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Teen Review: ‘Sucker Punch’

Teen Says It’s Style Over Substance

Above: Femme bonding: Jena Malone and Emily Browning in "Sucker Punch."

"Sucker Punch" (opened March 25 throughout San Diego) is the first original screenplay attempted by Zack Snyder and it definitely had some flaws.

In "300" and "Watchmen" he could easily rely on the pre-existing graphic novels. Visually, he is indeed gifted but his original screenplay is not all that original. The kick-ass girl concept is great but none of the girls in "Sucker Punch" can really do much damage; all they possess are a lot of cutesy ninja moves. The film has its limitations not only because of the PG-13 rating but also because there is too much emphasis on the visual aspects of the film. But I’m not going to lie. I really enjoyed this movie. Seriously, I thought it was fantastic.

There’s not much dialogue, so the story of Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is told visually with what is almost an amazing soundtrack. The story itself is pretty weak but I did like all the outfits and set designs. There are three different worlds Baby Doll exists in. She tries to shoot her lecherous stepfather but instead accidentally kills her sister. So he sends her to the Lennox House for the mentally insane. That’s world number one, which we really don’t see much of. World number two is a brothel but unfortunately there is no sexy dancing in this movie. It really is a 12-year-old boy’s wet dream. World number three is where the girls go into battle mode; it's always a different setting but not very creative as far as the concepts. Even though it's a battle zone there really isn’t much gut-grinding action. They just achieve minor accomplishments and receive only minor guidance in the form of one-liners. There is nothing very complicated about this movie other than my questions that were never answered: “Why is one brunette named Blondie? What did Rocket do? Is this really a mental institution? Wait, this was set in the 50s?”

Emily Browning and Carla Gugino in "Sucker Punch."

Warner Brothers

Above: Emily Browning and Carla Gugino in "Sucker Punch."

Obviously, there’s not much depth to this film. The characters are weakly established and the plot has too many holes but I guess it looked so good that I really didn’t care. After reading many opinions on why this movie was a flaming turd, I really felt kind of stupid for liking it so much. But I was duped by the music and the costumes and… well, actually I think that’s it.

After a while, I started filling in the holes myself, thinking how great it was that they completely avoided eroticism and violence, and maintained a decent representation of young women trying to survive. The film's concept is a little stupid but when you apply it to all the things young women really have to endure in today’s society, it makes a lot more sense. Girls are not only vicious to each other but to themselves as well. Baby Doll’s knack for dancing earned the approval of the other girls but if she wasn’t so great at it, they probably would have torn her apart. Without anybody to rely on, especially the support of other women, young women easily become victimized. In the film there are several people who prey on girls such as Baby Doll or Rocket, finding pleasure in power not love. It’s a serious issue that is weakly approached in "Sucker Punch." The reason world number two is a brothel is probably because the man who is supposed to be taking care of them is only abusing them. We don’t see him raping or even killing anyone, not in a gruesome, vivid way at least. I could explain what grown men do to little girls, or how many young women blame themselves for what somebody did to them, or even the complete lack of self-esteem we’ve been conditioned to feel because of unrealistic body images presented in the media, but I won’t. The fact that really only one girl survives is pathetic.

I can’t barrage this movie with insults or ad-hominem attacks on the director since I really did enjoy seeing it. There wasn’t too much to think about or digest throughout the film, and we can really only hope Zack Snyder evolves as a director and a writer.

I suggest the viewer not expect anything elaborate in "Sucker Punch" (rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence and combat sequences, and for language) other than the hair and make-up of course. Whether this movie makes you want to sucker punch Zack Snyder or not, at least see it with your friends and make it a night out. Even if you hate it try not to have an aneurism in the middle of the theater.

--Lidia Marin is a senior at Mount Miguel High School.

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Avatar for user 'Missionaccomplished'

Missionaccomplished | March 28, 2011 at 9:35 a.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

The costumes look pretty enticing!

