Carl the Critic: Reviews "Sucker Punch" [CAUTION: Contains Plot Spoilers]

"Sucker Punch" Trailer

Carl the Critic: Reviews "Sucker Punch" [Caution contains SPOILERS]

Expectations/Experience: I think the reason I wanted to review this movie was because I saw the trailer and thought "what is this movie about? There are dragons, crazy girls, guns explosions, Samaria sword fights, and an abusive father." After watching the movie I am still wondering what this movie is about. I felt like this was not a movie but that I was watching a video game that someone else was playing. It was one of the funniest movies I have seen this year so far, but the sad thing is I think it was trying to be serious.

Story: The movie starts off with the story of a girl named "Baby Doll," who has an abusive father that may have something to do with the death of her mother and sister. But Baby Doll is accused for the murders and is sent to an insane asylum where she is forced to get a lobotomy. But just before she gets one we some how end up in a whore house, apparently this asylum takes all the beautiful crazy girls, takes them out in public, and makes them dance (you might need a moment to comprehend this before you read on).

When Baby Doll dances shes gets lost in a world where there is this old guy who acts like a tutorial in a video game who always ends a conversation with "Oh one more thing..." as if it was his coined catch phrase. He tells her that in order to escape she needs to find five things: A map, fire, a knife, a key and one more thing which is a mystery until the very end. But in order to get these things she needs the help of her new crazy friends: "Rocket," "Sweet Pea," "Blondie," and "Amber." who all enter her dream like state as she fights for freedom.

Critique: This movie was not horrible but there are a few note worthy things to mention about the film. I have never seen a film (from the transitional to the contemporary era) where the make-up was a mess. The H.D. Camera that the movie was shot with had shown every stroke of foundation, blush, eyeliner, eyebrow pencil, and mascara, and this was all on a man. The make up was the biggest problem for me, followed closely by story. Every critic has mentioned how it is like "Alice in Wonderland," I say it is more like "Inception," where the movie is like a dream with in a dream with in a dream (and it was very confusing), but at least "Inception" was GOOD.

I love video games, and I love playing video games, but this movie was just one gigantic video game that Zack Snyder was playing, and we (the audience) are paying money to watch him play it. Its story is structured as a cone only the cone is spiraling inwards instead of outwards (what I mean is that the conclusion was not as good as the beginning.) The movie is full of cliches, explosions, and unintentional funny scenes. An example of a scene that I thought was funny was when Baby Doll is trying to get a map from a gang of evil zombie-robot Nazis from hell and Outer space, and is shooting down huge airplanes and blimps with her little pistol.

On the other hand there is some really good photography, (by the film's cinematographer Larry Fong), Zack Snyder's direction hasn't been this "good" since "300," and I felt that the actors overall pulled out some very good performances (despite the crappy story). In addition to that, the music (by Tyler Bates and Marius De Vries) is quite good, and the design of the dragon was probably one of the best parts of the film.

Overall: I did have fun with this movie, but I think it was a complete waste of time. There are some good things and bad things but I can't really, completely recommend this movie to anyone. I give this movie a 6.5 out of 10.

SPOILER: "Oh and one more thing..." in case you want to know the ending without watching the movie because you want to skip it, here is what happens.

-Rocket, Amber, and then Blondie all die in the movie. Baby Doll then helps Sweet pea escape.

-the fifth thing Baby Doll needs in order to escape is to sacrifice herself. When Baby Doll "sacrifices herself," she gets the lobotomy and it turns out that she really did do the things she visioned in her mind but at the same time she didn't because she was not a dancing whore.

-Sweet Pea is about to escape but is confronted by police. The Bus Driver (who is also the old guy from Baby Doll's dream like state) tells the Police that she was with him the entire time and that she is a good passenger (as if that was needed to be said.) So Sweet Pea is the only one who officially escapes.

- In case you are wondering, no the abusive father is never mentioned ever again in the movie, but by the end of the movie you can't really trust Baby Doll was ever really sane or if she was crazy, and I for one do not care. She might have killed her sister and mother though.


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Comments 14 comments

Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Nice review....I wonder how long the director can survive on the success of 300.....I was disappointed in The Watchman and based on your review.....I think I will be disappointed with this one too.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

Yeah you might want to wait until netflix has it to rent so you can view yourself and not have to pay the full price of a movie ticket. Visually, and artistically it was okay, but the story was so ridiculous it is hard to take it seriously (plus other things I mentioned above.) As for Zack Snyder, I think he will still have a career, because he is not a horrible director, but like M. Night Shamalan his reputation is in jeopardy. Thank you for your comment.


KyleDude18 profile image

KyleDude18 5 years ago

Hey Carl, I believe that Zach Snyder's next film (he's doing the next Superman movie) will be the deciding factor. The next film will decided if Snyder is allowed to have a big budget film.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

I agree with you Kyle. Thanks for your insight.


