Sucker Punch is the movie of the century!
Okay I’m getting way over my head now. It is obviously not. But boy were they not joking when the posters claimed that “you will be unprepared”. If you follow this blog you would know that the author is inherently guilty of excessively-promoting & overly-anticipating this movie since Gawd-knows-when. Yes, I totally got sucker punched – but even more by its unbelievable soundtrack. But let’s leave that to a later part of this.
PART I: THE MOVIE
Firstly, permit yours truly to just dive in straight to the fact that Sucker-Punch-is-the-most-visually-stunning-gloriously-exploitative-mess-of-a-movie-I’ve-ever-had-the-gleeful-opportunity-to-enjoy. (Breathe, breathe…)
It is every fanboy’s wettest of wet dreams & most fantastic of fantasies. You’ve got 5 women executing sublime moves & blasting bullets in clothes that are barely clothes. You’ve got snarling oversized samurai
warriors zombies, dragons straight out of Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire, Nazi cyborgs, a giant Bunny robot driven by an Asian hottie while still chomping on her lollipop, & shiny robot soldiers.
What is there possibly not to salivate over?
This will give your brain & senses an exhilarating yet exhausting endurance run like you probably never quite experienced before. The first 10 minutes feels like a long MTV video with a slick rendition of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)”, but it was so engrossing. In fact, the last time I felt this stimulated by a movie opening scene was The Social Network. You are either going to just love it, or completely hate it. But if there’s one thing everyone will agree, it will be about how astonishing the visual thrills are. & nobody’s gonna complain about the girls. These are not your typical bombshells, for there is an enormous amount of talent in the acting arsenal in the likes of Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone & Emily Browning, who were all outstanding. Then you have the veteran, imposing elegance of a Swarovski-earring-wearing Carla Cugino, with Oscar Isaac in excellent bad-ass form as Blue.
Oh, remember the part about what is there possibly not to salivate over? I’ve got one. Vanessa Hudgens. Bleh. She was the sole sore point in this big screen roller-coaster. For that, I’m eternally grateful that they didn’t decide to pollute the soundtrack with her lack-of-vocals.
Now about the plot. Hmmmm, now this is going to be a tricky one. I don’t know whether if this is just me, but all the beautiful, adrenaline-rushing effects didn’t quite hide the fact that the storyline was actually quite deep & emotional! Yes you read me right. Critics will disagree, I’m very sure, but I actually felt there was something in the plot, & emotional (the last word in the dictionary I would have expected to be associated with Sucker Punch) it was! The story was presented amongst sequences of imaginary, completely outrageous, bamboozling action scenes that added no concrete plot value whatsoever, amassing in the most spectacular mess you’ve ever seen. & that’s a good thing by the way.
Leaving me breathless from all the euphoria is one thing, but sticking deep questions into my head is actually flabbergasting. What was real? Was the whole whorehouse world another layer, & the battle scenes a dream within a dream Inception-style? Were the 5 girls just a representation of characters in one single girl? Did Rocket’s death symbolize something deeper that was related to Baby Doll’s sister’s death? Was Baby Doll dancing actually something else in the real world that was more traumatizing? What was Vanessa Hudgens bloody doing in this movie? Why is Rosmah’s hair getting bigger & bigger? Ahhh, questions questions.
My favourite characters: Rocket & Sweet Pea!
I am at a complete loss of superlatives to lavish upon this movie; what I’m gonna say is just dive into the hall & enjoy this entertainment blockbuster, this is 300 with boobs. I’m a fan of Digital 2D now, so I’m going to have to say that it is mandatory for this movie in particular, so you will walk out of the hall like you’ve just got brain-electrocuted & delightfully-lobotomized. Or like you’ve just been force-fed with more weed than you could ever imagine.
PART II: THE MUSIC
This is the part where I got totally sucker punched. In the balls.
