Do you like music videos? Do you like two-hour music videos? Then Sucker Punch is the movie for you!
The initial hype for this thing wasn’t very misleading, really. It had tons of awesome things presented rather spastically in a short trailer with little in the way of plot or character hints. It didn’t include much dialogue though, which helped to make it seem better than it actually is. The bits that it did include were a bit iffy, I thought. Maybe a little too straight-forward, what with the list of items and all that. It was very easy to look past that though and concentrate on the fact that it would be a movie about a bunch of pretty ladies fighting robots and orcs with machine guns and katanas.
That’s pretty much what we got, except the actiony bits are surrounded with some sort of dreamish story about some sad girls stuck in either an asylum for insane babes or a whorehouse, depending on which way you look at it. It’s also very restrained in order to fit the PG-13 bill, which I think is what kept it from reaching that lofty, masturbatory height that the trailers advertised. I thought I would be able to enjoy the actiony bits more than I ended up liking them; I suppose it might have been due to my relatively short sleep last night but I almost nodded off a couple times while robots were exploding. The music was pretty cool though, especially the inclusion and rather prominent featuring of “Army of Me” by the wonderfully strange Björk Guðmundsdóttir, which almost had me invested in the scene. There were some other neat songs as well, almost all used during the action scenes, which all felt very much like music videos.
Outside of those parts the movie is pretty bad. The acting is almost universally terrible, even by the rather accomplished character actor Scott Glenn, whose Yoda-like character’s catch phrases failed in their supposedly endearing aim and just ended up being annoying; Jon Hamm’s abbreviated role could have been better if his most interesting scene hadn’t been cut due to the MPAA’s lameness, and the principal cast can’t make the dialogue interesting. There were just so many long, static scenes of boring exposition that could have been replaced with more visually entertaining pieces while allowing the viewer to figure things out on his or her own. The list of MacGuffins just seemed stupid to me.
As usual, Zack Snyder made a movie that only he could make. It’s very recognizably his style; washed out colors, lots of slo-mo, and subject matter yanked from old Heavy Metal issues. I liked 300 when I first saw it, and I respect his version of Watchmen in most respects. This though, his first venture into “original” territory, seems lacking. It’s like he tried to pack every awesome thing he could think of into a two hour, PG-13 movie. Not gonna happen bro.