Months ago, Adam & I saw the trailer for Sucker Punch. After the trailer was over, I muttered that it looked rather stupid, and he agreed.
Months later, he suddenly says he wants to watch it. Because Vanessa Hudgens was in it. -_-
So by bribing him with two hours of studying time for his upcoming paper, I bought Sucker Punch tickets for him as a reward. (Oklaaa because usually he's very patient and watches the corniest of romance movies with me. <3)
|The tagline says, You Will Be Unprepared. Heh. I certainly was.|
I checked into GSC on Foursquare & mentioned that I was watching Sucker Punch, and minutes later, my colleague commented saying, "Oh no, that movie sucks!". Great.
To top it off, somebody at GSC Mid Valley wondered, "Hey, how can we make an iffy movie even worse?" and decided to sucker-punch us all to death by making us freeze in 10 degrees Celcius. Thank you, GSC.
But, I digress.
The movie introduces us to Babydoll (Emily Browning) and her evil stepfather. Babydoll's mother has just died, and with a haunting Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) cover playing in the background, we find out that her stepfather has shot her younger sister dead as well. Presumably to cover his sorry ass, the stepfather hauls Babydoll to a mental institution, and by bribing the orderly, Blue (Oscar Isaac), he arranges to have her unrightfully lobotomized by forging the psychiatrist's (Carla Gugino) signature. However, the doctor who performs the procedure will only be there in 5 days. And in this 5 days, Babydoll retreats to her own little fantasy world.
In her parallel imagination, she is taken to a brothel (still taken by her stepfather, but this time, he's a priest!). Blue, whom is the owner of the brothel here, asks that the rest of them take her under their wing, as he's keeping her ready for his client, the "High Roller", whom like the doctor in the real world, arrives in 5 days.
|Emily Browning really helped the character live up to her name -- she's as babydoll as babydolls come.|
Here, she befriends several other girls in the brothel - sisters Rocket (Jena Malone - I remember her from Stepmom!) and Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish - she looks strikingly like Katherine Heigl), the vapidly named Blondie seeing that her hair colour is far from blonde (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber, the only one with a normal name (Jamie Chung). In case you haven't gotten the pattern, these girls are actually her fellow patients at the mental institution.
The Madame (Yes, she's actually the psychatrist) who looks after all the girls forces Babydoll to do a dance, and after lots of gut-wrenching expressions, Babydoll begins to sway and we are transported to yet another layer in her imagination.
And here is where it all begins. In this third layer, she meets a wise old man who tells her that she can escape if she finds five things - a map, fire, a knife, a key & something that he cannot tell her. He gives her some equipment and tells her that she has to face her real test now. And almost immediately, we see some giant monsters easily twice her height and thrice her weight, and like magic, Babydoll is jumping and slaying and kicking butt with the best of them. Needless to say, she kills them all, and is transported back into brothel world just as her dance ends.
|The customary gaya slow-mo walk into battle with rock music in the background.|
Back there, she rounds up the girls, with a bit of objection from Sweet Pea, and they begin to hatch their plan to escape by finding the five things. Because Babydoll's dance is apparently oh-so-alluring, the girls plan to steal things whilst she dances; in parallel, they are actually transported to the third layer of Babydoll's imagination to fight all sort of creatures - soldiers powered with steam, dragons & robots - and they are actually rather deft with all sorts of machine guns & grenades (On a side note, I can't actually type that word without thinking of Bruno Mars now :s)
The girls' plan nearly succeeds; however, Rocket dies during one of the missions, and Blue gets suspicious and kills, at point blank, Blondie & Amber. Babydoll & Sweet Pea finally escape, but only one survives. I shall not tell you who, as not to ruin it for you, but odds are, you won't really want to know either.
I'll have to give Sucker Punch this: an excellent soundtrack & some very eye-stimulating scenes to whet your visual appetite. Lots of action - things that go bang bang boom & fancy swordwork. And a lot of pretty girls with a lot of push-up boobage.
|The girls and their firepower.|
But, it's a movie that tries to achieve everything but ends up achieve just a little more than nothing. It throws in a little bit of Inception (Not insinuating that it's a copy since the creator apparently came up with this more than 10 years ago, but I cannot resist comparing it when the former was far more superior), with a little bit of esteem & grit, a bit of sacrifice, and attempts to touch a little on the topic of female objectification. Couple that with all the whizzing and whirring that's going onscreen with the many battles, and it's easy to get distracted. It's like, the jack of all trades and master of none.
I will commend the three ladies with the most screentime though - Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish & Jena Malone. Emily Browning pulled off the platinum doe-eyed, pigtailed protagonist so well that you felt the innocence and frailty, but catches you off guard when she fights for her life. Jena Malone was great as the spunky Rocket and had her best scenes opposite Abbie Cornish who played her protective, older sister. Cornish was actually pretty convincing at all facets of her role, and I think she'll be one to watch soon.
|Malone & Cornish as sisters.|
|Abbie Cornish proves she can kick ass.|
And lastly, for that dance that is so talked about and that is supposed to be so mesmerizing, all we got to see was Babydoll swaying a little every time before we cut into the third layer world. Ack.
Watch only if you're: Looking for a guy night out without the girlfriends, or maybe if you're the type who enjoyed all the big-screen manga adaptations. (Because is it just me, or does Babydoll look a whole lot like a Western Sailormoon to me?)
Lesson learnt: Even the worst movies have good trailers. If you see a bad trailer, run far, far away.