Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sucker Punch, dir. Zack Snyder, wr. Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya, st. Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung

Do you remember when you were fresh out of MI5 and one of your first missions was to acquire and surveil your target in a crowded and public area? The thrill of the chase? The adrenaline? Except you were never in MI5 were you. You were nine, and your mum had just asked you to get a bag of frozen peas from aisle 3. Your target was Mr. Elliot from school who you'd seen by the avocados. And this is the primary beef I have with Sucker Punch; the only thing worse than being told at the end "It Was All A Dream", is being told at the beginning. And so we are set up to believe there is never anything real at stake. Or rather there is, but we are invited to view it filtered only through derivative action sequences that, yes, play out like a video game. Real Drama is sacrificed for something far less substantial and it's material utterly beneath Zack Snyder whose Watchmen I adored. Drama resides in conflict, and if there is none, or we aren't made to feel strongly enough that one exists, one that truly matters, how are we supposed to care? And frustratingly, Sucker Punch isn't quite as salacious and tawdry as it's made out to be, in fact there are some clever nods to something approaching the opposite, but they're hard to make out through the fishnets and fighting. So I get it, but misdirection is one thing, the real sucker punch is that's the whole act.