Saturday, March 26, 2011

Sucker Punch Reviewed


I saw Sucker Punch last night with a group of friends. I had read a number of reviews before hand which were mostly negative--though some of the them were so hyperbolic and shrill it actually made me intrigued as to what had gotten their dander so up.

My advice: be not too dissuaded by the reviews--if it looks interesting to you go see it. I thought it was good, as did most of my friends. Even the ones who were cooler towards it found it compelling in many aspects and though it offered a lot to think about.  It's far from perfect, and Snyder's reach likely exceeded his grasp, but its also far from vapid.

The good: there are great visuals--things you really haven’t seen done before to this degree (particularly in the robot fight scene), there's good music, and sumptuous production design. There's a straight forward but serviceable plot that doesn't flinch from the likely unpleasant outcomes of certain realities, but doesn't wallow in them either.  The ultimate meaning of events is ambiguous, and the relationship of reality to dream in the film, offers things to think about and discuss, you like to think about and discuss film. Despite what some people would have you believe this is indeed a film where things are going on--and it isn’t necessarily killing dragons and shooting down zeppelins (though there is that).

You should see it if: you don’t mind a large wallop of artifice in your film (so you can groove with something like Moulin Rouge, 300, or Speed Racer--In fact, it might be helpful to think of it as a musical where the songs have replaced by fantasy action sequences), and if you like visual style-heavy, thematic, but not big on character exploration, media like many Heavy Metal-style euro-comic stories, films like El Topo, or some anime.

You probably shouldn’t see it if: somewhat “downer” material really bothers you (things like snakepit mental institutions, lobotomies, or women forced to work in brothels), if anything that seems similar to a video game incenses you, or purposeful anachronisms bug you, or club-ish covers of rock tunes are anathema, or if the things described in paragraph above this one sounded awful.

13 comments:

tug said...

I haven't gone to see it yet, but I'm hoping to sometime soon. (You gotta call a brother for action movie night, sir. I can get down with that.) I think my favorite things about the reviews so far is how some people herald it as this great feminist triumph and others say that it sets feminism back twenty years.

tug said...

My word verification for the previous post was "cydergor." Which sounds like some new steampunk horror genre or something out of the Monsters Manual.

Brutorz Bill said...

May try to go see this.
Thanks for the review!

Trey said...

@Tug - I am duly chastened, sir. We'll call next time! Yeah, opinions are all over the place--sometimes in the same review. I can see people not digging it, but the vehemence of some negative reviews I do find puzzling.

Zak S said...

clubbish rock covers?
maybe when Mandy takes me we'll wear headphones.

Trey said...

Zak, you may not find my description there apt--but the headphones might be a reasonable precaution. ;)

seaofstarsrpg said...

Here is somewhere where will will just have to disagree, good sir.

(And for the record, I enjoyed Moulin Rouge, and thought that 300 and Speed Racer were fun but not good.)

Trey said...

It had to happen sometime. :)

What do you mean, though, by "fun but not good"--were they suppose to have health benefits, or something? ;)

The Angry Lurker said...

What about the scantily clad women.....will have to see this one:D

Pierce said...

I just saw it. I liked it a bunch. I think there is alot to like about this movie, and not just cuz there are many gratuitous upskirt shots and mech/dragon combat. It left me thinking, and even after reading your warning about the "downer" material I was surprised how dark the film got, some parts were hard to watch.

-Oh and one more thing, nice review.

Trey said...

Thanks, Pierce. I liked yours, too. ;)

NetherWerks said...

It kind of reminded me of a music video for a girl group touring a cliff's notes version of Gilliam's Brazil...

Trey said...

I think that's reasonable. I guess it just depends on how one feels about that. :)