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You ready for a Sucker Punch?

Mark_New

Being as I want to get myself back into reviewing books, music, TV and film on a more regularly basis and due to a close friend's hatred for this particular film, I thought it a good place to start.

My friend and I expressed shock in equal measures at certain TV programs being missed: for me it was his admission that he had not heard of Justified, let alone seen it and his was that I was not really interested in Band of Brothers, one of his favourite TV series. Yes, I am a convert, I have now seen seven of the eleven episodes and consider episode six one of the best episodes of any series I have ever watched (but that's for a later review).

Anyway, there wasn't much said about why my friend hated Sucker Punch so much that he considered that it is possibly the worst film he has ever seen, as he was aware I was very keen on seeing it but we promised to return to the discussion once I had.

We agree on Band of Brothers’ greatness but there's no way we are going to agree on Sucker Punch, as I was pretty much drawn in from the opening scene and remained fully engrossed throughout. I've become much more of a TV series follower than a film viewer of late, more interested in the characterisation and development of key figures, especially now that a lot of the respected film actors are taking key roles in TV series but Sucker Punch reminded me of things I love about film too.

I have to say I'm a fan of both Zack Snyder as a film director and of Tyler Bates as a composer/arranger, as I thoroughly enjoyed the 2004 remake of an already classic Dawn of the Dead and I was pleasantly surprised by 300, having heard quite a bit of negativity about it beforehand.

Of Sucker Punch I knew nothing, except for several posters doing the rounds on the net, as I am still a fan of watching a film when knowing little to nothing about it beforehand. From the poster the only thing I had gathered/assumed is that there was some Steampunk element to the film and that it would be action-based.

Well I got that but I got a hell of a lot more, as Sucker Punch’s soundtrack is one of the most innovative and punchy around. I was very impressed by Kick-Ass’ music when I watched that earlier this year for similar reasons but I think Sucker Punch takes it to a whole new level. The film starts with two great covers, one of them possibly my favourite The Smiths song, Asleep. The soundtrack continues to move the film along and for me becomes a key character in the plot (for all the right reasons) with tracks chosen for not only their musical quality but for their lyrics too (think Baby Doll's first dance track - Army of Me by Björk - very appropriate and Asleep with its message of suicide).

But the music is only a portion of the film, albeit a very successful one, with Snyder engaging direction seen already in Dawn of the Dead but much more in 300. Sucker Punch shares with 300 the comic book adaptation elements transferred to celluloid. It's colourful, vibrant, over the top, unrealistic and total eye-candy, I just wanted more scenes, more action, more Sucker Punch.

The film is light on plot, the opening scene tragic and dark in contrast to much of what follows and then jumps into the aforementioned blockbuster action sequences, before ending with a predictable but not too disappointing conclusion. If you're looking for something with a bit more depth and substance to it, you've probably been mislead somewhere along the way.

I haven't seen anything written or discussed about the film yet, but my plan is to do that after my review is posted but I'm expecting there may well be a discussion about the favourite of the five heroines in the film.

Mine is ‘Sweet Pea’, by a country mile.

Oh and my last point: clockwork Germans in World War II = class!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
aberwyn
Jun. 26th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
http://fozmeadows.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/sucker-punch/

For a totally different take on this film, I recomend this review.
markdeniz
Jun. 27th, 2011 07:36 am (UTC)
Oh my, that was different...

Great review though!
mojave_wolf
Jun. 27th, 2011 12:58 am (UTC)
I haven't seen the film and, since I'm unlikely to in the immediate future, didn't shield myself from spoilery reviews. No time to look up the links now, but iirc, tor.com had a very positive review of the film and the la times had a mixed but ultimately sympathetic one (both of these actually did seem to think it was fairly decent in the depth department, and downright wonderful in the visual aspect, again, iirc.

OTOH, I think the overall critical reaction was more like your friends.

For me? I certainly *want* to see it, but not nearly as strongly as I want to see many other things, and given my very limited free time and money, well, we'll have to have more of both before I actually get around to it. Plus, sounds highly depressing, though that doesn't seem to be the reaction of you or the two reviewers I mentioned.
markdeniz
Jun. 27th, 2011 07:39 am (UTC)
Well the review linked above had a very different take of the film. I could see where the reviewer was coming from in that too and I can see why people hate it.

It hit the right buttons for me though, although I wouldn't urge you to rush out and see it. There are things you should definitely see first (if you haven't already (like Winter's Bone).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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