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Avatar for user 'irafeak'

irafeak | March 28, 2011 at 1:34 p.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

Excellent review, especially for a young person.
Verbalizes my exact feelings on the film!

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Avatar for user 'lidiaislaw'

lidiaislaw | March 28, 2011 at 4:26 p.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

Missionaccomplished; The costumes are awesome.
irafreak; Thanks. :)

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Avatar for user 'alain_j_perez'

alain_j_perez | March 29, 2011 at 10:08 a.m. ― 5 years, 10 months ago

I was thinking seriously about watching this movie at the theater; however, I had many reservations about mainly due to the lack of a deep and complete story. Now with your review I think I can put a hold on it and just wait until it arrives on Netflix. Thank you for your review.

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Avatar for user 'secallen'

secallen | March 31, 2011 at 6:37 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

Thank you for the thorough review and for making me laugh.

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Avatar for user 'nech11'

nech11 | April 2, 2011 at 6:29 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

This movie seems like something every girl should watch if its all about women and there self esteem. i think its true that many girls if they were raped or if something happened to them will blame themselves even if they didn't do anything wrong but it should be the other way around. It looks like the custom are pretty cool and the characters as well. Women are powerful no matter what size or race they are they need to give themselves more credit. Men are not better than women. I would like to watch this movie its sounds really interesting.

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Avatar for user 'Miranda19'

Miranda19 | April 3, 2011 at 1:32 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

The review of this movie was done wonderfully. I have seen previews to this movie and from what I did see, it was a kick-ass film. I didn't say much of a story, simply because it was a preview, but from what you're saying, the movie could have been done much better.

From what you said about the director, this should not have been a film that he started out with. This is the type of film you wait to do until you have been in the business for a time. It is great that he tried to do it but in my opinion, it seems that he failed at his job.

Having the people look it and bring their own conclusions to it is great and all but this level of conclusion jumping? I don't think it was the director's best work. Still, I would like to see it and see how bad or how good he did with the movie. From the little he did add to the movie sounds great. And I think that's why the younger generation likes it versus the older generation.

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Avatar for user 'johanna03'

johanna03 | April 3, 2011 at 5:34 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

Lidia did a good job at putting her own opinion, by admitting she dint like the lack of plot and idea. Lidia even if she stated her own opinion she did a good job at explaining the film, and giving a well put review. Sucker punch does sound like it lacks plot, and seems to have a non stable group of followers. I would personally not go and see this movie in theaters, due to the reviews of making it seem like another karate movie, with just a girl twist to it. The girl twist to Sucker Punch seems to give self esteem to girls, which may do so it would depend on every different person who watches it. Sucker Punch does seem to have a well review for its soundtrack, and costumes which kind of makes me want to see it once it comes out on dvd. I will just have to wait and think more about watching this film.

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Avatar for user 'Daniel1770'

Daniel1770 | April 3, 2011 at 7:54 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

Lidia you did a good review overall. The only thing i have to fix is that Baby Doll did not accidently kill her sister; it was actually her dad that did the deed. It's a simple mistake to make after the movie since the whole scenario is in the beginning and only lasts about 10 minutes if that. As for your questions at the end of your third paragraph, i share the same curiosity; but after a while I didn't care too much it's funny to have your mind fill in the gaps. I have to disagree with your opinion on the weakly established characters. I do not believe they were weakly established, maybe not as good as some characters in other films but they were not weak in my opinion. Also i believe that only having one girl survive made the story a bit better and moved it away from a "Disney" ending. I believe the film is what it makes itself out to be in all the previews, a beat 'em up with chicks. So don't expect so much from a film that shows what it is. But overall i liked your review; maybe not you’re strongest but still good.

