Genre: Fantasy, Drama, Action
Runtime: 120 Minutes
The year of 2011 has had its good moments up until now with some great titles. However, it has also had some downfalls with films like this. As the title suggests, you have to be a ‘sucker’ to watch this. With dazzling special effects and a story that is relatively refreshing, without characters and plot the film is lifeless and boring. Writer and director Zack Snyder may have brought “Watchmen” and “Dawn of the Dead” to the screen previously, but his two latest films have proved very lousy, being this and “Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole”. ‘Sucker Punch’ is one of the worst films of 2011 because of its senseless action and boring story.
Our story opens with an overly dramatic scene with special effects showing a twenty-year-old woman (referred to throughout the film as Baby Doll) loses her mother. Despite the fact she is old enough to live on her own, she remains at home to protect her younger sister against the predatory advances of their stepfather. When Baby Doll accidentally shoots her little sister while trying to ward off the step dad (what are the odds?), the step dad shunts her off to an institution, Lennox House for the mentally insane. The nut house, of course, is just as evil as the stepfather is. Once she arrives, she imagines the place is a high-class brothel, and she tries to organize the other girls to escape.
This mental hospital is completely nuts and it reminded me of what the mental hospital in ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’ was like. Of course, the first thought was it was far better executed drama. All the action shown in this film takes place within Baby Doll’s mind and it is very incoherent what exactly Snyder wanted to do. Was he trying to be clever? It is clever that the action seems to be in the mind of Baby doll dancing, but this concept towards the end of the film is obliterated. Furthermore, all the action is needless, boring and most of all, unpalatable.
In the film, people are shot, stabbed and abused and even a dragon’s throat being cut in a scene where Baby Doll goes in and grabs something afterwards. With all the film’s blood, violence and murders makes it feel like one pile of needless action and energy. The characters were flat and that goes for the actresses Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Browning, Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish and Jamie Chung. They all felt lifeless and that is the worst thing a film can have. If you do not care about the characters (or even have any emotion with them) everything that happens is nothing. Our antagonist named Blue (Oscar Isaac) is the only reasonable character who plays as a good antagonist.
The thing that annoyed me more than anything else is how Snyder seemed to be trying to create this important message within the film with its dramatic and boring narrative towards the end. His message in the end seems to be about independence, but it just makes the film all the more pointless. With lifeless characters and a plot of an escape, we have no real happy conclusion in this story of five women’s attempt to escape a nut house, “Sucker Punch” I something that at the end you simply say “What a waste of my time”.
My Rating: 3.5/10