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A Note About Sucker Punch OR "Perhaps I Am Too Old To Go To The Movies."

Unquestionably, Zach Snyder is a nerd. A big, comic-reading, video-game-playing, role-playing, fantasy-loving, nerd. How else could he continue directing the special-effects ridden movies that drag the gamers in from their parent's basements?

"300"? A win. "Watchmen"? A win, albeit one that managed to alienate some older nerds (more on this topic as I go.)

Unfortunately, "Sucker Punch" felt like 126 minutes of disjointed hodgepodged failure; a mixture of every sci-fi, fantasy, action movie to come out of the past 40-some-odd-years of film-making with a heavy sprinkling of video games, anime, and a smidge of "Riot Girl" meets "Grind House" culture tossed in for, um... good measure? For a few moments, I thought I was watching "Caged Heat" or some other WiP movie.

Zach's biggest saving grace? That he's made enough of a name for himself, and had enough box office success, that he's backed by the money required to create decent effects. Without that, he'd be in a world of hurt. I mean, there were, admittedly, visually striking moments but, to be honest, the most stylistically interesting were all in the first 10 minutes.

And to his credit, he knows how to handle a movie with 10% real people and 90% computerized "stuff".

I'm getting a bit ahead of myself here. Let's back this up for a second: When Zach first wowed us with "300", his Frank Miller stylings were "fresh" (despite following on the heels of "Sky Captain And The World Of Tomorrow" and "Sin City"). As an audience, we were still impressed by the richness of his colors, the textures of his scenes, and the often times gritty vulgarity of his characters. 

But at this point, four years after "300", are we really still amazed by what a computer can do?

Okay - so you don't care about his visual style. You care about story.
And you read Playboy for the articles...

What did this story have to offer us? Hot girls in peril wearing skimpy clothing with some ass-kicking on the side?  Russ Meyer set the bar there in 60's. Toss is some robots, dragons, and steam-punk, Nazi zombies and I'm pretty sure the Japanese have been offering up that fare for what? About a gazillion years? 

My point is, simply, that while younger audiences might find "Sucker Punch" to be novel and awe-inspiring, an older generation of nerds (like myself) will feel cheated by the slightly ridiculous derivativeness. Throughout the movie I kept thinking, "this was never written to be a movie, it was written to be an online-multi-player-game." And you know what, I'm sure it will be great (when it comes out).

And while I did not hate the movie, I was pained (greatly) by the soundtrack; a conglomeration of awkward covers of "classic"(?) songs. Memo to Zach, that may have worked in "Moulin Rouge", it didn't play so well here. Must be that age thing, again. I'm sure that younger viewers, not familiar with Iggy and The Stooges, will send this soundtrack into the "top rated" section of iTunes within a week. 

Summary time?

Go see "Sucker Punch" if you are 15 and have a penis.

Well... maybe just having a penis is enough...

You can watch the trailer here:


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