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Avatar for user 'Carrieann'

Carrieann | April 3, 2011 at 9:44 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

This review gave me mixed feeling, i don't know if i should watch the movie or not. The reason being the review was mixed. Lidia pretty much said she liked it, but she didn't like it. For every positive comment on the movie there was five negatives. The costumes were nice but there's really no story line. The music was okay but there's no depth. There was a lot of action, but the action was weak. It's almost like she's trying to decide whether she liked it or not, and doesn't really know if it was amazing or stupid. Becasue of this review, now i feel compelled to watch it and figure out what Lidia's saying about the movie. However, because this wasn't a review that said you need to go and watch this movie, i'll wait for it to come out on DVD. I guess what i'm saying is, i don't really know what my opinion is on this review or the movie itself.

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Avatar for user 'lea'

lea | April 4, 2011 at 7:36 a.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

After reading this review, I would go out and see the film so that I could compare my critique to Lidia's critique. The review is very good and detailed. I like how there it gives good and bad feedback from the film and shows both sides. Many teens who have seen this have liked it but the adults say that it is not all that great. Since the review has feedback from both sides i would want to go out and see which category i fit in, in terms of my opinion on the film. Also, Lidia made me want to go to see the costumes and check out the music throught the film. I wouldn't go see the film thinking it should be amazing after this review, however, I would go and pay attention to the little things such as the music, costume and characters.

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Avatar for user 'pepe001'

pepe001 | April 4, 2011 at 8:29 a.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

It's funny how Lidia said "It looked so good that i really didn't care", I say i would go see it after reading Lidia's critique. I would also go see this because you have mentioned the soundtrack, I'm really into films with a good sountrack, it keeps the movie alive with a good sountrack. I have nothing else to say but a good job to you lidia with your critique. The one thing i see my self enjoying about this film is the music.

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Avatar for user 'krysta20'

krysta20 | April 4, 2011 at 6:24 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

First off I had to admit I don't know too much about this film. I have not heard much about it or even seen previews. With that said I have to say this review left me completely confused. Lidia starts off saying she really liked it; okay, not confusing. But instead of talking about the stuff she likes, she totally disses the movie. Am I the only one that is confused by this? Yes costume, set design and what not are catching and important to a film, that's not the only thing that should catch your attention. No offense meant in any way Lidia, but you might as well said "I like pretty stuff and there was lots of it." So I guess what I'm trying to say is that you've made yourself sound like a stereo- typical teenage girl. Based on what I have read and what little I know, I have no desire to see "Sucker Punch" in theaters or when it is released.

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Avatar for user 'lidiaislaw'

lidiaislaw | April 4, 2011 at 8:55 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I might suggest that if you find this confusing to at least watch the trailer, which shows the elaborate visuals. But that's all it has going for it. Appearance. So, if you'd like to call me a stereotypical girl at least inform yourself of what it is you're not understanding. This is a movie that is geared towards a younger generation. Sorry if I hadn't made myself clear enough. After reading Beth's review, and many, many others, I realized there wasn't much substance to the film. Everything I had thought was positive about this film, and my motivation to write a positive review, absolutely crumbled after hearing how about how much everybody hated this film. I wrote it anyways, and sure it's not my best, but it's not the best movie I've seen. Thanks for all your feedback.

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Avatar for user 'josueguerrero1'

josueguerrero1 | April 4, 2011 at 9:57 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

Eh, my only motivation to see this movie was a reduced price ticket. I had an idea the movie was gonna suck rusty quarters from the preview and me and my friends wanted to make fun of the movie like we had done with "Devil." When not enough people showed up to get discounted tickets, we saw "Paul" instead. I'm pretty glad to see I didn't waste my money to watch something I can find in my toilet for free.

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Avatar for user 'VictoriaBueno'

VictoriaBueno | April 4, 2011 at 10:18 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

The review kinda gives me mixed signals. I mean i do agree the sound track of this movie is pretty amazing, but I like the story line. I feel that the fact that is so little told lets you fill in the story for yourself. I also agree with Daniel on the " have to disagree with your opinion on the weakly established characters. I do not believe they were weakly established". Over all I just think this movie was good, the ending wasn't Disney, the movie was "normal", it was twisted and raw and I like that. Over all this review I don't feel is as strong as your other one's but it's solid in a sense. I feel like you can't decided weather you like this movie or hate it, so thats how you're review came out, confusing.

