I know I’m a bit behind on the Sucker Punch bandwagon (or lack thereof, as the case may be), as it came out months and months ago and hit DVD a couple of weeks ago (or some such), but I honestly had to write a little something about it. Honestly, it feels like I’ve been saying all these points for the last few days to people, but it needs reiterating in a more public way.
When I first saw the previews for Sucker Punch, I wanted to be in love with it. I wanted to believe it would be an amazing film that would give me something to root for the entire thing and such of the like– but I decided that I would be disappointed. Usually with films such as Sucker Punch you go in it thinking ‘I wish this was going to be amazing, but I just know that they’re going to mess it up somehow and I’m going to be disappointed. It’s going to be poorly done fan-service, woot.‘
So for months, that’s what I thought. Waiting for the release of the film I was never going to be able to see when it was in the theaters, but then would have to again wait for it, the DVD release. I heard people say how terrible it was, I listened to people confirm my suspicions and basically cement the idea that I could never want to see a movie that looked like it’d be beautifully stunning because that’s all it’d be– I’d get bored and turn it off long before it finished.
But still! Still I decided to watch the DVD once it came out. I got excited at the prospect of finally laying it to rest, and possibly getting some character ideas out of the plethora of random, half-clothed women they’d traipse across my screen. I settled in one night after the internet went down, curled up with my laptop and watched the movie.
The opening sequence is one of the most disturbing and hard to follow I’ve ever seen, but it was pretty stunning– the entire thing had to have your rapt attention for you to follow the thread through to the point they were trying to make. I still didn’t get the part about her sister and the blood and it being her fault until later on. I thought the step father fucked her up and she just went crazy and tried to run away because of it– these are the kinds of things that end up flowing through my head when I’m expecting a movie to just be another traipse through the village of pantyshots.
When they had original mentioned the fact that she was in a mental hospital, I took it as a ploy for her to get abused and end up getting ‘hotly‘ abused as far as fetishists go, but honestly… that’s the part of the movie that made this amazing for me– Yeah, you heard me. I find it to be an amazing film . Perhaps it isn’t the best film ever, or even living up to the hype it was original given, but the movie managed to make itself into my ‘would watch again‘ list, and that’s saying something.
Beyond the stunning visuals and well-choreographed fight scenes, I really found myself wondering just how deep that story went. You have a delusion inside of a mental hospital meant to cover up the reality of where she was. She was no longer the girl who got brought in to get a lobotomy because her step father wanted to hide what he’d done to them– oh no, she was brought in to dance and be ‘sold’ to a ‘high roller’. She created a world where she didn’t have to live with the realisation that she was going to be lobotomised, and the reason that they were going to, as far as they were concerned, do that, was because she’d killed her sister. Something about that entire twist made me feel all gooey in my psychological parts. I loved that she created a world where she was being whored out, more or less, and it was the happy alternative to her reality.
Then, we have the fact that she slipped into further delusions every time she ‘danced’ and went through these long, drawn-out scenes with the other girls trying to acquire some form of thing she’d need to get out– a plan you assume she made herself inside of her twisted head (yes, she was twisted to a degree, not crazy, but at least far gone enough after the loss of her mother and sister to be a little twisted) to get out of the brothel, or whatever they were in at the time.
Trying not to give out too much of the plot in a review for me is like trying to restrain myself from squealing at good music– it’s nearly impossible but I am trying. There is so much to do with the girls, and the antagonist after the step father leaves (he’s just a minor antagonist in this), that has so much twisted depth that I’d love to be able to cover it, but I can’t, and it’s hard to tell you how much I liked it in so little words.
Seriously, I had no intentions of liking any of the characters, and I expected to be let down by the fight scenes, basically expecting purely mediocre scenes with the girls showing more leg than actual skill, but I was pleasantly surprised with their ability, and the way that it never turned into ‘This is just a reason to show my ass.’ Yes, they had skimpy costumes, but even those I felt were somewhat tasteful, considering the genre and overall feel of the movie– it could have been much worse.
The story that it got into enticed me more than I ever thought possible, and the underlying beauty of her creation of her own world, and the ‘twist‘ ending you get when she finally accomplishes her task is something entirely beautiful. Also, the bus drive at the end made me utterly happy in that ‘delusions can be based in reality‘ kind of way.
If I had to give it a rating, I’d honestly say likely a 4 of 5 for me. I realise that’s a bit high for something that doesn’t have as much to it as it should, but it blew away my poor expectations when it was so over-hyped so I believe its earned its rating from me.