Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Sucker Punch (2011) - Movie Review
The lead, Baby Doll (played vapidly by Emily Browning), is one of the worst performances I have seen in a major motion picture in years. She stares blankly, mouth either agape or in a pout the entire film. She never really seems to be reacting to what is happening on screen and when she does open her mouth, it‘s to spout out one or two lines with a level of disengaged enthusiasm rivaled only by Tidus from Final Fantasy X, and the fact that she doesn‘t seem to really be interested in anything that is happening on screen makes these lines seem less like they come from a character and more like they come from a six year old appearing in her first stage performance in a school play; It is a big problem when even your lead character doesn‘t seem to care about the plot. Another issue is that the other girls, who are much more lively and interesting (and better acted for that matter), are barely touched on and get very little of the action in the dream sequences. An even bigger offence is that the likeable and talented Jon Hamm is wasted here in a bit part. There really are no good performances in this film, so the blame more or less falls onto the shoulders of the director, and that blame would be well-placed.
Snyder co-wrote and directed this piece with a lot of his signature style, for better or for worse. While there are a few scenes in this movie that look good, most if it is dark and ugly. The low-light style hides the eyes of the actors, making them hard to read expressions from, and it shrouds the performances. It doesn’t help that they are all wearing thick makeup that makes their faces even darker. The action scenes are equally difficult to read. Dark hides the poorly rendered animation and weak effects push the film into style-over-substance territory. This style is also accentuated with a dark soundtrack, and by “dark“ I mean “lame“. Most of the songs are crappy covers and many of them sound exactly the same. They are meant to add to the mood I suppose, but they make the movie look like a lineup of silly music videos. It is just another element of the film that I hated. It doesn’t really further the movie at all, it merely ads more pointlessness to the already meaningless remainder of this movie.
As a whole, this is an incredibly stupid film. I can’t recommended it as a popcorn flick because the action sequences really aren’t all that interesting. There never feels like there’s anything at stake, and they basically boil down to the girls fighting enemies in a fantasy setting that in no way connects to the actual story, they are merely “cool” representations of the girls trying to get one of the five things they need to achieve freedom. Sucker Punch is an utterly empty movie, lacking any real personality or identity. It is bogged down by its lack of a real plot and its inability to draw a connection between the audience and the characters on screen. There are points where the movie attempts to manipulate emotions, but these are forced and really did not yield any reaction from me. It’s hard to care about any of the characters when even the movie treats them like video game fodder.
Sucker Punch is one of the worst movies of the year. It is an empty, exploitative void of a film, that simply shows us things that we are meant to find entertaining but they are so disconnected and ugly that they are little more than forgettable. The scenes that take place in reality are sadistic and push the movie into a realm that makes it both a little uncomfortable and even confusing. It is hard to tell who this movie is for. I can only assume it was meant for older teens and twenty-something men who want to watch girls fight things for roughly two hours, but I would hardly consider that entertaining on its own.
Posted by Chris McElfresh at 2:52 PM