There are films out there that really divide opinion amongst fans, and this weeks ‘Guilty Pleasures’ post is certainly one of them. But, every film deserves to be loved by somebody, and you wont find a more passionate lover of this movie than my cohort Richard aka Rich Kid. So, without any further delay, I’ll hand the reigns to him so he can guide you through this controversial dystopian action thriller. Take it away, Rich!
” The film that i’m going to be talking about holds a special place in my heart because it is both in equal parts bad and spectacular. Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” is a film which has been dealt a very bad deal since its release in 2011. With two good films under his belt (Dawn of the Dead, 300) Snyder had gone on record as saying he wanted to do another action film that was less testosterone fueled and was instead female led.
The story of Suckerpunch is an amalgamation of genres thrown into a plot straight out if an LSD fueled dream, the ingredients are:
THE PRIME INGREDIENTS
1940’s real world where Babydoll exists.
The mental asylum where Babydoll is sent to by her evil stepfather.
The brothel that resides in the mental asylum
The samurai temple
1940s World War 2
Futuristic space train ride on Mars
Throw into a pot and stir:
What your given for the next hour and a half is a jambalaya of a story that revolves around a girl named babydoll who is screwed over by her evil stepfather after her mother dies (already this screams fairytale undertones which in my opinion is a lot closer to the cautionary tales on which they are based as opposed to the disney stuff we are given these days not I am not a fan them I must add). This is shown in the montage at the beginning which results in her defending herself from him but also getting her younger sister killed by a ricocheting bullet. This brings us to where the majority of the film will take place: The Lennox Asylum (easter egg reference to the song that is played while she is being driven there: “Sweet dreams are made of this”).
Babydoll proceeds to make friends with 4 other girls in the asylum which also find out is just a front for strip club/brothel. In making friends with AMBER, BLONDIE, ROCKET and SWEAT PEA (Rocket’s older sister). She convinces them of a plan that she has of an escape, but to pull this off she will need 5 items a map, fire, a knife, a key and a fifth unrevealed item that she is told will be revealed to her when the time is right. Now how this is done is that while she dances for clients they find out that it put the audience in a trance and allows them to make whatever moves need to be done. While this is happening they are transported to another world where they looking for the spiritual representative of the item they are looking for ie. Fire in the real world is a lighter in the fantasy world it’s the fire from a dragon. To try and even describe the whole story is something I wouldn’t dare try purely for the fear of butchering it beyond recognition.
The standouts for this film are depending on day, month, week and sobriety meaning on on any given Sunday, I generally think this is a masterpiece on another day I just fast forward to the fight scenes. Now this is really where Snyder excels his attention to action is up there with his attention to costume and detail. From the man who introduced the world to the 300 Spartan training system it’s no wonder he was chosen to helm DC Comics main characters (whether he did a good job or not is another matter). If the half naked men in 300 fighting with swords and shields was a beautiful choreographed mosh pit at a heavy metal concert then ‘Sucker Punch’ is lesson at a contemporary dance school of the highest order in which you are going to see ballet, pop locking and breakdance amongst other styles. Every scene is well thought out and continuity perfectly done you could easily just watch it and freeze frame any scene and marvel at its beauty. Although every action scene can stand alone on its own merit and that’s not even mentioning how they each belong to different genres. If I had to choose one it would be the final scene which is set on another planet in which they have been given the task to defuse a bomb on a train before it reaches the city, the scene is filmed in one flawless take with a mixture of cgi and real action seamlessly blended together in a way I have not scene before or even since.
After waxing lyrically about this film there is a reason why it would not be heralded as an amazing film by all and if I didn’t admit these flaws I would be lying to myself. First flaw is the acting not that is generally bad but the girls in this story don’t really knock it out of the park, it seems as if they were just told to lean lines and act, on the flip side everyone else does a really good job who is not apart of the female A team which always seems to confuse me as it’s their story. I have to give a special shout out to Oscar Isaac who plays the main villain Blue with such intensity and screen presence that it reminds me of Christoph Waltz in Inglorious Basterds or Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lector. Other standouts are the Zack Snyder main stay Carla Gugino who plays the tart with a heart Dr. Vera Gorski and last but not least Scott Glenn who plays the equivalent of the fairy godmother “The Wise Man” imparting wisdom on his girls to help them on their journey. The second flaw is the pacing it is sometimes hard to make heads or tails of what is happening even after repeated views. This is a problem that I face with a lot of Zack Snyder’s films, it’s almost as if the storyboard has not been done already (300, Watchmen) then he gets lost in his fanboy mind and just expects people to keep up with him. Another prime example of his directing style which would cause problems amongst viewers would be Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The soundtrack that I listened to while writing this was actually the original soundtrack to this film. I shall do a tracklisting below and cannot recommend it enough that you listen to this eclectic musical masterpiece of mashed up genres of different music types.
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) cover)” Emily Browning
“Army of Me (Sucker Punch Remix) (Bjork cover)” Björk featuring Skunk Anansie
“White Rabbit (Jefferson Airplane Cover)” Emilíana Torrini
“I Want It All / We Will Rock You Mash-Up (Queen cover)” Queen featuring Armageddon aka Geddy
“Search and Destroy (The Stooges cover)” Skunk Anansie
“Tomorrow Never Knows (Beatles Cover)” Alison Mosshart and Carla Azar
“Where Is My Mind? (Pixies cover)” Yoav & Emily Browning
“Asleep (The Smiths cover)” Emily Browning
“Love Is the Drug (Roxy Music cover)” Carla Gugino & Oscar Isaac
With that said I would still suggest at least one viewing of this film if only for its beauty on screen. If not that then for the screaming cacophony that helps to keep the story moving whether in its tender moments or when there are blades and bullets traversing the screen. And on that note with my love letter to the 2011 Zack Snyder directed film Suckerpunch, if she were a girlfrend I would describe her as a devil that walked straight out of heaven not giving a fuck and still making the boys and girls stop and stare I bid you adieu. “
So there you have it folks, there will be more to come from Richard soon, so stay tuned!