You know that thing where you feel like it’s too late to watch a movie, because you have to get up in the morning and clean out horse stables at the racetracks or whatever, but then you end up watching seven straight episodes of Sons of Anarchy, and then four Futurama episodes you’ve already seen at least three times each? The whole process takes six hours, and keeps you awake until 3 a.m., but hey, at least you didn’t watch that movie or you’d sure be tired today, and then the other stable hands would be all like “Look at Mr. Tired Shovel with the droopy eyes!” Then you get called Mr. Tired Shovel all the time and they dump buckets of old apples on you, and then you’d have to quit your job. That happens to me at least once a week.
Did that last paragraph seem scattered, poorly written and frustrating, yet full of delightful imagery? BAM! You just got sucker punched by a review of Sucker Punch. Turns out, Zach Snyder’s (Watchmen, 300, Man of Steel) new flick, Sucker Punch, is full of jaw dropping scenery, insane genre-based action, and a script that I can only assume was written via Ouija board or refrigerator magnet words. It’s like The Changing Light At Sandover for the mentally challenged. Look it up.
Sucker Punch brings the A game when it comes to action, and that game is worth watching. From 30 foot samurai-bots to steampunk Nazis and spaceship based train heists, Snyder summons up all of your adolescent archetypes and makes them do battle with young school girls armed with swords and assault rifles. Unfortunately, the epic battle scenes only make up about 30% of the movie. The remaining 70% is crammed full of sloppy writing, awkward sexuality, and frequent yelling. It’s like getting a handjob while watching Jurassic Park III. Sure, no one likes hand jobs, but I’ll take what I can get, plus: dinosaurs.
[Editor’s note: Many people prefer hand jobs over dinosaurs. For example, Jeff Goldblum.]
SPOILER ALERT: Okay, so here’s the plot in a nutshell: A sexy orphan (the best kind) gets locked in an insane asylum for sexy orphans by some sort of evil uncle/stepdad/Monopoly man character. The asylum’s rehabilitation methodology features a combination of dance therapy and full frontal lobotomies, administered via the steely icepick of Jon Hamm, travelling lobotomist. To escape from this hellish world of music/icepick therapy, our heroine, Babydoll, reimagines the place not as an asylum, but as a stylish and abusive whorehouse. No idea why that’s better. I would have probably gone with something like Alpine ski lodge or beach house, but that’s why Snyder makes the big bucks and I write articles about movies and handjobs for an online magazine.
So for reasons that remain unclear to me, these fancy hookers have to recover some items at the behest of a very bad David Carradine stunt double. They run around going into dance based trances and generally being little monsters to everyone in the asylum. They kill some Nazis, smash some windows, do a bit of stabbing, a whole lot of shooting, and a fair amount of grunting. Ordinarily, I would either tell you what happens in the end, or make some elusive reference that you would get once you see it, but frankly, I have no idea what happens. Either Babydoll gets some old fashioned brain surgery from an inappropriately sexy Jon Hamm, or she doesn’t and something else happens.
What matters here is this: If you like watching scantily clad sexy women pilot spaceships, kill steam-filled Nazi-bots, heist trains, fight ninjas and occasionally do some pre-ballet practice stretching, this movie is going to fill you with delight. If you prefer movies with complex characters, painstakingly crafted dialogue, and any sort of plot whatsoever, this probably isn’t for you. [Editor’s note: And if you like scantily clad sexy women reciting painstakingly crafted dialogue, you are probably Philip Seymour Hoffman.] The End!