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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Sucker Punch (2011)


Pretty much a wet-dream for any nerd who stays in on the weekends to drool over the hotties from anime. And sex addicts that like it rough.

A girl named Babydoll (Emily Browning) gets sent to the insane asylum where she is essentially going to get a lobotomy, but before that occurs and her whole mind and memory is lost, she dreams of a world that’s as imaginative and as weird as you can get. She dreams of being a newly-affirmed dancer in a high-class nightclub where instead of dancing for rich dudes by taking off of her clothes, gets into the beats and rhythms by being sent on missions, along with her fellow strippers, where she has to kill someone or something. However, reality catches up with poor Babydoll and eventually the life she once had, begins to intersect with the one she’s dreaming of.

Since Zack Snyder’s going to apparently be changing the world with his “newer, darker version of Superman”, I thought it would be best to see just what the hell the dude fucked up with last time he made something for the screen. I never had any reason or sole-desire to see this movie, not just because of the shitty reviews or unanimous anger centered towards the movie’s material, but because scantily-clad ladies in leather, shooting guns, and killing baddies just doesn’t interest me all that much. No, it’s not because I’m a dude, that just so happens to have a dick, and actually be one as well, it’s just because that’s just not my style, yo. I’ve never been the nerd who loved anime, nor did I love video games, and nor did I love porn, aka, exactly who this movie’s made for and should only be judged by. Then again, I’m judging and even critiquing it so who am I to talk?

Give me the right time and place, I'll be shooting something off. I mean, dammit! See what Zack made me think?!?!?

Give me the right time and place, I’ll be shooting something off. I mean, dammit! See what Zack made me think?!?!?

Anyway, what’s so strange about this movie is that the story doesn’t make a lick of sense and doesn’t seem to actually try to. It’s just weird and confusing, just for the sake of it. Rather than explaining why this girl goes from gyrating her hips to the sexy beats of the music, to all of a sudden being placed in a world where samurai-Nazis are causing all sorts of havoc, we are just left to sort of go along with it, which would have been fine had the movie actually taken itself a little less seriously than it was, but Zack Snyder is not really known for shits and gigs. He’s a serious dude that not only loves hid dark, bloody violence, but also loves his slo-mo as much as the next pot-head and it still shows, even if, surprisingly; it isn’t as annoying this time around.

I’ve always gone to bat for Snyder when it’s came to whatever the hell he’s put on the big-screen, so to say that the slo-mo didn’t bother me wouldn’t make much of a difference, as I think it was used well this time to add more impact onto the hits and the blows of the violence, but that’s not what matters here. What does matter here is that this story is random, strange, and confusing as hell. Yeah, you could go so far as to call it “ambitious”, “original”, and “one-of-a-kind”, and I wouldn’t really disagree with you on that, but that creative-control can only go so far. You have to give me a story/characters that are worth caring about, rather than just throwing whatever you can find at the wall, in hopes that something will stick, and if something doesn’t; well then, that nobody noticed.

Problem is, everybody notices because Snyder isn’t exactly the most subtle guy in the world when it comes to what he wants to portray or say in his movies. And yes, I am talking about the typical, man-beats-up-on-woman signature that Snyder oddly enough has in his films. For some reason, the dude likes to show women getting their asses beat to shreds by stronger, manlier dudes and as dark and disturbing as it may be for some movies; his movies make it feel more exploitative as if he wants to get a rise out of you by doing it. He does that plenty of times here, but since this is a PG-13 rated movie (don’t know how the hell that was even possible), it’s toned-down a bit more or shown off-screen. But still, shown or insinuated, the movie still doesn’t seem to make much sense of the man-on-women violence. It’s just here to up the ante in hopes that we will feel more for these ladies as they band together to fight the pig-headed men that they are constantly surrounded by.

As empowering as this is supposed to be, it’s odd in the way that it shows these ladies as nothing more than just a bunch of chicks who wear short skirts, shoot big guns, spout-out corny lines, and show some skin here and there (but not too much because let me remind you, this is PG-13 after all). For dudes that haven’t gotten any action in the 30-40 years they’ve been alive and kicking; this is no more than porn at your own disposal without the possibility of being caught by your parents and frowned-upon til the day you die, but for a dude that’s 19 and doesn’t have much to worry in terms of women or sexual-activity (I’m a pimp-daddy, basically); it seems useless. None of it is empowering, it’s just stupid.

