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Sucker Punch Analysis
John White (04/18/2011)
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Goto Comments

Sucker Punch AnalysisWhat I despise hearing all the time is that "Hollywood has nothing new to offer." This simply is not true. The problem is that not much new makes it past the glut of sequels and remakes that the studios feel is far more profitable. So bypassing all that is a screaming frenzy of a film called Sucker Punch – which many have said is based off of a comic. That is however incorrect, as the film is the original brainchild of Steve Shibuya and Zack Snyder. Thus, we are now presented with an original piece of work. Unjustly, I feel the general reaction to it is that it is terrible.

Why?  I found the film to be a masterpiece, not flawless but a masterpiece nonetheless. The closest film I can equate it to is 2001: A Space Odyssey.

No, I am not kidding.


We begin with a short insert to the terror that is Babydoll’s (Emily Browning) life. She is powerless, orphaned and left to the hands of a fiendish stepfather. She attempts to defend her sister and fails terribly, accidently killing her. In doing so, she is committed into an asylum. Here we have the unwinding of reality and we have to decide what is real and what is not.

Sucker Punch AnalysisThe Asylum -- far from being a healing place for the insane is insanity itself, and nothing experienced is completely false or truth. Here the audience begins to squirm, make mental notes and realizes that this is going to require work. Insert a Giant Black monolith in the form of dance instructor as Babydoll is now introduced to Dr. Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino). The patients are required to dance for the pleasure of the Evil orderly Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac) and his clients.

Much akin to 2001, some strange outside force must open up ones mind to new possibilities. However, Madam Gorski informs Babydoll that the dance is her only way to be free.

Here we see that Babydoll’s psyche is accelerated and she now picks up her psychological weapons and beats down her enemies internally, with a mesmerizing off stage dance that allows her to access her inner Ninja badass self.

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Your Comments:
I wrote the Sucker Punch review The Le posted a while back, and we clearly have differing opinions on this waste of $200million. But both of our reviews pale in comparison to this one, brilliantly written by Peter Sobczynski over at eFilmcritic.

Posted by: Vic Mackey on 4/27/2011 1:05:12 AM
great arical I like seeing both sides of the argument and I do like seeings thing that peek my geeky interest on here besides clix but are still of interest to all my geek brethren out there.(i did not like sucker punch however) I did like watchmen allot!!! though and 300 allot!!! so sucker punch kinda dissapointed me it had it's moment's but not enough to make make it epic like the other two in my opinion

Posted by: casey on 4/24/2011 1:56:09 PM
I can see both sides in this. I hope Thor and Cap rate a bit higher in the article dept. though. You always need to stay relevant, but not like MTV where they don't play vids now just movies and what not. History channel is another example of stretching the relevant idea.
-Sucker was a ok movie.

Posted by: Tim in Indy on 4/20/2011 9:52:05 AM
@Tommy 2 guns, that was my call. Sucker Punch held a lot of interest in the gaming and comic book circles, making waves at various comic book conventions. Zack Snyder is also of interest to our readers as he is directly responsible for 2 comic adaptations and is at the helm for the upcoming Superman movie. As such, HeroClix World readers are definitely interested in things like this.

As for your "Wizard Magazine" comment, I cannot deny that completely. The fact is that there's only so much you can do with a website that focuses on just one subject (HeroClix). Just take a look at the HeroClix "forum" out there and you'll see what I mean - not much changes over there at all.

To evolve and stay relevant (and not get stagnant), I envision this website as a place that puts its #1 focus on HeroClix... yet touch briefly in non-Clix areas that would be of interest to readers. This is why we review movies from time to time and have HeroClix World Friday Videos.

If it's something I think my readers will like, then I will gladly pay a freelancer to write about it!

Posted by: The Le on 4/19/2011 11:28:31 AM
Nice article. No critique of the author but why is this site re-examining a movie that financially did so-so. It wasn't a well written Watchmen,or more superhero based or based on CLIX.
Reminds me of Wizard magazine where they try to blend many things that shouldn't be into the comic universe that isn't relevant.

Posted by: Tommy 2 guns on 4/19/2011 10:22:04 AM
the only thing that got suckerpunched is my wallet.

Posted by: IvoryLegend on 4/19/2011 7:09:30 AM
Nice analysis!

Posted by: Hodak on 4/19/2011 6:26:23 AM
Interesting analysis, but incorrect. the film is about Sweet Pea, when you realise this, it makes a lot more sense. The film opens on the character of Babydoll, but is narrated by sweet pea, it is, as the movie itself states, her story. Babydoll is on a stage when we first see her, because she is a character, when we first SEE sweet pea, she is ACTING out Babydoll's story. Rocket and the others represent different aspects of Sweet Pea's subconscious; doubt, reassurance etc. When Rocket dies, it is a reflection of Sweet Pea's past, where she accidentally kills her own sister and is therefore committed (remember, Babydoll is not the focus). A lot of reviews miss the obvious here and think that the story simply shifts focus to Sweet Pea at the end, it doesn't, it was about her all along. Babydoll represents the strength Sweet Pea needs to escape, and is therefore with Sweet Pea until she leaves the asylum, the other girls deaths represent the moving forward and the overcoming of doubt, the need for reassurance, and in Rocket's case, moving on from the guilt of accidentally killing her sister.

Focussing on Babydoll as the cynosure means that to undestand the film, the viewer has to make several leaps of logic and guesses. Focussing on Sweet Pea (as the film tells us to) provides the answers.

Posted by: neilr1 on 4/19/2011 2:11:58 AM
An amazing visual piece of work. With a strong message for women and victims of abuse of female empowerment. Don't know about your interpretation, and completely disagree with ANY 2001 comparisons, in my OWN opinion.
Personally I dislike trying to "figure the ending out" on my own, and HATE it when "we may never know the answer". I go to see a movie to relax and enjoy it, not to be frustrated and confused. I love trying to figure out plots and story-lines as the movie develops, like peeling back layers of an onion, but with some closure at the end. I really think at lot of the BS comes from over analyzing a movie, and seeing thing that are not there.
All that being said, I REALLY enjoyed this flick, and will buy the blue-ray.

Posted by: tonysking on 4/18/2011 6:05:38 PM
Ga Ga Ga Ga... (Droool)

Posted by: SwatTh@tfly on 4/18/2011 3:42:13 PM
SPOILERS: To me, everything that happened in the bordello happened in the asylum too. When they went to lobotomize Babydoll, they mentioned how she stabbed an orderly, caught something on fire, and helped a patient escape, all things that happened in the bordello. I think those girls really did become her friends, although not sure if any really died.

At the end there, with Sweet Pea getting on the bus, I'm not sure if that was Baby Doll imagining it, or Sweet Pea herself. It shifted to her story at the end after all.

Either way, this was an epic movie, one of my new favs.

Posted by: Sean on 4/18/2011 3:29:43 PM
I still look forward to seeing this movie. I will get it as soon as it comes out on DVD.

Posted by: Chris on 4/18/2011 11:38:16 AM