Sucker Punch: Lots of action, lots of locations, lots of babes

First off, let me tell you that it is very difficult to find friends to go see a movie with you on a Monday night during the school week. My weekend was unfortunately jam-packed with doing many interesting and cool things, so I didn’t have time to see the new Zack Snyder film, Sucker Punch, that had just come out. Luckily, on very short notice, I was able to wrangle up a couple buddies and head out for some school-night cinema. Before watching Sucker Punch , I was aware that Zack Snyder, the director of 300, had proven himself capable of concocting movie magic, especially through his fight scenes. I have, in spontaneous floods of emotion, found myself resisting the urge to bellow “THIS IS SPARTA!” and kick-push someone backwards in the stomach (if you’ve seen the movie you should be able to understand this combat move description). From what I saw of the Sucker Punch trailer, I was anticipating that his new “epic action fantasy” would bring the same intense slow-motion brawling that made 300 so awesome. Snyder’s new movie does present one main difference, however: instead of a bunch of chiseled men fighting with minimal clothing on, the main characters are chiseled women fighting with minimal clothing on. Snyder has explored the genre of scantily dressed characters quite well. If I recall correctly, the owls in Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’hoole did not wear many garments either. I arrived at the theater with juniors Carlo Kind and Jeran Wiebke, expecting a movie packed with fine-looking females, an interesting and/or entertaining plot, and for Subway sandwiches to be taken away by theater staff immediately. The only expectation that was met was the hot chicks. The plot was remarkably confusing and lacked depth. I’ll attempt to explain it. If my explanation of it doesn’t make any sense, don’t worry, because it doesn’t make sense in the theater either. It starts off with a 1960’s-era 20-year-old girl named Babydoll (played by Emily Browning) accidently killing her sister, then being institutionalized at an insane asylum by her evil stepfather. I was following it up to this point, but then everything kind of fell apart. As she begins to have her brain operated on (so she can’t tell the police what really happened), she travels (or imagines herself to be at, I wasn’t quite sure…) a sort of brothel where girls dance for the mob. She befriends several other girls, including one played by Vanessa Hudgins of High School Musical fame. Babydoll is a very good dancer, and when she dances, she travels to other locations with the dancers and they engage in epic fight scenes with various fantastical beings. That’s the plot in a nutshell. However, perhaps a better metaphor would be a trail-mix of many different varieties of nuts. The characters travel to many haphazard locations and you have no idea why they’re there and what they are doing there. These locations are reminiscent of other action-fantasy movies. The characters find themselves in an ancient Japanese temple, a volcano castle reminiscent of Lord of the Rings, the trenches of World War I, and this futuristic train scene with robots like the ones in I, Robot. The visuals in these scenes are awesome, though, don’t get me wrong! The fight scenes were very epic, but part of this awesomeness was dampened by how little sense they made. Synder tried to do an Inception-like layering of reality, but failed to actually connect the layers (the asylum, the brothel, the fantasy worlds) effectively. Apparently, Synder had to cut many crucial scenes from the movie in order to get the PG-13 rating that he wanted. This is perhaps an explanation for much of the confusion to be had with the storyline. Let me note, however: if you ignore the minor things like the plot making no sense, the movie is awesome! If you came to the theater just for things like humongous exploding war-blimps, synth bass exploding on every song in the soundtrack, and attractive women who appear to run the risk of exploding out of their clothes at any moment, you will not be let down. The slow-motion fight scenes are visually stunning, and they have exceptional effects and CGI. The most entertaining part of the movie for me was definitely the hilariously cheesy dialogue, particularly of the wise man, who also turns into something like their mission coordinator, (the best way I can explain his role… he doesn’t actually have a name). He gives very noteable advice, such as “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything,” and “Don’t ever write a check with your mouth you can’t cash with your a__.” After watching the movie I wasn’t sure what to think; I didn’t know if I loved it for being ridiculously nonsensical or hated it for the same reason… The action was certainly very entertaining, but I was disappointed because it would have been a lot better with a more coherent plot. I decided on an opinion halfway between these two extremes. To fully enjoy Sucker Punch, you must have a sense of humor and the virtue of not having to understand what’s going on. Most importantly, though, you should get a kick (or punch… am I right?) out of the idea of girls killing dragons and robots and stuff.