Which means that yes, this movie can be perceived as the “so-bad-it’s-good”-type, but even that feels like a bit of a stretch since nothing here really shines above the rest. Snyder’s direction seems to be inspired with the visuals, but with a story as wacky and self-serious as this, it doesn’t matter a bit and believe it or not, the action is pretty damn fun once you get past all of the slo-mo and sure randomness of it all. But, as I said, what’s it all for? It’s obviously not to make women feel superior to men or feel as if they can take over the world, we’ve already gone by that part, so what is it for?

Even Quentin Tarantino would say, "Dude, what the fuck?"

Even Quentin Tarantino would say, “Dude, what the fuck?”

I still haven’t been able to answer that question and who knows: I may never be able to.

And as for the ladies that have to stand-around, shoot guns, act strong and willful, but also be sexy as hell: I felt bad as hell for them since their careers are the only ones on-the-line here. Emily Browning had to practically get full-on naked, from head-to-toe after this to assure everybody she didn’t star in this; Vanessa Hudgens sort of did the same, but yet, still reminds us that she too will always be known as “that chick who dated Zac Efron when he looked like a girl“; Abbie Cornish shows up in things from time-to-time and probably has the most-respected career out of the main gals; and Jena Malone is still trying to make us forget that she was that bitchy-ass teenager who didn’t like Julia Roberts banging her daddy. I know, I sound like a dick because I’m talking more about these ladies’ careers after the fact that this movie came out, but that’s all that really matters here because their performances are nothing special, mostly because they aren’t asked to do much other than what I alluded to earlier. They do their job because they’re sexy and look good half-naked, not because they can act. Call me an asshole, call me what you will, but it’s more obvious once you actually see the movie and let it all sink in like yours truly.

Consensus: Snyder’s eye for detail and style doesn’t disappoint, but the odd, confusing, and surprisingly-offensive story in Sucker Punch does and only further shows us why Hollywood should be careful to give hot-shot, big-headed directors the chance to do whatever the hell they want to do, all because they made plenty of money at the box office already and are practically granted their time to shine on their own.

3.5 / 10 = Crapola!!

"Listen to me, honey: get the fuck away from this dude. I've been with him twice so far, and almost nothing good has come of it."

“Listen to me, honey: get the fuck away from this dude. I’ve been with him twice so far, and almost nothing good has come of it.”

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46 responses to “Sucker Punch (2011)

  1. ninvoid99 June 13, 2013 at 4:28 am

    Yeah, the film was terrible but not as people say it is. It’s a mess. I think Zack Snyder wants to be the action version of Terry Gilliam but he’s not a strong screenwriter. There are performances that are worth watching like Oscar Isaac, Carla Gugino, Abbie Cornish, and of course, Jena Malone aka BEST IN THE WORLD aka the future Mrs. thevoid99.

  2. eatpraylovechallenge June 13, 2013 at 4:34 am

    i actually disagree with EVERYTHING you have written here. this movie is genius, the way that the music was used to reflect the scenes was inspired. The visuals are effing eye-boggling and I am not one of those sex deprived men, I am gay and I loved this. The story was a little weird and confusing but the visuals were enough to sell me on this and the music was great.

  3. Jackie June 13, 2013 at 4:51 am

    dang… I thought all guys were into video game-type stuff…
    maybe it’s the fact I got really into the animé culture in college… a little of this and that… I think the kick-ass music in this deserves at least a mention (own the soundtrack). I’m in the minority… one of maybe 10 people who loved this movie… and considering how well sex sells, no matter where it’s advertised, I still can’t believe nobody bought into this.
    Yes, it made next to no sense… even though the resolution did not play out as well as it could have (talking body count here), I didn’t care. I was just in awe of the escapism of it all.
    and for the record, I am female and straight.
    also, regarding the rating, the theaterical verison is PG13. they also released an extended cut on blu-ray that’s rated R, includes one or two extra scenes. one is a new musical number including a montage of the different girls on decorated stages, in costumes, playing up to clients… most of it is spent on Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino singing this duet

    • CMrok93 June 13, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      For me, this movie just felt like a mess. Maybe it wasn’t as terrible as I had imagined, but it still is not anywhere near being considered good.