I wouldn’t be exaggerating when I declare the 9-song compilation, which is a remix of classics, one of the best soundtrack in the 25 years of my life. & trust me, my ears have heard a lot. You see, film music & soundtracks used to be just a sidekick to the main show. Slowly it became a crucial anatomy of a movie, sometimes even turning out to be bigger than the movie it was supposed to be accompanying. There are soundtracks that go well with the movie, where a good one will remind you of the scenes in the movie, & there are other soundtracks that stand well on its on. Sucker Punch’s is one of those rare gems that does both extraordinarily well.
The director himself has his imprints all over this with the roaring mash-ups & savagely-synthesized rock feel of the tracks. But you know what’s even more astounding? My favourite tracks, 3 of them in fact, were sung by Miss Baby Doll, Emily Browning herself. Now this is beyond spectacular. Kicking the album (& the movie) off is a haunting remix of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” that played throughout the sensational slow-mo opening sequence of the movie, a version I reckon will even send Marilyn Manson to delirium heaven. Having the actual main actress singing melancholics of “Asleep” & “Where is My Mind?” during those more emotional scenes produced results that I’m very sure even director Zack Snyder couldn’t possibly visualize. There I was thinking that there is another indie artist to be discovered, only to read in utter bewilderment the name Emily Browning in the singing credits. While being the most delicate & muted tracks in the album, the enchanting vulnerability Browning gives to “Asleep” & “Where is My Mind” actually produces the most intensely orgasmic results. ORGASMIC, that’s the word!
You also have the haunting vocals of Bjork & Emiliana Torrini, which adds a whole different dimension, & everything culminates quite nicely with “Love is in the Air” by Carla Cugino & Oscar Isaacs, just like in the credits. My favourite track has to be “Where Is My Mind” which pairs Yoav with Browning. Carla Azar’s “Tomorrow Never Knows” is starting to get heavy play on my iTunes as well – the interesting last quarter that hops into symphonic strings before resuming its rock anthem is quite genius.
This is one soundtrack that is destined for greatness. If the movie does not turn out to be a cult classic, this soundtrack will, if, that is, it already hasn’t.
PART III: THE GIRLS, & OTHERS
Now comes an interesting section. We all love the 5 girls – that’s the main 4 with Carla Cugino, not Vanessa Hudgens – keep up with me will you. Did you know that Amanda Seyfried, Emma Stone & Evan Rachel Wood were actually the first choices for the role Baby Doll, Amber & Rocket respectively? Let’s see how they measure up against the final chosen ones.
Baby Doll: Emily Browning vs Amanda Seyfried
Hmmm, both have that big-eyed cute effect. While admittedly, Seyfried has enough curves to make the movie feel like Pamela Anderson directed it, I actually loved the steely vulnerability Browning brought to Baby Doll. But what clearly proved Browning is a clear winner would be the undiscovered talent she had in her stunning vocals. So it’s Browning for me, wise decision Mr. Snyder!
Amber: Jamie Chung vs Emma Stone
Looks vs Zesty Talent. Chung’s Amber had not much to do aside from looking ridiculously hot sucking a lollipop & lording the skies in a bunny robot & big-ass planes, so Jamie Chung for that matter scorched that part. But it’s hard to resist imagining what an always-exciting Emma Stone could have brought to the table, especially after seeing her in Super Bad, Zombieland & her epic turn in Easy A. I think she would have totally evoke a whole different fiery dimension into the role of Amber, so my vote goes to Emma.
Rocket: Jena Malone vs Evan Rachel Wood
Shit, this is the hardest to judge. Malone’s Rocket was my favourite babe among all, she was just so feisty & adorably pixie-ish as the younger sister to Sweet Pea. Evan Rachel Wood on the other hand has one of the sweetest gorgeous characteristics around, & she does seem spot-on as Abbie Cornish’s younger sister. Personally, Rachel Wood is my favourite over Malone. But you know how this could have been perfect? Evan Rachel Wood as Rocket, & since Malone is just so versatile, she would have made a sublime Blondie, simply because Vanessa Hudgens should never have been considered at all.
“Who honors those we love for the very life we live? Who sends monsters to kill us, and at the same time, things that will never die. Who teaches us whats real, and how to laugh at lies. Who decides why we live, and what we’ll die to defend. Who trains us, and who holds the key to set us free. It’s you. You have all the weapons you need. Now fight!”