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Chris Bright Joined: 9th December 2010
Last seen: 12th April 2014

Sucker Punch: Reviewed in Limerick

Four hotties and Malone in a fight for their lives,

A quest for freedom, involving lighters and knives?

Inception-style dreaming,

But without any meaning,

The only outcome: fuelling teenage sex-drives.

Rating: 1/5

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Review: Sucker Punch

What a steaming pile of shit... was the first description that came to mind after watching Zak Snyder’s Sucker Punch.

I was one of the few people who enjoyed Snyder’s film adaptation of Watchmen, and was looking forward to his comic-book tones applied to fresh material. Unfortunately, Snyder has written this script with visuals in mind, and the outcome is all style and zero substance. It seems he’s put all the emphasis on what is happening on the screen rather than explaining why.

It’s like some small child with a serious case of ADD has been given control of the plot, creating elaborate settings full of random weapons and bad guys – “And then she’s fighting samurais, and one’s got a massive bazooka, and then they’re in a war, and one of them starts flying a mech-warrior, and then they fight the creatures from Lord Of The Rings, and then a dragon comes out breathing fire, and then they’re on a train and there’s heaps of robots, and there’s a massive bomb that’s about to go off... and then... and then.”

In an attempt to win over geeks, Snyder attempts to incorporate the most popular elements from every comic book, manga film, video game and old Japanese movie and cram them into his script – however he hasn’t taken the time to recognise what qualities make them popular, and they lose all significance.

Take Scott Glenn’s guardian-figure for example, who is actually credited as ‘The Wise Man’. His only real purpose is to try and justify each battle to the audience by establishing some weak objective, but Snyder has made him spout these cheesy proverbs to try and fool us into thinking he’s some mystical old sensei.

Similarly, I have no idea why Carla Gugino was even in this movie. She wasn’t a mother-figure as she didn’t teach or guide the girls in any way, her intentions weren’t good because she didn’t help them in any way, and she wasn’t a villain because she didn’t betray them in any way – the only thing that is certain is that the movie would have been exactly the same without her.

Apart from featuring again in teenage wet dreams, the leading girls will be forgotten the moment you walk out. And seeing as they weren’t cast for their acting ability, I’d say they were only chosen because their careers had nothing to lose. Abbie Cornish overacts the entire thing, trying her hardest to be ‘the strong one’, and Emily Browning spends most of her time staring glassy-eyed at the camera and moaning.

The dialogue is cliché to the point that it provoked unintentional laughs in places – with lines coming straight out of bad war movies (“please tell my mum I love her”) and lame action sequences (“take that you motherfucker”).

Memorable warrior packs like the Seven Samurai or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have two main things in common, which the girls from Sucker Punch fail to account for. Firstly, each member should bring a unique skill-set to the group (Sucker Punch: Fail) and secondly, they should fight together with honour – without contemplating giving up (Sucker Punch: Fail), betraying one another (Sucker Punch: Fail) or killing the innocent (Sucker Punch: Fail).

Snyder tries his hardest to transform these girls into traditional comic-book heroes by giving them bad-arse weapons and physical strength, but neglects to make them strong in character – and ultimately, that’s what should define a hero.

The only way Snyder could have possibly saved this movie would have been to make it intentionally cheesy; throwing in as many cliché lines and over-exaggerated stunts as possible. Instead, he has tried to make art out of garbage and it just goes to show that you can’t polish a turd, no matter how hard you try. All I’m hoping is that he can admit defeat and go back to using original source material before his next project – a Superman reboot, or the nerds are really going to take his balls.

As a quick summary, here are the top five things that I hated about Zak Snyder’s Sucker Punch:

1) Killing the dragon: what the fuck did it do to anyone? You just slit her baby’s throat; of course she’s going to be pissed off.

2) The soundtrack: the Watchmen soundtrack was weird, but at least it was relevant to parallel-1985 setting. This uses butchered covers of The Pixies’ Where Is My Mind and Jefferson Airplay’s White Rabbit – which I imagine were only used to reflect on the schizophrenic nature of the scenes (i.e. Fight Club and Alice in Wonderland).

3) The final item: Who didn’t see that coming? *cough* Lame!

4) Baby Doll’s dancing: Is that supposed to be her special power? They couldn’t have stolen a knife any other way?

5) John Hamm: What were you thinking? I know you’re trying to avoid typecasting but this did you more harm than good.