So, I finally got to watch Suckerpunch. As promised, here's a little review of the film. Be warned, though, some spoilers are ahead.
Suckerpunch is essentially an escape story that is played out across three levels of consciousness: a mental institution (the real world), a brothel, and an extravagant fantasy realm where the heroine and her friends battle giant samurai, zombie soldiers, orcs, dragons, and robots while looking sexy and shooting lots of guns. To call this film a visual treat would be insufficient; it is a visual smorgasbord. However, the ridiculous, video game inspired action scenes are really just fantasies imagined by the heroine that act as visual metaphors. In reality, the girls use charm and seduction in order to outsmart their physically stronger oppressors and escape from the brothel/asylum.
One flaw of the movie is that it focuses too much on the two fantasy worlds and leaves us to guess what goes on in the real world. For example, the girls have to pilfer a cigarette lighter from one of the orderlies in the asylum to make their escape. In the brothel, the lighter is stolen from the visiting mayor while he is distracted by Babydoll's dancing. In the fantasy realm, the girls storm a castle, shoot up orcs with machine guns, kill a baby dragon and extract a pair of magic, fire-producing crystals from its innards. While the fantasy worlds are presented in lavish detail, we don't see how they actually got the lighter. I hope they didn't really cut the poor guy open and take out a vital organ or two.
In the fantasy realm, the girls are assisted by the "Wiseman," a kind of scruffy spirit guide who looks a whole lot like Jeremy Irons. I liked that character, but his background was never explained. He even shows up at the very end and helps one of the girls in the real world which made me go "what?" I would have liked to see more of him, but he was only there to give the girls their guns and point them in the right direction.
Although we see the girls as beautiful burlesque dancers, we must remember that in reality they are patients at a mental institute. Are the orderlies easily distracted by crazy girls in hospital gowns? Creepy. I think we are to assume that they cause distractions in more mundane ways that reveal less skin, but, sadly, it is not explained and we have to guess how they are able to to get away with stealing the things they need to escape.
Flaws aside, I still enjoyed watching this movie. My brothers and I did not buy our tickets expecting to see Oscar-worthy material. We expected the plot to be paper thin and the acting to be mediocre. We just wanted to check reality at the door and watch sexy girls shooting guns and we got what we payed for (so nyah, nyah, nyah, film critics). This is a film I will add to my list of guilty pleasures.
Some people say that watching Suckerpunch is like being sucker punched in a boxing match.
If that's the case, then I say, "thank you, ma'am, may I have another?"
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