Cliché-replete ‘Sucker Punch’ terrible, probably offensive

James Klentzman
Contributing Writer

Good Lord this movie sucked.

Zack Snyder killed subtlety and dialogue a long time ago with “300” and seemed to find a way to make it look decent, or at least make it viewable. In “Sucker Punch,” however, all he does is prove that he has no idea what a strong female character is actually like.

It seems that Snyder tried the best he could to make a “cool” movie, but mashed up all the leftover ideas he had into a long and tedious film. Set to a god-awful soundtrack of melancholy covers (including a terrible mash-up of Queen and Geddy) that seem to play every time a character does something as serious as walking down a hallway, the movie feels like it came from a Comic-Con junkie’s daydream, all revolving around a plot that flat-out steals from “Inception” but neglects to include any sort of intelligent thought that made “Inception” good.

Always scantily-clad and with a confused look on her face, Emily Browning plays Babydoll (seriously), a mental patient who escapes from reality in her own fantasy world, one where she’s the new dancer in a burlesque club/brothel. In this fantasy world, she periodically escapes into another one filled with steampunk soldiers, giant samurai, dragons and a nauseating obsession with slow-motion, all meant to find certain items to help her escape from the situation she’s in.

On paper, it actually sounds kind of cool. But there is a difference between what sounds cool and is actually good. There’s no way to mesh any of that together and still keep some resemblance of a plot. Spending so much time and money on CGI (which does look cool, if not way overdone) leaves plot and dialogue fractured and asinine. Any awesome action scene doesn’t really matter because it’s always in her head.

The worst part about the movie is that this is apparently what Snyder thinks of when he hears the word “feminism.” The idea that he has of having a group of strong-willed women breaking free from their scummy and perverted overseers would be much better – if these self-empowered women weren’t wearing skimpy clothing and seductively sucking on lollipops. It kind of defeats the purpose.

As director of “Dawn of the Dead,” Snyder gave audiences what they wanted to see, which was violent zombie fights and black humor. When “300” first came out, he made his mark in filmmaking as a writer/director that puts more emphasis on the visual aspect, letting unique camera angles and appropriately cheesy CGI take precedent over a plot made to get from one action scene to another. In “Watchmen,” he did a decent job in translating an excellent comic book into a movie, something that few other directors could have pulled off. In “Sucker Punch,” he just indulges in juvenile fantasies and fantastical fight scenes, and it makes the movie unwatchable.

Maybe he titled it “Sucker Punch” because watching the movie feels like getting hit in the head repeatedly.

Grade: F

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