobotomy guy is coming in five days, and in those five days, Baby Doll slips into a fantasy world where she is a new ho coming in to a brothel (wait, what?). Hank’s lawyer from Californication: Season 4 is their dancing instructor Madam Gorski and has a Russian(?) accent. Baby Doll meets four other females at this brothel and is told that her virginity will be sold to someone known as the “High Roller” at the end of the week.
Madam Gorski makes Baby Doll do an erotic dance, and when she does, she escapes to a fantasy world, arriving in a snowy, feudal Japan. It is here that she meets an old dude who tells her she can escape if she gets five items: a map, fire, a knife, something I can’t remember, and the last one is unknown, but will have to be a sacrifice (IT’S BABYDOLL, DUH!). After learning this, she fights three big Samurai guys for no reason (and in slow-motion!) and then. . .she’s back in the dance studio in the imaginary brothel. So. . .every time she dances, she goes into some fantasy world. . .ok. . .I get it.
Baby Doll tells her brothel-friends to join in on the quest for these objects, and they promptly all agree to help out. So. . the girls set out to get the other items, and each time Baby Doll’s dances are the gateway to whatever fantasy land they have to inhabit. This part is, well, it’s not really that cool, but I mean, to get the fire, they have to cut a baby dragon’s throat and take the crystals within, to get the map, they have to . . fight Nazis? and to get the knife they have to. . defuse a bomb on a train? Alright, well, the fire one makes sense I guess.
So anyway, the girls go through these “scenarios” to steal these things from certain people, i.e. Jon has the map, Paul has the knife, George has the bagel, and Ringo has the keys to Shining Time Station, and so on. Alright, so. . .the bad guy with the mustache finds out the girls are trying to do this and ends up shooting two or three of them and then. . .I don’t even fucking know, Baby Doll sacrifices herself for one of her friends so she can escape or whatever.
Right as Baby Doll sacrifices herself, we switch out of the fantastical brothel and back into the 1960’s boring mental institution. So. . Baby Doll gets lobotomized and yea. . .The ending scene is of the friend Baby Doll saved getting on a bus to somewhere and it drives off in the distance. Alright. . .
So. . .what’s there to say about “Sucker Punch”. . .? Well, it’s stupid. I’m not sure if I understood the story right, but as I understand it, we have an institutionalized girl who’s about to be lobotomized. In her mind, she has this imaginary brothel and these imaginary friends, who, when trying steal something, enter into yet another imaginary world.
Now. . .this is fine, I guess, but if this whole brothel world is imaginary, and Baby Doll’s friends imaginary as well, then why they fuck would I care about them or whether they complete their tasks? If all these characters are in Baby Doll’s mind and their escape is too, then what are the fucking stakes? If I made a movie about my daydreams, and in one of them Eva Green and I are about to be killed by a beast, would you really care? Because what’s the danger if it’s just a dream? No matter what happens to me and Eva, the REAL me is still waiting in line at the DMV, spacing out in L.A. traffic, or jerking it to Finntroll’s Nifelvind album (wait, what?) I guess what I am trying to say here is that with imaginary characters, none of the shit that happens is important. Alright, cool, they get fire and a knife, but some die. . .Baby Doll is still just sitting in her cell in the 60s, not doing anything. How dumb!
But the dumb part about this is in the end, one of Baby Doll’s friends escapes the asylum. But are her friends really in the asylum or just in the brothel fantasy? So, did she get away in real life or just in Baby Doll’s brain? I’m so confused! (Maybe I wasn’t paying attention, I don’t know). It makes no sense.
Another thing that’s stupid is just the reasoning behind going into these little missions to getting the things they need. So, they need a map from the guy with the mustache’s room, so that translates to them having to get a map from some zombie/orc/Nazi guys in the trenches of World War I or II. . .but why? Why is that?
When they go to get the fire, they have to infiltrate an Orc- ridden castle in order cut a baby dragon’s throat open and retrieve the crystals from inside. While this is a pretty cool scene (pretty much the only scene I like from the movie), what does a castle and Orcs have to do with retrieving fire? And thirdly, what does having to get a knife have to do with a train and diffusing a bomb? I don’t get it!
