Saturday, 2 April 2011

Sucker Punch

Watchmen confused me immensely. It had everything that the comic book had - aesthetically, story wise (except the ending), and filmed nearly shot for shot. So why didn't I like it? I had to watch Sucker Punch to find out...

I was unprepared.. but not in a good way.

Sucker Punch is about Baby Doll - a wrongly committed victim of abuse and neglect. To escape the confines of a mental institution with fellow patients, she must use the power of her imagination to delve into 2 further forms of reality: a vintage burlesque house, and a futuristic war zone. Confused? I was too. It makes no attempt to tie any of these together, but instead assumes the audience will accept this as a plausible plot. What follows is a checklist of fantasy cliches and CGI montages in order to find the '5 items' she must obtain before she can escape.

Sucker Punch is a tricky film to review, because it's not really a film. It's more of an inlet into the mind of Zach Snyder: a wasteland of Nazi zombies, ass kicking babes, and bad cover versions of amazing songs. Because Zack Snyder isn't really a filmmaker. He's a 15 year old boy who loves the films of Bruce Lee and has just discovered the music of The Pixies. But somehow his mind is trapped inside the body of an extremely powerful and influential Hollywood filmmaker.

An artists impression of the inside of Zack Snyder's mind.

There is no emotional investment in Sucker Punch because there are no characters. Just cardboard cut outs of scantily clad 'powerful' females who move around and shoot robots. There is never a moment where they feel in real danger, which makes the action scenes (as amazingly choreographed and as beautifully shot as they are) feel completely numbifying. It's like watching someone else playing a computer game. And the only technique Snyder has to stop people becoming incredibly bored is to unsubtly place a well loved song over the top of a scene. It's just lazy filmmaking.

I can't help but Zack Snyder has completely blown it. This was his chance to prove he is more than just a glorified music video director - but he really isn't. I feel Hollywood will soon curse the day they gave him the realms to the new Superman reboot.

But at least some of the cover songs are half decent...

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