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Sucker Punch

Emily Browning in “Sucker Punch”

900 words

I saw Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch a few days ago, but I wanted to wait until my ears stopped ringing before I wrote a review. Frankly, I needed the time to come up with something to say. Sucker Punch is often a great music video. It is frequently a great video game. But it never adds up to being a good movie. Indeed, Sucker Punch is a repugnant, pointless, and depressing movie, in spite of the fact that it is visually stunning and brilliantly directed.

This is a shame, because Zack Snyder is a very talented director. I would argue that his Watchmen is the greatest superhero movie of all time. But Watchmen had a great script, a 19th century Romantic novel disguised as a comic book, whereas Sucker Punch has a train-wreck of a script, a mashup of Brazil, Suddenly Last Summer, The Lovely Bones, Moulin Rouge, The Lord of the Rings, Inception, and I am sure a host of video games I am too hopelessly unhip to know anything about.

I have no idea of why it is called Sucker Punch, unless it is a cynical reference to how well the movie delivers on its marketing.

Since you are unlikely to want to see Sucker Punch anyway, I am going to summarize the plot as I understand it. If you don’t want to know, then stop reading here.

Sucker Punch is supposedly set in 1955, but there is no attempt to make the music, technology, or racial composition of the cast realistic for that time. A wealthy young woman, known only as “Baby Doll” (played by Australian actress Emily Browning), is committed to an insane asylum by her stepfather, a monstrous figure who may have murdered his wife to gain control of her money only to discover that the money went to her two daughters. Enraged, he attacks the daughters, and Baby Doll, in self-defense, accidentally kills her little sister. (All this is related, by the way, during the pre-title sequence entirely without dialogue. As with the opening credits of Watchmen, this shows that Zack Snyder is truly a great silent movie director.)

The wicked stepfather commits Baby Doll to an insane asylum and bribes a sleazy Semitic orderly “Blue” (Oscar Isaac) who has a racially mixed set of henchmen, to have Baby Doll lobotomized by faking the signature of Dr. Gorski (the ravishing Carla Gugino), the psychiatrist in charge. When a doctor comes to perform the lobotomy, Baby Doll slips into a fantasy world, which is pretty much the whole rest of the film.

In her fantasy, Baby Doll and four other girls (two of them white, one Chinese, and one mystery meat) are in a brothel run by Blue, who is a gangster/pimp. Instead of being scheduled for a lobotomy, Baby Doll’s virginity will be sold to a man known as “The High Roller” who will arrive five days hence. Determined to escape, Baby Doll enlists the help of four other girls to steal the things they will need to escape: a map, a lighter, a knife, a key, and a mysterious fifth item.

Within Baby Doll’s main fantasy, there are four other fantasies, which are basically video games: in one Baby Doll fights three giant samurai à la Brazil; in another the five girls fight steampunk German zombies in the trenches of the First World War while majestic zeppelins soar overhead; in the third, the girls fight orcs and a dragon in a castle; in the fourth, they try to save a futuristic city on another planet from destruction by a nuclear device on a speeding train guarded by robots.

In the brothel fantasy, one of the girls is killed by a cook while trying to steal his knife. Two others are brutally murdered by Blue. And one of them, Sweet Pea (Australian actress Abby Cornysh), escapes because Baby Doll chooses to remain behind, sacrificing herself, a gesture that is sanctified with some pretentious voiceover rubbish about guardian angels. In the real world, however, Baby Doll is simply lobotomized and nobody escapes. Blue, however, is caught and rats out Baby Doll’s stepfather. The end.

Oh, and if you stay through the credits, you can see the repulsive Blue in his pimp getup performing Roxy Music’s “Love is the Drug” à-la Moulin Rouge with Dr. Gorski in a red wig.

The biggest question is: Who is the natural audience of this film? I think it is pretty much evenly split between teenage girls attracted by the girl power fantasies and child molesters attracted by the powerless girl realities: the hot, wholesome, helpless Mark Rydenesque waifs being locked up, strapped down, beaten, lobotomized, raped, and murdered. That left me, and pretty much the rest of the human race, feeling rather out in the cold, and frankly a little sick.

(The sad truth, of course, is that these girl power fantasies lead young women to take foolish risks that make them more likely to become victims of rapists and murderers.)

