Monday, August 15, 2011

Counterpunch - Sucker Punch

Chad’s view on Zack Snyder's love letter to every nerd ever.

So during this weeks show Scott mentioned that he recently watched the movie Sucker Punch and did not care of it at all. Unfortunately I had yet to see it so we couldn’t do the actual discussion that you guys deserved - but to remedy that, and contrary to Scotts repeated warnings, I rented the movie this morning and sat down to watch it.

I will preface this review by saying that I really like Zack Snyder’s films, I have not seen everything that he’s done but I do think that he “gets it” when it comes to making cool movies. 300 and Watchmen are great, definitely not my favorite movies of all times, but I really enjoyed them for what they were. I believe that Zack has totally continued that tradition with Sucker Punch and I’m looking forward to Man of Steel.

I’m not going in to a long winded review just a few key notes, the movie was released last March so there are over four hundred thousand results for the search “Sucker Punch Review” - you should be able to find something worth your time in there. I don't know how well the movie did at the theaters, I wanted to see it but never had the chance. At the moment it does have an even 50% split on Rotten Tomatoes so it does seem to be a love it or hate it type of movie. Or that could mean that this movie suffered the same fate as Scott Pilgrim, a lot of the target audience just doesn't go out to the movie theater any more.

Sucker Punch is a tribute to one of the greatest genre of action movies - the martial arts movie. Like those movies, the story is really just a frame work to feature all of those bad ass fight scenes. And the fight scenes in Sucker Punch are some of the coolest visuals ever caputured on film (or would be if anyone still used film). I can’t think of anything that nerds enjoy that was left out of this film except for pirates. And I didn’t watch the extended cut so who knows. Of course it’s all a dream - the kitchen sink approach would not really make sense any other way. But just how much is real and how much is a dream is intentionally left vague. And if you need any additional hints as to what that is a tribute to the entire fight against the steampunk clockwork zombie Nazi’s is scored by an awesome cover of Jefferson Airplane’s White Rabbit. (In fact the entire soundtrack was crazy awesome.)

But just because the story is there to get us from one fight to another that does not mean that you should totally ignore it. The opening is not as vague and the ending is not as abrupt as Scott made it sound. There are layers to the story and a lot of what you see is open to interpretation. Even though I watched the same film as Scott, I apparently saw a totally different story.

My opinion is a big thumbs up for this one: spend a dollar at Redbox or wait for it to show up on Netflix. At the very least you get 2 hours of awesome fights but you might just be surprised at how deep this rabbit hole goes.

Abandon all hope (for spoilers) ye who read past here:

So a few things that were said during the show were wrong - these won’t make sense if you have not listened to ep 11 but they are spoileriffic so go watch the movie and come back.

  • The guy at the beginning of the film is clearly their step dad, if you can’t tell from all the context clues he actually says it at the mental institution.
  • The main character is called Baby Doll in her dream sequences, not Baby Girl. We don’t learn her actual name. It looks like it might be on the paperwork her step dad fills out but I didn’t have the Blu Ray and didn’t feel like trying to make it out.
  • In my opinion the movie did not take place in the blink of an eye - all of the dialogue at the end of the movie clearly indicates that Baby Doll’s fantasy world was her escapism but did have analogues in the real world. She did steal the items, she did stab Blue, she did start a fire, and did help Sweet Pea escape.

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