Let’s just punch Zack

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Film Reviews -

FRESH FROM Watch­men and Le­gend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, the di­rec­tor of 300 needs a cred­i­ble hit if he wants to keep us on­side. Un­hap­pily, Sucker Punch is the worst film of Zack Sny­der’s ca­reer and may in­deed be the worst film of any ca­reer.

Do be­lieve the hype: the toxic US re­views and un­spec­tac­u­lar box­of­fice tak­ings are no ac­ci­dent. Within five min­utes, this craven, baf­fling, te­dious ac­tion chick flick has es­tab­lished it­self as a mon­strous cross be­tween an unlovely beta videogame and a Turk­ish Sin City. It gets worse.

The plot sees Emily Brown­ing’s Baby Doll packed off to the world’s most ridicu­lous psy­chi­atric fa­cil­ity. There, traumatised by the prospect of a lo­bot­omy, our hero­ine imag­ines an even more hor­ri­ble world wherein she and her foxy fel­low in­mates re­side in a whorephan­age. (It’s one of those broth­els where they keep or­phans for rich men.)

There, traumatised by the prospect of “en­ter­tain­ing” wealthy clients, Baby Doll imag­ines an even more hor­ri­ble world wherein she and her foxy fel­low hook­ers battle CGI mon­sters and un­in­ten­tion­ally hi­lar­i­ous dig­i­tal armies.

Un­daunted by the messy chronol­ogy and an in­abil­ity to dis­as­so­ci­ate cor­rectly, Baby Doll hatches an es­cape plan. Us­ing her amaz­ing dance skills, she and the gals will sim­ply dis­tract their en­e­mies by bust­ing some moves. Suc­cess. Huz­zah.

Huh? Is there any point in com­plain­ing that Sucker Punch equates the hoochy-cooch with fight­ing off the Nazis? Or that the hero­ine is called Baby Doll and spends the en­tire time with her lips pursed to form the word “shoe“? Or that the girls take bal­let and battle aliens in fish­nets and corsets?

Why stop to quib­ble about the “em­pow­er­ing” misog­yny when there are so many other things to choose from? The sound­track is dad rock, the di­a­logue sub­nor­mal. The dreams within dreams make Freddy vs Ja­son look like In­cep­tion. Ab­bie Cor­nish still can’t sound hu­man while do­ing an Amer­i­can ac­cent. This bit is from Call of Duty. That bit is the video for Aero­smith’s Janie’s Got a Gun.

To cap it all the film-mak­ers keep it clean enough to make an all-ages rat­ing. You know, for kids. Suck Punch, more like.

irish­times.com/cul­ture

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