It is a mystery to me how this movie got anything less than an R rating, even from the Semitic Legion of Indecency. Parents of young girls should consider vacationing in Iran until this movie is gone from the theaters and the pimps, perverts, and fedora-in-lap types who are surely buzzing around it like latrine flies have dispersed.


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  1. Lew
    Posted March 30, 2011 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Nice review. Well written, funny and a pleasure to read.

    According to the Wikipedia page for Sucker Punch, Jon Hamm (Don Draper from Mad Men) plays The High Roller. If you take requests and write about television as well as movies, Mad Men might be good fodder for at review at CC.

  2. Posted March 30, 2011 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    This review cracked me up. The plot of this movie reminds me of Alice Seybold’s “The Lovely Bones,” where a murder victim “speaks” from beyond the grave. It’s more of the moralist tendency of a dying civilization, whereby we justify failure with platitudes. There was zero chance on even a cold day in Hell of me ever going to see this movie — I’ve rarely made a mistake by not going to see a movie; in fact, it’s usually the right decision — but it’s fun to have some ammunition to laugh at its appearances in popular culture.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted March 30, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes, the creepy voice-over angel stuff is straight out of The Lovely Bones, as is the whole child-rape and murder angle. Here is my one line review of The Lovely Bones: A beautifully crafted movie that I could not stand and cannot recommend because it deals with two topics I find repugnant: men who rape and kill little girls and a technicolor, Disneyesque afterlife which, I guess, means that it wasn’t all so bad in the end.

  3. ned
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:09 am | Permalink

    This movie is a waste of digital memory.

  4. Peter
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    Excellent review, Greg!

    What a shame! I was eagerly anticipating Snyder’s upcoming project, but I did not realize that it was already released. Watchmen and 300 were both excellent cinematic demonstrations of the graphic novel genre. Snyder makes graphic novels into trippy, dream-like movies whereas everyone else (Christopher Nolan included) tries to strip away the elements of fantasy and make the films as “real” as possible.

    I won’t end up seeing Snyder’s cartoon Owl movie, because it looks too childish; but it seems like Snyder could be sliding off my radar screen with these last two flops. I’ll give Sucker Punch a chance before I write him off completely.

  5. Peter
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    Here’s the first paragraph from Berardinelli’s review:

    “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” When Shakespeare penned those words for Act V Scene V of MacBeth, he might have emerged from a screening of Sucker Punch. This movie isn’t bad in the way some incompetently made movies are bad; this is bad because there’s much skill evident in a pointless endeavor. Rarely has more technical wizardry and cinematic artistry been wasted. If visuals once served the story but now it’s the other way around, Sucker Punch illustrates this taken to an extreme. There really is no narrative here, and there certainly are no characters. The film is an excuse for directorial excess. It’s an exercise in public masturbation for Zack Snyder, who doesn’t even have the decency to strive for the R-rating that would at least allow for the exploitative, gratuitous sex, nudity, and violence that Sucker Punch desperately needs. Where’s the giant blue penis when we need it?

  6. Pax Europa Forever
    Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    I’m a young guy myself and I can tell you with 100% certainty that young people aren’t attracted to long, well-written essays or articles. They are attracted to music and videos. The attention span of a teenager or young adult these days is very short, we’ve been dumbed down as as society. Jews did this.

    If we want any sort of success in attracting more young people and not people over the age of 30, we need to produce videos and music that promote our cause. Not the dysgenic, violent, and stupid music from the “White Power” scene in the 1990s. Forget about Rahowa, Skrewdriver, and all that junk. We need to create beautiful, positive, and INSPIRING videos and music.

    I notice that most of the authors on this website are old professors or old White men. There is a generational gap that must be closed in order for us to succeed in the future.

    • Greg Johnson
      Posted March 31, 2011 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

      What are you doing to solve the problem?

    • Lucius
      Posted April 1, 2011 at 11:57 am | Permalink

      How about this video:

      The title is designed to obscure the content because this video has been blocked several times.

      The Luce

    • Lucius
      Posted April 3, 2011 at 1:06 am | Permalink

      Here’s another one with a split theme (one can’t go wrong with NIN’s Head Like a Hole):

    • Lucius
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Pax Europa,

      Here’s yet another video with the music and imagery you seem to want to view:

      I expect a little feedback from you.

