I have read a few reviews panning this movie. They say it's a geek's dream and it's like a comic book, and an anime, and a video game, and a music video. So? What's wrong with that? I like comic books, anime, scifi, fantasy, video games, and music videos. Plus, I think a little kung fu makes everything better. You know what else? I'm a woman. This movie may not be for you, but it is definitely for girls and women like me. We're the type that would rather watch Kung Fu action movies like Chocolate (about an autistic girl, whose savant ability is to mimic any style of martial arts she sees) online than pay one red cent to see some Rom-com garbage. We are the the fan girls who wish there was a Blade IV coming out instead of more sparkle vamp bull$h!t. Do you see the correlation there? Kung Fu Vamp = Awesome :: Sparkle Vamp = Bull$h!t
I saw this movie in IMAX and it was gorgeous. The digital effects were excellent. They were so well done, as I watched it I forgot that some of what I was watching was CG. The fight choreography was good, not the best but respectable, especially when you consider the level of difficulty involved in choreographing a fight scene between a live person and a CG character. I imagine in some scenes they created a CG Babydoll similar to the CG Neo used in certain parts of Matrix Revolutions. The background scenery, from a design standpoint was breathtaking. I really give the utmost respect to the visual artists who worked on this movie. I loved that there were Robot Samurai, a Robot Zombie Army, dragons, a badass Gundam like power suit, and a speeding train with fighting androids in it. I like the characters: Babydoll, SweetPea, Rocket, Blondie (I love the irony of this name!), and Amber. (See that makers of Insidious? Memorable names!)
I like the concept of retreating into a fantasy to deal with a painful reality. This is a very real thing. People who experience excessive trauma can even develop split personalities as coping mechanisms, so the concept of Babydoll imagining her daily struggles in the asylum as larger scale battles is salient to me. To the critics saying, "I don't get it. Was it a dream within a dream?" Look Dbags, you're just playing dumb ass to cover for your inadequacies about seeing women kick ass. I notice you can follow Inception's dream within a dream, within a dream to the 8th power, and love it, but now all of a sudden you can't follow this? I call bull$h!t on that.
The plot is simple: girl gets locked up in an asylum, mentally retreats into a fantasy world in which she plots an escape, within that fantasy world, when she has to perform, she retreats into another fantasy world that allows her mental battles to play out as physical battles. Ultimately, she did do things in real life (stabbing someone, setting a fire, helping someone escape), we the audience just got to view those actions through the lense of the fantasy in her mind. Also the escaping before the "High Roller" comes for her was a metaphor for escaping before the lobotomy. In other words in both fantasy and reality she was trying to escape forced penetration.
See, that's not so hard. Try explaining The Matrix. Ooooh, that's two! Inception and The Matrix are understandable, plausible and cool, but Sucker Punch is confusing? NO. I guess I just have to accept the fact that some people don't want to see women kick ass. These are the people who keep making crap like "Love Actually" and calling it a "Chick Flick". None of the chicks I hang with watch that garbage. These are the same people who said "Deathproof isn't good, because women don't talk that way." Bull to the shiznit, yes some of us do talk that way. You should be so lucky as to find yourself in the presence of one of us. We are usually the one's taking pole dancing classes, and studying Kung Fu. We are the ones at the bar wearing 6 inch platforms taking shots of Irish Whiskey. We are the women who get mani/pedis on the way home from the gun range. (BTW, I love that Babydoll had cellphone danglies hanging from her gun.) We are the women who believe that our sexuality can be empowering, in the face of a world that wants to demean, devalue, and abuse it. Did you hear that? I think I just heard the sound of your mind being blown. We exist and I'm glad that Hollywood is finally recognizing this and giving us more of this type of movie to have fun watching.
Which brings me to the other criticism of this movie. "It's sexist, because the women are scantily clad." I'm not afraid of being sexy, I like it. I watched a vampire fight wearing a latex body suit and corset through 3 Underworld movies (Which by the way, suck. The fight choreography is bad and they're boring. I caught a marathon on Syfy and 1/2 watched it while surfing the net.) I haven't seen Tomb Raider, but I saw the trailer and Lara Croft is supposed to be sexy right? If it was fine in those movies I don't see what the uproar was here. At least the costume designer/s in Sucker Punch is talented and I respect that.
Which brings me to my favorite element in the movie, the much criticized soundtrack. I fu¢king love this soundtrack. "Oh, but it makes the movie like a music video. Whaagh, boohoo!" So? I love music videos. I have wasted hours of my life watching MTV, VH1, FUSE, BET (RIP Video Vibrationz), The Box (remember that?), and of course the holy grail of music video watching; Youtube. Some of you will remember that Mortal Kombat was one of the first movies to use a techno score to enhance a fight scene. That was not a good movie, but I appreciate that one innovation they added to film making. Blade was in my opinion the first good movie to use this style of filming a fight to music you would hear in a club. I loved it then, and I love it now. It was also great to hear Björk's "Army of Me" again.
I liked everything about it except one thing. They could have had a little more diversity. I guess Vanessa Hudgens is supposed to be our psuedo black character, but it would have been nice to have one character that was more phenotypically black. I'm not a person who needs a token just to have one, but this fact makes it damn hard for black girls/women to dress up for Halloween. We can't all be Storm every year. (Not that it will stop me. Last year I was Gogo Yubari!)
So there you have it. I liked it. It's not for everyone, but if you like Sin City, and Resident Evil/Resident Evil Afterlife (Those are the only ones worth seeing, even I can admit that RE:Apocalypse and RE:Extinction were garbage. Plus, I love the zombie dogs!) and you like Kung Fu, Dragons, Robot Zombie Armies (Feels good just saying that!), power suits, and great acting (except for Vanessa Hudgens who's just treading water here) this movie is for you!
Edited to add: this behind the scenes reel. Much respect to the director, actors, animation team, costume designer, cinematographer, and music director.
Edited to add also: I am not alone. Here is a great take on the music in Sucker Punch and a list of other positive reviews of the film.
This interpretation was pretty cool as well.
Special thank you to the anonymous poster who provided images of the Katana Sword and hand gun.
Here is also a link to the Sucker Punch Art Book
"and remember, if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." - Wise Man