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Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Bit Punchy

So, I finally got around to watching Zack Snyder's film/vanity project Sucker Punch.

I'm not entirely sure how I would describe it, apart from taking us all on a little trip in the Way Way Back Machine to a junior high school sleepover in which you and your twelve-year-old friends are sharing your twelve-year-old versions of sexual fantasies trying to out-do one another and then one of your friends shares something that's just a little too weird. You know that awkward silence right after that revelation? That's kind of how I felt through all of Sucker Punch: like I had inadvertently wandered into one of Zack Snyder's wet dreams. There are machine-gun wielding, pig-tailed, waifish, inmate-hooker-schoolgirls, who swing samurai swords at steampunk zombie Nazis, dragon hordes, and shiny metallic robots. Oh, and they dance. Supposedly. They do a lot of stretching.
Still, I can't fault the skill with which Snyder executes his fantasy. The steampunk zombie Nazis are pretty cool. The dragon battle is exciting. The machine-gun wielding, pig-tailed, waifish, inmate-hooker-schoolgirls are. well, you know. (Kind of awesome!)
I don't really want to give any spoilers, but the title itself is kind of a spoiler:

sucker punch (skr-pnchn. Slang An unexpected punch or blow.

Warning: Here there be spoilers. Kind of. Not really.
About fifteen minutes into the film (maybe ten) you realize the meaning of the title and that you're probably going to get a Terry Gilliam Brazil ending, so then it's just about how exactly we're going to get there. If you haven't seen Brazil, then I haven't spoiled anything for you. Unless, of course, you've seen Sucker Punch already, in which case I just spoiled Brazil for you. (Not really. Maybe sort of.)
Predictable ending or no, Sucker Punch is really mostly about the eye candy, and I don't mean just the lovely young actresses (though they are quite lovely). Cool visual effects, great battle sequences, and lots of explosions make Sucker Punch a bit of a teaser for what Snyder will likely do with the beloved Man of Steel in 2013.
Sucker Punch is escapism. If you look for more than that, you'll likely be disappointed. I enjoyed it for what it was, and everybody involved sure looked like they were having fun - especially Scott Glenn.

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