      BTW, don’t eat any seafood for a long while. It turns out the the private Japanese corporation called TEPCO dumped no less than 10,000 TONS of radioactive wastewater into our beautiful blue. Call me crazy, but this nuclear catastrophe in Japan dwarfs the feminism problem by a lot. We have the Anglo-American company General Electric to thank for building these reactors where they are and for pushing everyone to go nuclear. Germany, still the greatest white nation in the world in spite of her ZOGsters, canceled nuclear power for good.

    • Fourmyle of Ceres
      Posted April 4, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      In reply to Pax Europa Forever:

      Good comments.

      Let’s address them.

      You wrote:

      If we want any sort of success in attracting more young people and not people over the age of 30, we need to produce videos and music that promote our cause. Not the dysgenic, violent, and stupid music from the “White Power” scene in the 1990s. Forget about Rahowa, Skrewdriver, and all that junk. We need to create beautiful, positive, and INSPIRING videos and music.

      In reply:
      Great idea.

      Actually, Skrewdriver did some pretty classy, acoustic style material, as Stuart was a natural at transforming rockabilly into inspiring lyrics. He addressed the issues of his time, as he realized, following the Taunton riots (I THINK it was the Taunton riots) that the young British male was being totally marginalized, and needed disciplined focus to inspire him, and move him forward. Hence, the title “Rock Nazi” for him.

      The idea of the skinhead subcounterculture, with a basic uniform – “boots ‘n’ braces” – worked to help them develop an identity around Race, which was being actively marginalized by the British government.

      They were co-opted, and neutralized.

      Stuart could inspire the people, and he led from the front, without fear, favor, or apology. His voice was used to carry a message of confidence, and conquest. I think Saga said when she first heard his voice, Something within her just Awoke, and she focused her efforts of inspiring racial consciousness. (Yes, another quiet Initiation experience…)

      Saga did soft music on Midgard’s Pro Patria 3, I think. You might want to look there for some inspiration. Might be good background music for an intro music video dealing with the ideas of Savitri Devi, for example. Windows Movie Maker seems fairly easy to use.

      I could not agree with you more about INSPRING videos; the old crowd, Rahowa and the like, spoke of what they were against, which is generally good for one election cycle, two at the most.

      INSPIRING music videos should address what they are for, and should all be linked to the Cause, and the Philosophy of The Cause.

      Can you define The Cause, which is the necessay precondition for The Movement, in one easily remembered phrase. I can give you Fourteen Words, if that would help. Think, for example, of a candle being lit in the darkness, and a young lady’s voice reciting the Fourteen Worlds. Then. the candle is passed to another member of the Family – a slightly older woman – and they repeat the Fourteen Words. This continues until it is done in ovrelapping harmonies, as an extended Family passes a candle that grows ever brighter, as they repeat the Fourteen Words is unison. For a variation, after the Cycle finishes with one Family, the scene could move from the cave to the view you might expect in the Northwest Republic – mountains, etc., – as the extended Family chimes in, and the original Family’s chant grows softer, but remains as part of the Theme. This can be done for several settings, from desert sands to the arctic, with various members of the extended Family chiming in. Slipping in the tricolor flag of the Northwest Republic might be worthwhile.

      A little spacey synthesizer in the background repeating the theme might not be a bad idea, either.

      That’s MUCH more effective than three chord, out of tune, full fuzz box distortion songs of the anger of the impotent, and the revenge of the ineffective.

      You wrote:

      I notice that most of the authors on this website are old professors or old White men. There is a generational gap that must be closed in order for us to succeed in the future.

      In reply:

      If we are to have an overarching theme for our efforts in terms of organization, The Cause seems to be a place to start, and Fourteen Words seem the best expression of The Cause.

      Externally, of course, Bob Whitaker’s Mantra, written to focus on the genocide of White Children, might be an excellent theme to use, as well.

      Focus Northwest.

  7. Kevin C.
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 6:25 am | Permalink

    I think the movie is titled “Sucker Punch” because that is the feeling it is intended to evoke in the viewer. As in “I just spent the better part of $20.00 to see this piece of $#!% movie and I feel as though I’ve been sucker punched.”

  8. Wandrin
    Posted April 4, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

    “If we want any sort of success in attracting more young people and not people over the age of 30, we need to produce videos and music that promote our cause. ”

    Make it so, Grasshopper.

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