By: Julio De Francisco (Five Beers) –
Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is a doll-faced catholic schoolgirl skirt-wearing blonde-haired wet dream that could just as well be one of Hugh Hefner’s Girl’s Next Door, of the don’t ask – take your chances edition, who has one hell of an imagination when she dances (say that all in one breath).Baby Doll ends up in an insane asylum when a bullet meant for her evil stepfather ricochets and kills her little sister.Now she only has one mission, to escape her forthcoming lobotomy.
She manages to plot and execute her escape by projecting herself in some icy post-apocalyptic world where her mission is to find one of five items that a swordsman who was high as fuck told her she needed: a map, a lighter, a knife, a key, and the last thing is something she must discover on her own with the help of Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens, who is not blonde), and Amber (Jamie Chung).
My first glass of beer goes to the casting team that suggested Emily Browning for the role as Baby Doll.Even though she was a second to Amanda Seyfried, who couldn’t do it due to her contractual obligations to Big Love, Emily Browning definitely showed that she could hold her own in this film.She Sucker Punched my heart – and blue balls.
As visually appealing as Sucker Punch was, the film didn’t make much sense, so drink this beer quick before you start to care.The film begins with a montage of how she ends up in the asylum.Like a terrible version of Inception, she awakes in a new reality, one where the girls aren’t crazy, but being traded for sex and dances by the administrators.This transition is almost missed.Then, from within that alternate reality, Baby Doll whisks herself into another reality while – dancing?
Yes, when Baby Doll dances she pretty much goes into la-la land like a tormented female rape victim closing her eyes and forgetting what her attacker is doing to her.Wow, that was graphic.When she awakes from that state of mind, she is applauded for being a great dancer and then told not to say a peep or her and her whole family will be killed.Ugh.Bring on the beer!
Action schmacktion.As fudged-packed as the action was with its dark chocolate to cinnamon hues with the icy Japanese or post nuclear background, I started to kind of get bored.Zack Snyder did an amazing job with 300, which had some great action in it.One of his calling cards is pairing action with dark music with drums, bass, and guitar playing loudly.Eventually, it becomes repetitive.Just as I sleep to the equal frequency of crashing waves, the film became washed in a blow-em up white wash of noise.I almost started to doze off.This third beer didn’t really help me… just made me sleepier.Another might wake me up.
We never see Baby Doll dance either because Emily Browning can’t dance or she just looked really goofy dancing.Turns out that Baby Doll has to dance in order to go into this other world.After she dances, anyone who watched her dance just raves about it.Unfortunately, the audience never gets to see this.I wondered, why and how was it so amazing?In the film someone describes that she was gyrating her hips sensually, and that’s what we blue-balled perverted geeks wanted to see.Why wasn’t this revealed or shown?Beer me!
The ending.Call me your typical American audience member waiting for a happy ending – which will settle for good but not great. I’m not one to spoil the end of the film for you, but I’ll write this: the ending is a mixed bag.What makes a good movie is usually the conclusion.It seems like every good film has its purpose for the characters and whatever the goal is the principal character either makes it or gets someone else across the finish line.If you don’t like disappointments, drink this beer.
The movie is probably not worth a watch, but it wasn’t a total stinker.Emily Browning is certainly worth the view, but I’d wait for it to come out on DVD.The crowd (while psyched at first) was silent throughout the entire movie.Mostly because it was a big mess and a let-down to anyone who wanted to see better action.
Bonus Drinking Game
Take a drink: whenever Babydoll begins to dance
Take a drink: whenever the movie jumps realities
Take a sip: for every death (you might want to just hold the cup up to your mouth for some parts of the movie).
Take a drink: whenever Dr. Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino) begins speaking.