Dear “Battle: L.A.,” I sincerely apologize. I know I was hard on you and maybe went a little overboard, but after seeing the new Zack Snyder eye candy flick, “Sucker Punch” you deserve an award.
“Sucker Punch” has to be the first film I have ever seen that I can say is completely pointless. Even the kind of stuff you catch at 2am on HBO with titles like “Survival: Piñata Island” have a more cohesive story than “Sucker Punch.” Out of 100 minutes of run time 70 of them are spent presenting what are basically short music videos that are separated by 4 minutes of story that are as loosely connected as two astrophysics text books tied together by a fried onion string. Oh and let’s not mention that almost all of the music for these vignettes are very bad covers of songs like, “White Rabbit” and “Sweet Dreams.” I also thought the idea behind “Sucker Punch” was the strong female characters. So why is one of the songs used a cover of Iggy and The Stooges’ “Search and Destroy,” where the chorus is, “I am the world’s forgotten boy…?” The opening music video also comes with a quick voice over that is only put in to explain why in the world the Scott Glenn character exists in the film.
After a tragedy that leaves her mother and sister dead, Babydoll is sent to an insane asylum where her stepfather has bribed a staff member to have her lobotomized. Quickly the asylum turns into a brothel where Babydoll discovers her dancing puts all men into a trance. She devises a plan to escape with the help of her dancing and the aid of her new friends. Now, where the film really takes a turn for the absurd is when she dances. The audience never sees her dance, instead we go into her head where large and moronic battles take place. Since nothing that happens in these action sequences has anything to do with what is going on outside of the delusional images (besides them being a thinly veiled imitation of what is supposed to be going on in “the real world”) they are rendered completely pointless.
Babydoll’s master plan is this: Map, Fire, Knife, Key. No joke, that is literally it. So she dances to entrance the workers while one of the girls goes and gets the map. We do not see the other girl actually take the map and we don’t see Babydoll dance. Instead we see the girls in a World War I atmosphere where they fight zombie Nazis to retrieve a map. Once they get the map, we come back to Babydoll finishing her dance and they have the map. Besides showing scantily clad young women “kicking ass” there is nothing that actually moves the story in these sequences; unless you really miss MTV showing music videos. What is even worse is the film does a horrible job of disguising its “twist.” If you make it 30 minutes into the movie and don’t already know what is going to happen, then something is wrong. So not only are all of the action sequences unnecessary to move the story, the whole movie works towards nothing since you know what is going to happen. It is a film that starts nowhere and goes nowhere.
Snyder must have just gotten sick of the whole thing himself after awhile. He just seemed to give up on at least having the action scenes mimic the plot. As stated, when they are looking for the map, the sequence is the zombie Nazis who are hording an important map. For fire, they need to slit a dragon’s throat and steal its fire. Then all of a sudden, for the knife they need to defeat an army of robots who stole the ending of “Batman Begins” and are driving a bomb on a train to a major city. Wait, I thought they were looking for a knife, what does a large bomb have to do with anything? Why do I even care? Oh, that’s right, I don’t.
“Sucker Punch” is a joke. The source material I am sure goes deeper into a story line but that story line is nowhere to be seen here. This film has no point whatsoever and is just there to look pretty (which it doesn’t) and make people wonder why a Ronin warrior is carrying a rocket launcher and a Gatling gun. At least movies like “Battle: L.A.” have a story and try to make a cohesive movie. “Sucker Punch” is must miss, period.