Sucker Punch (2011) Review

A stylistic action-adventure strife with suspense, haunting scenes and grim which covers every person and location densely. Contrast to various settings seen during the girls missions, saturated with a full spectrum of colors, apocalyptic battle scenes, mythical creatures, chaotic battle field, chest pumping ballistics, Zack Snyder’s drifting between reality and no mans land has become a trademark. Using music as her medium, baby doll retreats to her imagination to survive the harsh realities faced against her. Recruiting four other girls, they set out on a mission to escape Lennox House for the Mentally Insane, but run into adversity in the form of a man named Blue Jones. Oscar Isaac plays the repulsive Blue. Known to all staff as Mr. Big cheese, he operates a prostitution ring within the asylum, prevailing by means of mental and physical intimidation. Rocket, Sweet Pea, Amber and Blondie entertain “clients” by dancing and singing, Convinced this will not be a life for her Baby doll formulates a plan, to retrieve various items and liberate her fellow sisters from bondage. Each heroine shows aspects of themselves, both vulnerable and strong, nurturing and volatile, while remaining relatable, believable and enduring. Spunky, playful, but mischievous Rockett, tough talking Sweet Pea, Sassy, snide Blondie, sweet sympathetic Amber and Innocent Baby doll. In an alternate 1940’s, during the height of Psychiatric hospitals Sucker punch underlined the era Gerard Plunkett, immediately gives a state of unrest, in fact, significant male cast behaved sinisterly, strategically amplifying an inescapable mental dread, I felt trapped despite being completely safe in my seat. In all four epic battle sequences visually tell the tale, three massive samurai monsters after baby doll’s head, search and destroy while fighting hand to hand against mechanical German soldiers, a medieval castle fortress housing a bellowing beast behind its’ walls and inhumanely brutal mecha robo-gunmen protecting an atomized ticking time bomb. Baby doll seemed to have a hypnotic effect on the cook, before she was prematurely interrupted. Lapses in reality and baby doll’s reality she begins to dance, but you never actually witness it. Rather Zack Snyder leaves visualizations as to how her dancing intimately exclusive to each person. Personally I did not imagine baby doll dancing provocatively until Sweet Pea remarked, “it’s more than titillation.” A special bond formed between Chung, Malone, Cornish, Hudgens and Browning previous and during filming, as was reflected in their missions together. I especially noticed how collectively they swept through the trenches together. Crossing swiftly and devastating all in their path, cutting down enemies to size literally. 50 caliber turrets, razor sharp katana’s, pump action shotguns and semi-automatic rifles, quite normal weapons to be seen in their pockets. Jena Malone and Abbie Cornish sucker punch my heart. Unofficially deemed Rockett’s death theme “tomorrow never knows”, Baby doll glances back at the train seconds before its’ collision. Delivered as a bitter sweet turning point, a significant loss looms over the duration. Abbie Cornish emotional reaction left a permanent imprint on my spirit for the rest of my night. Never before have I cried during an action flick, but I was sucker punched to the heart when Blondie and Amber were shot by Blue. At the end when Baby doll solves *insert mystery item, she sacrifices her freedom to help Sweet pea escape, leaving me utterly heart broken. As the credits rolled, I could not get out of my chair, feeling weak, overwhelmed, inspired and mournful. In dispute of critics staggeringly negative ratings, Sucker Punch may not be what critics anticipated, but it deserves more credit than it has been given; not target a main stream audience, hence its’ overall reception. It was not my impression that this film was meant to be feminist centered or misogynistic, but simply about people’s mental will and ability to cope and survive adversity, period. Shocking performances by Jamie Chang and Vanessa Hudgens, who are associated with Jamie Chung’s roles usually entail an archetypal popular preppy/popular girl and Vanessa being the previous poster child good girl, I never imagined I would see her wielding an ax, fighting in trenches or Jamie mobilizing in a psychotic looking suit of destruction on jet engines. Jamie showed a different side of herself, giving privy to Amber in depth, displaying a strong amount of openness, making her approachable even in real life. A dramatic closing, five girls engage in a quest for freedom only two make it out alive. Attesting to a well known truth, often death pays the price of freedom, but these ladies went out with a bang.

Performances: 8.5/10 Directing: 8/10 Script/Dialogue: 9/10 Cinematography: 10/10

Overall rating: 9.5 /10

Honorable mention: “you have all the tools you need, now fight!”


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