March 28, 2011
You’ve all just been itching to hear what I have to say about this one, haven’t you?
The short review: Well, it’s certainly not Tank Girl, is it?
The long review: I’ve been trying to figure out what to say about this in terms of kick-ass heroines…but I just can’t do it. Can’t even go there. There’s no point. Not when every woman in the film is wearing 2″ long fake eyelashes. I kept thinking the film did have something to say, some sort of theme about abuse/victimization/empowerment. I just couldn’t figure out exactly what. Or the theme didn’t go any deeper than, “Look! Abuse/Victimization/Empowerment/More Victimization!” Without any kind of, you know, actual meaning. Fortunately, the burlesque show during the closing credits cleared everything right up.
Over the last few years I’ve seen a bunch of commercials for computer/video games that I wished were movies. Cool action, big spaceships, awesome effects, etc. And more actual plot than most action movies bother with these days. Going into Sucker Punch, I had a suspicion — this is a movie that really should have been a computer game. Usually I appreciate when action films at least try to include a story, but the attempts at “drama” here were kinda painful. And the action scenes were kinda tedious. When every single game level — I mean dream quest — involved plowing through thousands of baddies…it got old. Did we really need four slow-mo shots of bullet casings spinning through the air? In a row?
And during the WWII level? I was rooting for the dragon.
The thing I liked most was the sheer gonzo-ness of the battle settings. You really can’t go wrong with steampunk World War I, followed by a B-25 battling a dragon over what looked like Helm’s Deep, followed by a Vietnam-era Huey on a train job versus an android army. See? There was actual structure! Someone was thinking about it! All I wanted was for the rest of the movie to be as interesting as the video game part of it.
But damn. Those fake eyelashes drove me freaking insane.
Ironically, the movie pulled a really big punch. Because after what happened to the main character right at the end, she should not have been looking as gosh-darned anime pretty as she did through the rest of it. As it was, there wasn’t a drop of blood on her. Which is kind of hilarious when I think about it.