Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Sucker Punch

Despite all the hype around this fantasy film, I entered it with as little data as possible. I watched all the trailers, of course, because they played before other movies I went to see, but I didn't read any reviews, and I completely avoided all spoilers. I have not read the graphic novels on which they based the film. I wanted to see where the film went without burdening it with my expectations of where the plot should go.

My reactions to the movie ended up being highly mixed.

From the opening frame, I was transfixed. Visually, it is simply wonderful and compellingly watchable. I was never bored, and I never looked away from the screen. Even when the CGI turned lame, as it did too often, I wanted to see what would come next.

At the same time, the story is often just dumb. It functions on multiple levels, as is obvious from the trailers, and while its direction was never in doubt, it did offer a few small twists and turns along the way. At no point, however, was a single one of the characters an actual, believable person. Each one was a cut-out designed to move down the track of her/his part of the plot machine.

I was also deeply uncomfortable. Sucker Punch makes sure we see men at their worst, and indeed at times I was embarrassed to be a man because of all of the horrific things members of my gender have done to women.

I found myself further disturbed that this movie about multiple forms of exploitation of women so blatantly exploited the sexuality of its actresses. If there was a chance to show cleavage or thick lips or something else highly sexual, the film grabbed it.

Three of us went to the movie together. One loved it, one disliked it, and I find myself highly torn on it, liking the visuals and having trouble with other parts, but having to admit that I watched every second of it raptly. Overall, I have to recommend you see it if only so that you can debate it with friends who disagree with your take on it--as surely some will.


Joint said...

do you recommend a theater viewing on this one? Or do you believe it's a renter?

Mark said...

I definitely recommend the big screen simply for the sheer spectacle of it. That said, I will probably pick up the Blu-Ray to study the visuals more--and to think further about it at a distance from the first viewing.


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