Many of my previous film reviews have been of massively acclaimed Oscar-contender movies, where I could only add to a deafening praise chorus. Here, reviewing Sucker Punch, I have the opposite problem: everyone hates it.
I mean, look at those review scores, not to mention the mocking I received from friends and strangers alike when they heard I was going to see it. So is Zack Snyder’s soft porn/video game crossover really that bad?
Well, in two words: “God, yes”.
In a few more words: Don’t get me wrong, I recognise there’s a place for brainless action cinema, I even see that might involve zombies, dragons and whatnot. But sitting through the void of Sucker Punch makes you realise that even many bad action movies recognise the need to have some emotional core to the loud noise.
In Sucker Punch, stuff just happens. For no reason. If it was amazingly inventive stuff, I’d be more forgiving, but for the most part it’s clichés from videogames. In fact, they are what it mostly resembles – differently themed levels of a game, linked together by half-cooked cut scenes. There’s a lot of effects and directorial flourishes, but they always seemed fake and superficial, rather than awe-inspiring or beautiful.
So, yeah, Sucker Punch is as much fun as sitting for two hours, watching someone else play XBox. But there’s more!
Death Of A Thousand Cuts
I’m not easily offended; I love a good dead baby joke, and much worse besides. But as I stared mournfully at Sucker Punch, I experienced a stirring feeling in my bowels that I eventually identified as mild offense.
Could it be that placing “serious adult content” (and yes, there is some) alongside videogame inanity risks trivialising it? I get that Snyder was trying to use a metaphor, but the link is so flimsy that it doesn’t stop it feeling gratuitous.
But if you thought Inception was too damn complicated and wanted a teenager-friendly, slightly porny version, this might be for you! If you think the first series of Torchwood is the greatest television programme man has ever made, then definitely get down to your cinema now.
Aside from that, no. Join me in thinking about all the starving African children we could have fed with those millions of dollars instead. And if you’ve seen Sucker Punch too, I propose we start a Survivors Group in the comments section below.