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Sucker Punch (2011)
Reviewed on 2011 August 5
I’d been debating about seeing this gaudy, noisy thing for a while. I heard that the plot is…well, really, that there isn’t one, and that it’s just a lot of cool visuals. However, I also heard some good buzz, and let’s face it, plots in most Fellini movies would fall apart if someone sneezed too hard. The kicker was a trailer featuring the Led Zeppelin song “When the Levee Breaks”, which was not in the soundtrack but should have been, and I figured anything that had some Zep couldn’t be too bad. When I saw I could stream it from Amazon.com for four bucks, I rolled the dice.
Eh, it was entertaining. And nebulous as it was, yes, there was a story.
Baby Doll (Emily Browning) has both the world’s worst luck and the world’s nastiest stepfather (Gerard Plunkett). In a series of horrible events, the stepfather tosses Baby Doll into Lennox House, an insane asylum that would send Nurse Ratchet screaming for the hills. Apparently the fates decide that poor Baby Doll hasn’t been lowered far enough by her little ankles into the bowels of Hell, because she’s also scheduled for a lobotomy. As a last-ditch coping strategy, Baby Doll retreats deeply into her mind before the goons take it from her, and as she does so, hatches a plot to escape. She can’t do it alone, and she does her best to recruit the other girls to fight with her.
On the one hand, when you strip away the glitter and silliness, it does make a point about the power of the brain to deal with misery. On the other hand, it’s also kind of like Brazil — had it starred the Sailor Moon chicks. Director Zach Snyder has a long history of eschewing reality to whip up a fantasy, which is fine with me. I just wish we knew a little more about what the girls tick and maybe bit more about Lennox House. While the action scenes were amazing, if you can get up, go get a cup of coffee, and come back to find you didn’t miss anything because stuff is still ’sploding away, maybe it does need a little more depth. Without blabbing anything, I will say the end was very good. And I can also say that while I enjoyed it for what it was, Mr. Shukti would despise it.
Two chocolate morsels. I still may get the DVD when it starts showing up in bargain bins.