  4. Chris June 13, 2013 at 5:17 am

    Yeah, I think this is one of the most misunderstood movies I may have ever seen. I found it a brilliant work of art, Snyder’s masterpiece, and the movie that single-handedly made him stand out as my favorite director working today. The movie is a celebration of imagination. It actively embraces getting lost in the vivid worlds we create in our heads, and was made with day dreamers and anyone who has any sort of creative aspirations in mind. Not “anime perverts”. The fact that it involves a handful of beautiful women is entirely besides the point. The writing might not be the best stuff around, and is probably this film’s weakest aspect, but the ideas and themes on hand are the work of sheer genius, and are implemented in Snyder’s signature style that he’s gone on to perfect with this movie. I named this the best film to release in 2011, and by a pretty large margin at that, and it still remains among the better films to come out in the past decade or so, IMHO. It’s not “so bad, it’s good”, this is a legitimately great film, and one that I’ve gone to bat defending since opening night. It’s just been a damn shame to see this movie’s themes fly right over the heads of so, so many people since its release.

  5. Chris June 13, 2013 at 5:20 am

    Apologies if I in any way came off rude in my previous comment btw, lol. Defending this movie just gets me pretty worked up sometimes, but no offense intended at all. :P

  6. lovepirate77 June 13, 2013 at 5:22 am

    I have to say, I’m with the other commenters. I can see how a lot of people were offended by it, but what he’s made is actually an indictment of everything that is wrong with how our culture portrays women. As one reviewer said (can’t remember who), he basically made “While you raped me I closed my eyes and imagined myself somewhere else”: The Movie. I think it was a pretty bold step, but I agree with Chris that it was one of the most misunderstood movies ever. It’s intentionally dark, and has a lot to say about the abuse and the depiction of women in our culture.

  7. Bruce Simmons June 13, 2013 at 5:47 am

    When the marketing department started releasing dozens upon dozens of production stills prior to the movie debut in theaters, I sort of knew it was going to be a train wreck of a story.

    And yet Snyder proves himself and his imaginative eye for visuals yet again. Sure, it didn’t hurt that half-naked women were running around with big guns either.

    Love your opening paragraph. Calling it like ya see it.

  8. Kevin Entrekin June 13, 2013 at 6:50 am

    This was honestly one of the worst films I’ve ever had the misfortune of sitting through at a theater. The only other film that I can think of that was more torturous to sit through was That’s My Boy. It amazes me that people love this film, because I figured you would actually have had a lobotomy in order to enjoy this dribble.

    And no, It’s not understood. It’s exactly what it set out to be: Softcore for hentai fans.

    • Sir Phobos June 13, 2013 at 8:42 am

      If you don’t care to look for what the film offers, drivel is all it will be. A That’s My Boy comparison? Allllllrighty, then. To be fair, I haven’t seen That’s My Boy, but that’s on purpose.

      • Kevin Entrekin June 13, 2013 at 8:56 am

        Listen, I’ve seen this film twice and on both viewing found nothing worth liking, which is just my opinion. Obviously there are two interpretations of this story, but I care not to spend any more time of my life pondering the so-called complexities of this film. Whatever Snyder attempted to say or do with this film, he failed in my humble opinion.

        And yes, I saw That’s My Boy, but that’s what pass was offered that week. I don’t really get to pick and choose sometimes.

  9. Sir Phobos June 13, 2013 at 8:39 am

    Honestly, I think some of this review is pretty condescending to the people who like this movie, and its fans obviously don’t all fit the stereotypes you listed off. I mean, I get that you didn’t really understand the story, but it’s layered and does make sense if you pay attention. For example, it’s not just random that whenever she has to strip for people, the music starts as well as the dream. It’s a more artistic and interesting way of showing her attempt to escape the shitty situation she’s in. And I really don’t understand what any of the girls’ careers have to do with the movie. You seemed to realize that but decided to keep those bits in the review anyway. I happen to think Vanessa Hudgens is trying to make an interesting career for herself, even if she hasn’t quite pulled it off yet.

    I also disagree with your characterization of the violence toward women. It’s not exploitative when the entire point of the movie is to feel for a girl trapped by circumstance in a very ugly situation. There’s nothing gratuitous that comes to mind, and the violence that is there has something behind it.

