Film Reviews

SUCKER PUNCH

By • Apr 1st, 2011 •

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Hardcore eroticism. The only word that came to my mind watching the dazzling CGI SUCKER PUNCH was misandry (the hatred of men or boys) – by the writers!

There was not one sympathetic, nice man on the screen. As a huge fan of director/co-writer Zack Snyder, I paid to see his CGI spectacular, and excessive, new film. Unfortunately, not in IMAX – but I should have!

Snyder’s world is nasty, cruel, and savage. Those who have another viewpoint regarding reality – a kinder, gentler reality filled with romantic weeping, good deeds, and justice for all – will find SP troubling. Is SP the first PG13 pornographic movie? Well, according to current statistics, 25% of total search engine requests are porn-related and 12% of all total websites are pornographic. The largest consumer of internet pornography is in the 12-17 age group!

Those largest consumers of pornography will love SP. It’s as close to clothed porn as one could get.

The film begins with Babydoll’s (Emily Browning) mother dying leaving her and her young sister in the care of an evil, lecherous stepfather (Gerard Plunkett). I blame their mother. With her little sister about to step into the role as their stepfather’s unwilling inamorata and then murder victim, Babydoll is accused of the crime and sent to the Lennox House for the Criminally Insane for a lobotomy – in 5 days – the now standard “ticking clock” plot device.

But before Babydoll is given to the Doctor/Highroller (Jon Hamm), who just loves doing lobotomies (it’s either his forte or kink), she is brought not to a cell but to the social room which has been transformed into a nightclub. The inmates are now trained to be dancers by the heavily-accented Dr. Vera Gorskir (Carla Gugino). The owner of the “club” is creepy Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac) representing a Paul Snider type monster. The well-trained inmate-dancers are sisters Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) and Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung).

Not only dancing, but it is implied the girls must provide additional pleasure for the well-heeled patrons. Lobotomize girls are more malleable then feisty, unjustly committed mental patients and stepfather has paid for the permanent solution for Babydoll.

As Babydoll prepares for her first rehearsal dance, a part of her mind goes into another world where a Wise Man (Scott Glenn) gives her a list of five items she must collect in order to escape Lennox. But first, she has to face a few monsters. Every time Babydoll dances and entrances her audience, she and her fellow inmates battle zombie Nazis, swordsmen in metal armor, a castle of robot warriors, and a very angry mother dragon. Wise Man gleefully orchestrates the battles while keeping a safe distance.

Babydoll’s imaginary epic battles are conquered, yet when she returns to her friends and tells them they can use what she has learned to escape, they must deal with Blue, a morbidly obese cook, and Blue’s bodyguards. Escaping will not be easy – they have no weapons and Wise Man hasn’t turned up for a private dance.

Babydoll and her dancers are vicious killers and destroy worlds with impunity but back at Lennox they are prisoners. Babydoll’s directive puts the girls in real danger as they are subjected to cruelty and outrageous S&M costumes – though no whippings.

Unless there is an R version for the DVD release, it appears Snyder made no compromises and every one of his fantasies were indulged. Or, he knows his target audience. Remembering key scenes from 300, I would say Snyder is expressing himself with psychological abandon. While he might need therapy down the way, SP is a thrilling, exploitive movie. It delivers exactly what it intends to – even if the “Be true to yourself” message is quite unnecessary.

With twists and a satisfying ending, the CGI images are brilliant and should be well-worth the IMAX ticket price.

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One Response »

  1. I’m not sure how you can call this misandrist when there was one good guy and that was Wiseman.

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