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Avatar for user 'bryanhernandez'

bryanhernandez | April 4, 2011 at 11:09 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

hmm i hate those movies that have kickass previews but just dissapoint when you watch them in theaters. i dont usually read reviews cause it makes me not wanna watch the movie ,and thats what you did. world two is a 12 year olds wetdream!!!! I can agree with that. So after reading your review yeah im not gonna waste my money on a dumb movie that seemed cool.thanks.

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Avatar for user 'jorge_medina'

jorge_medina | April 4, 2011 at 11:56 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

Seeing the previews on this movie had me so excited and wanting to see it. But after the review, it seems to kiddish and very unreal beacause like lidia said it has a lot of nice costumes but it being a pg-13 movie takes the point out of the costumes. i think this movie would of been better if it would of hit teen boys and girls harder because girls want to see girls in movies beeing bad ass like this and boy like seeing girls in action thats not PG-13.
Great job lidia. I really enjoyed reading your review.

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Avatar for user 'RachelleRamos'

RachelleRamos | April 4, 2011 at 11:58 p.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I'm glad I read your review because what I thought the movie was gonna be was totally different. In Comic Con, I thought it was gonna be one of those rated R movies where guys who don't have lives beat off to but instead its pg 13 movie with an awesome soundtrack. If the story is that bland as it is then I'm not interested. I agree with you to some extent with the weakly established characters. For one I never watched the movie and secondly if the story wasnt good then how can the characters be? I have never watched the movie and I probably wont in the near future.

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Avatar for user 'JudithCheek'

JudithCheek | April 5, 2011 at 11:35 a.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I agree with Lidia's review because I do feel like this is a visual movie. You mostly watch the actresses because they are pretty and the costumes are flawless, but this movie seems to have no real plot. Im not really interested in the movie because it seems shallow. I also feel like Lidia is saying that this movie is bad but watchable, the graphics seem really life like and the combat scenes are intense and it does show how girls can survive in the battling world. At most, I would wait for the movie to come out on DVD and rent it on Netflix. I would not own the movie or spend money to see it in theatres. Overall, Lidias review was informative and really good. (:

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Avatar for user 'breee'

breee | April 7, 2011 at 8:28 a.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I honesty never heard of this movie but from reading Lidia's review, i would not mind going to see it. I do not think that it would be the best movie but i pretty good one. I really liked the pictures he chose to put up, they look interesting to me. The makeup and outfits on the characters show that this is not your ordinary movie. I thinking i'm going to wait til it comes on demand to watch it. I want to see how baby doll balances her three different worlds. I know its not easy dealing with a lot of different things at once.

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Avatar for user 'jassalb'

jassalb | April 8, 2011 at 8:18 a.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

Lidia Marin, makes many great points for the review of Sucker Punch. She definitely made me not want to go watch it in theaters, on account of many reasons. The seductive, nice dressed women would have probably been the best part of the movie for me as well, because women who are fighting and don't do any kind of real damage is not interesting at all. Since Lidia said that the plot had many holes and the story line was weak it made me not interested in watching this film. I was looking forward to seeing this film but thanks to Lidia Marin's review i am not going watch it.

-Jassal Bravo

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Avatar for user 'MireyaM'

MireyaM | April 8, 2011 at 11:14 a.m. ― 5 years, 9 months ago

I really liked her review it gave me a good idea of the film even though i didn't see the trailer. It seems like if i would of watched the film I would have probably liked it for the same reasons she did. I also really like how she said applied the film to young woman.

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Avatar for user 'MGosling'

MGosling | May 13, 2011 at 7:45 p.m. ― 5 years, 8 months ago

I never watched this film, but by reading this review, i would watch it but I would have doubts about it.

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