I believe it was the before-insane George Lucas who said that action scenes are only effective if we care about the people in them. When Indiana Jones is about to get his head squashed, we give a shit because we LIKE Indy. Not only do we not care for girls of “Sucker Punch”, but the action scenes are ridiculously out of context. Not to mention that their self-contained-ness only makes them more of a difference from the rest of the movie and each other. I mean. . .what’s the fucking point? They’re just random.
I know there’re probably a lot of people out there on IMDb saying “Its like Zack Snyder onl y wanted to mak these acshun seens and so he rote a movie jus to do em“, but I have to say I agree. I honestly don’t see these action scenes as anything but old ideas pulled from the huge 3×5 card idea pile, also known as the “I’ve always wanted to do” pile. I’ve always wanted to do a fight with big Samurai, I’ve always wanted to do a Zombie-Nazi type thing, I’ve always wanted to do a scene with a dragon and castle, I’ve always wanted to do an idea with a train. So what does Mr. Snyder do? He creates a plot centered around the fact that “anything goes” and everything can be disconnected from things that came before it. That way, random scenes make sense, right? Well, My. Synder, I like to write to, and I have an idea to have a Viking kill demons in the forest and I have the idea for someone to make a joke about watching “Return of the Jedi” with the sound off, but I’m not going to go and put them in same movie.
And if you wanted to include all these scenes, a Samurai battle, a trench fight, a castle battle, and a train bomb defusing, then why didn’t you just make it so that all these scenes can fit into some crazy world where all that stuff is normal? How about Baby Doll and her buddies have to get all these ingredients to a secret elixir that can, I dunno, do something important, and they go around and gather all the shit? I mean, why even have the 1960s shit? Oh well, whatever, I’m unemployed and he’s just released his fourth feature, so what do I know?
Oh, I totally forgot he directed that Owl movie. . .well I didn’t see that shit.
Anyway, moving on. . .may I note that I found the slow-motion so FUCKING ANNOYING. I mean, it works sometimes, but JESUS, every time ANYTHING happens, it’s in slow-mo. Good gracious. . .sparingly, bro, sparingly. And speaking of annoying shit, what was with all the music? What was with that slow version of the Eurythmic’s “Sweet Dreams”. It was worse that Marilyn Manson’s cover. (And speaking of Marilyn Manson covers, they suck too. All he does is turn down the tempo and then sing it in a creepy voice. RRR!!)
Alright, one last thing before I finish this shit and bust out the two-buck-chuck in the fridge. (Can I walk to fridge, or will I have to kill a ravenous Snorlax on the Eiffel Tower to get my wine?) The ending line was fuckin’ cheesy as hell. So, Baby Doll’s friend (the one who gets away at the end) has been narrating the movie the whole time, and she has this to say as the bus rides away in the sunset:
Who honors those we love for the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us. And at the same time, things that will never die. Who teaches us whats real, and how to laugh at lies. Who decides why we live, and what we’ll die to defend. Who trains us, and who holds the key to set us free. (cut to black) It’s you. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight! (credits begin)
That’s so fucking dumb! First off, that doesn’t even make sense. What the hell is she talking about? And since when did this movie become about ME fighting or doing anything? I’m not related to this story at all. And what weapons is she talking about? And what am I fighting against! I don’t get it! And as for cheesy inspirations for fighting, I’ll stick to Turisas, thank you very much.
Oh well, I think that about wraps this shit up. As I always do with these long ones, I set out to write a short one, but then it explodes and consumes my whole evening. At least it’s a Tuesday night and not a Friday night. . .Anyway, in short, “Sucker Punch” was disappointing and made no sense. So, what does this mean for me and Zack? Is he still one of my favorite directors? Were perhaps “Dawn of the Dead” and “300” the only movies of his I will enjoy? Considering that his next movie is the new Superman reboot, I’m going to say yes. I mean, why Superman? Superman’s stupid. Batman is way cooler.
Alright, so. . .watch “Sucker Punch” or not if you want. Leave comments down below, I love positive and negative ones, so write away. God knows I already have.
I just found out Zack Snyder lives in Pasadena, which is really close to me. Let’s meet up Zack and talk about “Sucker Punch”, I want some things explained, please?
Oh well fuck it whatever, back to writing my Scriptfrenzy script. I hope my story at least makes sense.