Stevennix2001 profile image

Stevennix2001 5 years ago

Well I certainly don't disagree with many of your insights on this film, but I will say that I think this movie would've worked a helluva a lot better as a anime instead of a live action film. The reason being is that in anime, part of it's allure is the mystery behind some of it's symbolism, as you don't necessarily have to explain everything. Take "Ponyo" for instance. It never explains why Ponyo's father left to become a sorcerer under the great sea. Nor does it explain how it's possible that Ponyo would be able to transform into a human. However, since it's a cartoon, we naturally just dismiss it, and just accept it as part of the story. this is why I think an anime approach would've worked for sucker punch. This way, it wouldn't be expected for them explain everything, as anime is really about telling deep stories with great visuals. However, this is just my thoughts anyways.

I do think that this film had some promise, as i thought the visuals were impressive. However, the story left too much to be desired. To be honest, I didn't really care too much for "300", as you said in the comments. Although I do think it was okay. However, it's one of those movies where you think it's great the first time you see it but after you watch it more than once, you start to realize how utterly awful it is. However, I did like his films "Watchmen" and "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga' Hoole", but those films suffered from a lot of pacing issues. Plus, "Watchmen" was badly edited if you ask me. Apart from that, I still think Snyder won't mess up Superman, due to Christopher Nolan producing it, and having a hand in developing the script.

However, as Kyledude just said, I think the next Superman movie is essentially going to make or break Snyder as a director. So far all his films since 300, have underwhelmed people at the box office. therefore, it'll be interesting to see how this plays out. He's just lucky to have a producer like Nolan on board as a mentor; otherwise I wouldn't even bother seeing the next superman movie. anyways, sorry to hijack your hub, as i sometimes get lost in my train of thought. lol Anyways, thanks for the great read, as i'll be sure to rate this up!


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

Well I appreciate your comments and opinions Steven, because you are very passionate about it. Although I thought that "Watchmen," and "Legend of the Guardians," were not my kind of movies, I feel like you seem to know what you like and don't like. The insight you have given about "Sucker Punch," was very thought provoking and knowledgeable. And for that I thank you very much.


Matt in Jax profile image

Matt in Jax 5 years ago from Jacksonville, FL

Nice review Carl, but I might ask how exactly did Sweet Pea escape? I was under the impression that she too suffered the same fate as Baby Doll because as the bus drives off, she passes a sign named Paradise which was what Blue referred to earlier in the movie as the code word for a lobotomy. I've had this general argument with a friend or two and wanted to see if you thought she actually escaped or perhaps got caught and this is what her imagine wants to see -- that she escaped.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

This is why I found the movie to be very confusing my friend. The entire movie had me very confused and for me it made no sense. All I know was that when Sweet Pea got on the bus the movie was over. I assumed that she escaped and that she was free, and since one of the ideas that Zach Snyder wanted to achieve with the movie was an idea of freedom. Thank you for question, it is a good one, and it makes a good point.


Taylorwise profile image

Taylorwise 5 years ago from Austin, TX

Hmmm...


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

... is this a good thing Taylorwise? :)


somnambulist876 profile image

somnambulist876 5 years ago from Lancaster, PA

I agree with your assessment of the film for most part. The film is all flash and no substance. Never have I seen a movie more a F/X and less story that didn't have Micheal Bay's name attached to it.

I actually liked 300 and Watchmen. I thought they were fairly faithful adaptation of the source material. With Sucker Punch Snyder definitely failed to connect. The visuals were imaginative and well executed. But Snyder has always been pretty good with visual effects. The story is nothing more then a skeleton though to hang these effects scenes on. It's like he had a bunch random ideas drawn from a lot of different sources, like anime, video game, other movies, ect. and needed to find away to work them into one movie. The movie I would compare it to though is Terry Gilliam's Brazil though. Although Brazil is a much better movie.

The acting is pretty mediocre, the characters two dimensional and the dialog, what there is of it, is pretty bad. In fact the entire opening plays like one long music video. It's basically like Janie's Got a Gun reshot to Sweet Dreams. In fact much of the movie plays like a music video.

The main problem I feel the movie has is tone. Snyder is going for this whole kind of dark fairy tale thing like Guillermo del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth, but much material is just to slight and silly for such a somber tone. The whole thing is played to serious. It would have better served the film if it had been done as campy b-movie fun.

Then to go with a PG-13 rating on top of that. You have a movie that touches on adult themes of incest, attempted rape, prostitution, and murder, with the balk of it taking place in a brothel, and they decided to aim for a PG-13. I'm assuming the studio demand a PG-13, but to me it seem like the material was water down to get that rating and is better suited and possibly originally conceived as an R rated piece. The scenes in the bordello especial seem like they should be sleazier and more lurid.

The movie simply isn't sure what it wants be. I also found the " philosophical self empower theme Snyder try to insert laughable as well.

All and all you review was accurate and well written. Look forward to checking out some of your others.


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

Thanks somnambulist876 :) , glad you like it.


giselenmendez profile image

giselenmendez 5 years ago from Berlin, Germany

Once I've heard about Sucker Punch I thought it would be really entertaining and all, but after I've seen the trailer and noticed everything was soooo confusing, it turned out to be a no-no for me. I appreciate the spoiler because even though I didn't want to see the movie, I was kind of intrigued about the ending. Great review, as usual :)


CarltheCritic1291 profile image

CarltheCritic1291 5 years ago Author

Thank you very much for the comment giselenmendez :) glad to hear from you.

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