    I dunno, man. I’m not a socially awkward, anime-loving sex addict living in my mom’s basement. I do like anime, and porn is great on occasion, but I’m a grown dude with a wife and kid. It’s fine if you don’t like what Snyder did with it, and while I don’t agree with the points raised about the movie itself, a more important thing to think about is that it would serve you better to leave out the over-generalizing of the people you think are watching this movie and enjoying it.

    • CMrok93 June 14, 2013 at 8:14 am

      I see what you’re saying, but all of the stuff I’m saying is generally from my opinion, and honestly meant as a joke. I apologize if I offended you by any means, but I have to say that it’s just how I write, and I don’t mean much harm by it at all. Just how my mind triggers at times.

      • Sir Phobos June 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm

        I will come over there and beat you to death with the hilt of my Ninja Gaiden replica Dragon Sword. Yes, I do own that, and yes, it is sweet.

  10. lukebbtt June 13, 2013 at 11:54 am

    The scene changes to the samurai slo-mo moments when she begins dancing, because her mind is taking her to that place to escape the trauma of the brothel. I don’t think this movie is as bad as you make it out to be, although I guess it is a love-it-or-hate-it film. Scratch the surface and you will realise that Snyder does a lot of clever stuff with this movie. It is a shame that – as you said – he had to get five ladies almost nude to get his point across.

    • CMrok93 June 14, 2013 at 8:16 am

      Snyder deserves some credit for at least going out and making his own flick, his way, but I don’t think it accomplished what it was trying to.

  11. Gene June 13, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    I wanted to catch this in theaters but never did. Sounds like I should be glad I didn’t! I felt like the trailers really embellished Snyder’s abilities on the special effects side and almost purposefully buried what the story was about.

  12. filmhipster June 13, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    I knew the film was shit going in so I put my shit blinders on and went for the visuals only. I was impressed.

  13. Daniel H June 13, 2013 at 1:48 pm

    I’ve enjoyed Snyder’s previous effort, Watchmen in particular, but god this movie is just so awful. I tried to watch it a couple of times but I couldn’t make my way through it after the first viewing.

    Its crap, like you said, the worst kind of fanboy wet dream put on the big screen with nearly nothing redeeming.

  14. Fogs' Movie Reviews June 13, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    “Pretty much a wet-dream for any nerd who stays in on the weekends to drool over the hotties from anime. And sex addicts that like it rough.” LOL!! :D

    It’s not half as pornographic as you’re making it out to be, but the story is a complete mess, and you’re right that it’s ironically exploitive of the chicks in the movie given its “message” :roll:

  15. reykissna June 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Good take. Not my type of movie, and I won’t bother with this one–as I’m very selective–but you are a very good reviewer.

  16. Wendell June 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm

    My short take: this movie is crap. Zack Snyder makes great visuals, not great movies. My full take: http://dellonmovies.blogspot.com/2011/07/sucker-punch.html.

  17. mikethemovieguy June 13, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Wow. I loved this film. Loved how it looked…loved the action and of course…LOVED THE LADIES.

  18. Erik June 13, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Good review Dan! I liked the opening scenes and the soundtrack but that is all. It could have been so much better!

  19. Whit's Movie Reviews June 13, 2013 at 8:06 pm

    Great review! Heard this was crap. Love the Tarantino line!

  20. Teddy June 14, 2013 at 2:02 am

    Not shocked that Sucker Punch is getting more hate. I would say what I’d do to the haters, but I’m sure most of the haters are smart enough to pick up on the title alone. I loved this film and

    “Pretty much a wet-dream for any nerd who stays in on the weekends to drool over the hotties from anime. And sex addicts that like it rough.”

    Um, I actually go out to get my daily 10 minutes of Vitamin D. Ask my dog. And I don’t even like it that rough. Please.

  21. Zoë June 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Honestly, this is one film I avoided, and it seems a good one to have skipped!

  22. The Vern June 17, 2013 at 12:03 am

    The girls from Spring Breakers were better. At least their journey made sense. This did not. It was a 2 hour long music video. Yeah the visuals were cool , but that alone does not make a good movie. It could have been better edited.

  23. Nostra July 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    When this came out I was expecting a lot from it, but it really felt empty and meaningless. So Crapola describes this well…

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