Let me start off by saying I have been waiting on this one for quite a bit. Ever since I saw the first shots of Emily Browning and her gang of gorgeous misfits fighting dragons & nazi zombies. How could this be bad. Short skirts, knee highs, boobs, guns, swords, and villains galore. This seemed to be the makings of something that I not only wanted to see, I needed to see it.
***Please click Read more below to see more of my defense of Sucker Punch***
Checking in on Rotten Tomatoes, we find a interesting paradox. The critics bashed it, giving it a 20% fresh rating. Thats pretty bad. Beastly & Red Riding Hood bad. But on the same site, the audience members (people who actually PAY to see movies THEY WANT TO see) gave it a 62% rating. This gets me so fustrated. Movie critics are quick to bash a flick, especially if its in a genre that is out of their comfort zone or age bracket (ie: Horror movies almost always get shit on, comedies usually get panned despite the fact they are extremely humorous, and cartoon/comic book movies are judged against Casablanca-like movie standards of guys in their 50's/60's.) I usually don't listen to critics... I respect their opinion, but you can't ignore their long history of bias. Now, polling people coming out of the theater is a much better way to judge the flick. These people CHOSE this movie, BOUGHT tickets, and I want an opinion under these circumstances... they are not conforming or formulating a review. It comes down to facts... did they like it or not? Thats the kind of opinions I want.
This is where I come in. I personally loved Sucker Punch. But, being the realist that I am, I can see exactly why some people wouldn't. Thats something I do alot... I can easily formulate my own opinion, but I often wonder why other people feel a certain way. So here is my (spoiler free) opinion of the movie, followed by why most people probably won't/don't like it.
- The Cast: Wow... just wow. The girls (Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens, Jenna Malone, and Jaime Chung) were amazing, but its the supporting cast that gets me the most. Oscar Isaac is wonderful as the dispicable villain Blue, Carla Gugino was sexy and sophisticated as Madam Gorski, and Scott Glenn is as superb as ever as the girls guiding angel. Throw in Jon Hamm & the rest of the stunt actors, and I feel like Snyder got everybody in his cast just right.
- So Baby Doll (Browning) can hypnotize people when she dances. Ok... so whats wrong with that? I have heard people bash the movie for not showing her dance. But guess what... this is when she enters the dream fantasy/fighting sequences. I can figure out what kind of dancing she is doing... I don't need to see it. Plus, how else could they segue into the fighting sequences?
- Snyder's story is ambitious and takes chances... and original. These are qualities that are few and far between now-a-days in films. This is especially true in our beloved sub-genres. There are record number sequels, prequels, reboots & adaptions being made... and here comes a dude with an original idea, and they say its "too original". Wait... what? Just on original concept alone, people need to at least give this one a shot.
- It's not all about Baby Doll. The supporting characters all play an important part in the culmination of the movie. They all play a part... and some become EXTREMELY important.
- I like the look and feel of the flick. It has the feeling that it is set back in the day (creepy & spooky, dark) but once the girls jump into the fantasy world(s) shit gets super interesting. You get Fuedal Japan, Nazi Germany, The Middle Ages, and a futuristic Space World. With all of these locales, Snyder does them all justice... they all look visually stunning and took my breath away.
- Ok, so its far fetched... SO??? It's a fantasy film. WTF? I don't get this. Most people say Raimi's 1st Spiderman film is pure genius (I agree), but why can we believe that a radioactive spider can bite a kid and give him spider powers? We can because its familiar to us, especially us nerds. EVERYONE KNOWS SPIDERMAN. But in this case, it's all new characters... and that would require thinking. Who are these broads, and why do they have the abilities they do? Nah... give me another cookie cutter superhero movie that the screenwriters will fuck up the origin story/costumes for. Thats so much easier.
- Sucker Punch moves at a breakneck pace. Oh yeah... this is true. It is a mile a minute, balls to the wall action. Things you never would imagine in one scene (modern machine guns in WW I or II settings, dragons dogfighting with bi-planes, robots fistfighting with chicks) happen throughout. Whats so bad about this? Oh yeah, thats right... its new. Stuff that has never really been done before. Yeah, that probably sucks. Can we make another reboot please? WTF people. It's an ACTION movie... I want ACTION. I got that. I'm satisfied... why not you? If I wanted realistic and calm, I'd watch The King's Speech.
- No boobies. Yup, I was disappointed as well. The movie is high on sexuality, the costumes are just as hot as the women wearing them, and Jon Hamm/Oscar Isaac even give the ladies some male eye candy. I expected some boobs... meh. Not in the cards. But I can see why people would go in expecting tons of boobage and not getting any... I guess this might piss me off as well.