Sucker Punch is a very intricate story about a young woman thrown into a horrible situation, who copes by stealing away into her mind. This is a very vague and raw explanation of the plot, I could go into more detail, but I'll leave it at that for now.
The basic concept of this is very appealing and not often touched by cinema. Most places tend to write off movies that involve dreamstates, simply because they feel it's cheating or cliche. The problem is however, that although it can be used that way, dreams are so universal and yet so completely different that I feel that it's entirely worth investigating within the visual medium. With the recent success of Inception, I wouldn't be surprised if more movies based on the ideas of dreams cropped up.
Having been one to experience very vivid dreams, both good and bad, I was excited to see this film. The blatant over sexualized appeal of girls fishnets and tiny skirts doesn't bother me personally, so I wasn't turned off by that either. Overall, visually, I found the movie to be interesting, beautiful at times, with great uses of color palettes to reflect areas.
Another great thing about the movie is the soundtrack. I feel that the music in the film lead to much of the reactions to the scenes. Bjork's Army of Me, is fantastic, and to hear it prior to a battle was very much a dream come true. In fact, I bought the soundtrack almost immediately after hearing it.
But although the game was pretty, the music was great, and the premise was exciting, I felt disappointed after the film. There are some pretty dark implications to what is going on in the story when they're at the 'brothel'. The film obviously states that Emily Brownings character is 20, but the "Babydoll" character looks much younger than that. So the constant push to make her sexy came out slightly awkward. I also can't help but notice that this is the 3rd Zack Snyder movie where female characters are more empowered due to some form of abuse or trauma. 300 and Watchmen are not his stories, however SuckerPunch is primarily his. Why does a woman have to be pushed to that point? I've never had a movie make me feel so feminist before. It's not the sexualization, it's just the idea that for us to be anything we have to suffer traumatizing situations and then 'steal away' from them so that we are able to cope with them. In fact Zack Snyder is not the only one at fault with this, which is why I'm so upset with this film. I was hoping for something more than that, the story isn't actually that bad, but I was hoping it would cast a different light on female fronted action films.
There are profound moments in the film though, despite my dislike of what could have been, and one of them is Jena Malone. I am a fan of Jena Malone, her roles are always interesting, and her personality is vibrant. She was my favorte moments in this film. The delicate innocense and kindness that Sweet Pea and Babydoll wanted to protect. Every other character gained life when she was on screen, when she wasn't I suddenly lost interest.
Without going into spoilers I do understand that this film is much deeper than it looks, maybe it was intentional, maybe not. Maybe the subtley is there for people to come to their own conclusions and maybe it's subtle because Snyder and his co-scripter had no idea what they wanted to do. It can be argued either way.
Which is why I find myself not hating the film, but not loving this film. I wanted more from it than what I got, which is my own fault, but at the same time, what I wanted doesn't seem like a bad thing to want. I honestly think this movie would have been better if they focus on either asylum + fight scenes, or all fantasy. The multiple levels of escape in her mind made the brothel analogy really seem pointless in the scheme of story set up. I doubt there will be a sequel, and I in no way regret seeing it. I will also probably buy it and support it's merchandising, for if anything, recognition for more movies with female leads. I just hope next time we can be powerful without all the drama, rape, abuse, and trauma.