I did not know what to expect out of this movie going in. I knew little to nothing about the plot, and I actually had no clue who was acting in it except for Emily Browning, who I happened to recognize from A Series of Unfortunate Events. The little knowledge I had about the movie came from the previews, which happened to have awesome music and girls, and plenty of action. Being a fan of the Resident Evil film series, it was a must see just for that.
The movie began with a rendition of Sweet Dreams done by Emily Browning herself, which played over the dark opening scene. In this scene, we see Baby Doll(Emily Browning) sent to a mental institution by her abusive stepfather, after he blames her for the death of her younger sister. The institution then turns into a brothel in Baby Doll’s mind, a world she created to escape reality. The song choice here was perfect to begin the movie, and it helped to set a dark feel for the rest of the film.
Throughout the film, music continues to play a central role. Baby Doll becomes a dancer at the club, and the music sends her into further imagination, which we follow. It seems that many of the scenes had a basic outline, but were shaped around the chosen songs. Because we are seeing everything from Baby Doll’s point of view, it makes sense that the music becomes the defining aspect which fuels the scene, just as the music fuels the dance. In my opinion, this approach of building the scenes around the music was one of the main things that made this movie so enjoyable.
Now, back to the plot. In the first “dance” scene, Baby Doll encounters a man in her imagination who gives her instructions on how she can escape the brothel. She is told that she will need to find and take four items. Once this is done, she will be able to escape. To get each item, she must face a challenge, for which she recruits the help of four other girls in the club. Together, they work to attain the four items, and toward their ultimate goal of freedom.
I won’t give away any more of the plot. You will just have to see it yourself. Like I said, I had no idea what I would see in Sucker Punch. After seeing it however, I know that I want to see more movies like it. My favorite thing about Sucker Punch was that the music was not just thrown in afterward, like in so many action movies. Also, it was not written to fit what is going on in the scenes. Instead, the music was the foundation for the scenes, something we don’t usually see.
While I could go on about the music of Sucker Punch forever, it was definitely not the only strength of the movie. First of all, the cast was perfect. I saw some familiar faces, like Carla Gugino(Sin City, Watchmen, Spy Kids), Vanessa Hudgens, and of course Emily Browning. But there were also some less-known cast members like Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Jamie Chung and Oscar Isaac. Also, we have to give credit to the great Zack Snyder, the man who gave us 300, Watchmen and Dawn of the Dead.
I absolutely recommend Sucker Punch to any Zack Snyder fan, first of all, but also to anyone who likes action movies with some actual depth to them. It releases June 28th on DVD and Blu-Ray, so check it out if you missed it in theaters.