Confusingly bad, “Sucker Punch” is not worth the wait

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“Sucker Punch” was a disappointment. From the trailers of the film, you get the usual Zack Snyder flair that you saw in “300” and “Watchmen.” There is cool-looking slow-motion action, desaturated color schemes and more cool slow-motion action. What the trailers don’t tell you is that the plot is confusing as hell and that the acting is mostly bad and doesn’t make it easy to get into the film.  To make it worse, all the action that happens in the trailer doesn’t happen until a good 30 to 40 minutes into the movie.

“Sucker Punch” has a strange plot: it’s a bit fantasy, a bit action and I guess some semblance of drama. It’s also confusing. At first, the main character Baby Doll is sent to an insane asylum by her evil step-father so he can get all of her dead mother’s cash. She is scheduled for a lobotomy so she can’t rat on her father. Fast forward a few days, and she’s getting said lobotomy.

This is where it gets confusing. As she is about to get the lobotomy, the world changes into a theater, and girls are only portraying the lobotomy scene. They never explain what the whole 15 minutes of introduction was about or why the world just changed. Suddenly, it’s like the whole movie started over from Baby Doll getting dropped off, except now the setting is a burlesque whorehouse, and instead of a lobotomy, she’s getting her virginity sold off to some anonymous rich man.

In the end, it does go back to the original world, but it’s still never explained what the whorehouse world was about or how it’s even related to the original world. It’s like that happened, and this is happening too, but not in some parallel universe. They just happened; deal with it.

Another problem I had was with all the slow motion that was used. If you’ve seen Snyder’s previous work “300,” then you know this is a guy who loves to slow stuff down. Pretty much the whole useless “real world” introduction is done in desaturated slow motion. When we get to the whorehouse portion of the movie, it’s only really prevalent when there’s a fantasy sequence.

When we get to the fantasy world, any time someone moves in a way that’s not just walking, it’s pretty much in slow motion. Also, since Baby Doll is wearing a Japanese school-girl outfit when fighting, it wouldn’t be a slow-motion movie without constant slow-motion panty shots. Sure, if you’re a 15-year-old boy, that’s awesome, but for anyone not going through puberty, it’s just unnecessary.

Even with the crap story and constant slowing down, I’ll say that I enjoyed the music of the fantasy world. Going into one of the action-filled sequences, there would be a new song that in a way fits the event happening, more rhythmically than lyrically. It worked in a way that when fighting started, it felt like you were watching something like a music video; the beats and crashes fit to bullets and explosions, and that was neat.

Let me explain how the fantasy action worlds worked: In the whorehouse world, Baby Doll can apparently dance so well that people are mesmerized and can’t stop watching because she apparently is just being all sultry and moaning and whatnot.

I say apparently so much because with all of the hype about how amazingly she dances, we’re never privy to it. It’s like having a friend talk for days about how awesome something is, over and over and over, yet every time you get the chance to see it, he says, “Hey, let’s go look at this other cool thing instead.” It’s annoying.

Back to what I liked: the action. For a visual feat, “Sucker Punch” was really well done. Crafting whole worlds, let alone four of them, isn’t easy, yet Snyder managed to do it, and he made them all unique. It also seems that he crafted them around the music or vice versa. For four separate sequences to be based in steam punk, feudal Japan, a futuristic landscape and a medieval dragon’s lair and to have their own fitting accompanying music is pretty amazing.

Although “Sucker Punch” had some great graphics and music, they don’t make up for the confusingly bad storyline, horrible acting and over-implementation of slow motion. At best, I’d say it’s a rent, but it’s definitely not worth paying to see at the theater.