Friday, April 8, 2011

Sucker Punched

There are movies that challenge your imagination to an extent that you end up believing in the unreal. Sucker Punch is not one of them. Yet, most of the movie seems like a game developer's ultimate fantasy. It almost seems like director Zack Snyder has an obsessive fetish for gaming and making this movie was just a way to indulge in the same. And like most movies of this genre, if you try to look beyond the thrilling application of VFX and gaming visuals, you see very little.

Sucker Punch begins with a slow-mo montage, accompanied by excessively dramatic hamming, as you follow the story of Baby Doll (Emily Browning) who is forcefully sent to a mental institution by her step father. And her twisted journey begins from that point on. For most part of the movie, this graphic version of the rabbit hole seems like a gentleman's club, which is a warped idea to begin with. Baby finds friends at this fantastic place who become her aides in her metaphoric struggle to escape. Yes, metaphoric as each time she begins dancing to create a distraction, she escapes into an imaginary war zone or a zombie-fighting game or some other Playstation favourite. Sissy Samurai, anyone? 

Her friends include Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) who's a veteran at the institution and disagrees with everyone on everything with her strongest argument being, "I've been here long enough to know that." Then, there's her younger sister, Rocket (Jena Malone) who tries to be Meg Ryan, but fails to exude the necessary charm. Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) is perhaps one of the two in the tag-team of fearless female fighters who isn't, well, blonde. Amber (Jamie Chung) doesn't add or deduct from the story, and is perhaps just included in the cast to fill in the position held for the Asian minority mandate. This gang of girls is also assisted by an old wise nameless man (Scott Glenn) who appears magically in every hallucination to help and guide the girls. Her guidance is far from precious and includes lines like, "If you stand for nothing, you fall for everything." Is this out of a fortune cookie?   

The movie's soundtrack can be composed from anyone's iPod as they're just re-junked covers of popular numbers like 'Sweet Dreams', 'White Rabbit', 'Love is a drug' etc. While the soundtrack plays a huge part in the movie (you can't ignore it even if you try to), at times it becomes too loud and disturbing for comfort. Unless it's intended to make you uncomfortable? In which case, good job!  

Some people have described this movie as "Alice in Wonderland with machine guns" but it's more like Alice on LSD. Alternate reality has evolved as a fool-proof Hollywood formula but this film attempts to stretch it to a point that one is pushed to question its viability. So, if you're up for some mindless action, picturised with stunning graphics and unbearable violence, go get sucker punched!

No comments:

Post a Comment