Blu-ray Review: Sucker Punch Extended Cut

Here is a drinking game to play with your friends. While watching Sucker Punch, take a drink every time there is an up-skirt panty shot. [UPDATE] Too many people have been rushed to the hospital due to alcohol poisoning. Do NOT play this game! Keep some of that tequila handy though, because this will drive you to drink.

I would say this movie is like Inception, had that film been written by a fifteen-year-old diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, but that would be an insult to people with ADD everywhere. What seemed like a promising action/fantasy of female empowerment, quickly nose dives and becomes a mindless snuff film about girls with swords and guns. When it is not being blatantly offensive, it is instead being a complete bore.

The Movie

Sucker Punch is the first original film from Director Zack Snyder, who also wrote it, and it was a box office disaster. More accustomed to adapting comic books into films, he needs to stick to what he does best. Let it be known that I have nothing against Snyder. The man is a visionary artist second to none, but he needs to stick with comic book adaptations and stop making movies based on stories he wrote during his freshman year of high school.

Every 15 years old's fantasy...and your new nightmare

The story follows Baby Doll (Emily Browning) whose recently deceased mother left everything to her and her younger sister. This does not stand well with her abusive stepfather, who decides to get drunk and attempts to rape the younger sister. Baby Doll, in a bid to save her sister, fires a gun at the stepfather, but accidentally kills her sister instead. So in the first five minutes, we have attempted rape and possibly the worst FAIL in cinematic history. This is off to a good start.

Baby Doll is institutionalized by the stepfather, who pays off the doctor to lobotomize her so she won’t remember what happened. When the lobotomy comes around, she is suddenly inside a brothel. Wait, what? That’s right, she retreats to an imaginary state in order to escape the horrific ordeal she is experiencing. Wait, what?

As if that was not confusing enough, she actually goes into an imaginary state while inside of her imaginary state. This takes place whenever she is forced to do a burlesque show for the “high rollers”. We never actually see her dance, but it is during these scenes that Baby Doll goes to the world where she and her allies fight dragons, orcs, steampunk Nazi zombies, and cyborgs. Here, she must retrieve five items to gain her freedom. Following a formula similar to that of a video game, she must fight and defeat several bosses to retrieve them.

This is the film’s worst flaw. Everything that is taking place past the lobotomy does not actually happen, whether it be the brothel or the realm of Dungeons and Dragons gone wrong. In fact, most of the characters are figments of Baby Doll’s imagination, so when they are in danger, there is zero tension or concern for their well being. Even when a character dies, the film has already established that they either do not actually exist or the scene is not real, thus eliminating any emotional anchor to any of them.

when your audience starts rooting for the dragon...you know your movie is in trouble.

Some believe that the film’s one redeeming quality must be its action sequences. I must applaud them on their optimism, however misplaced it may be. The action is silly at best and though some of the scenic shots can be fairly beautiful, the fight choreography gets confusing when too much is going on at once. Sure the girls look pretty as a button, but their weak dialogue combined with their pointlessly skimpy outfits make any of the action sequences impossible to take seriously.

It also stars Abbie Cornish as Sweat Pea, Jena Malone as Rocket, Vanessa Hudgens as Blondie, and Jamie Chug as Amber. No, I did not make those character names up. Honestly, it doesn’t matter though, their acting is so one dimensional, you will forget which one is which or what importance any of them have. They cannot be blamed entirely, since there is only so much that could be done with the half witted dialogue they were given.

The entire crew of Sucker Punch characters you won't care about

Extras

The extra features are slim, especially by Blu-ray standards. The only interesting thing here is the collection of animated shorts that are really well done and worth watching. Besides that, you get an inside look at the soundtrack (which violated my ears for two hours mind you). As I tediously searched for a making-of feature, it turns out it is only available as an in-movie feature. This means I would have to watch the entire film over again to see all the behind the scenes videos…not in this lifetime. I watched a couple and they are fairly standard, nothing really special.

The pack comes with a blu-ray copy of the extended cut, a blu-ray copy of the theatrical cut, a dvd copy of the theatrical cut, and a disc for the digital copy. I could not tell you what difference the additional 18 minutes in the extended cut makes, since I have never seen the theatrical cut, but I can guarantee it does not make the movie better.

Final Verdict

Sucker Punch is shameless in that it tries to sell itself as empowering to women, when in fact it is just piggy backing on women’s rights and practically taking advantage of it. With names like “Sweat Pea” or “Baby Doll”, along with skirts that would make Paris Hilton blush, you cannot expect anyone to believe dressing like a slut with a sword is in any way empowering.

The story is convoluted, the soundtrack is all over the place, and the acting is bland. Zack Snyder tries to tie everything up in a neat little package by the final scene, but no matter how nicely you wrap a turd, it is still a turd. This was Zack Snyder’s first fully original story, let us all hope it will be his last.

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