Now in theaters is Zack Snyderâ€™s Sucker Punch, an action flick about a girl who tries to change her grim reality by escaping into the fantasy world of dreams. As one can imagine, the Sucker Punch soundtrack parallels the filmâ€™s plot quite nicely, delivering tracks of hard-hitting, guitar-swirling numbers mixed with sensitive, delicate ballads–all done with a feminine touch.Â All track are actually cover songs, in which cast members contribute vocals to three of the nine songs.
The album appropriately opens up withÂ the film’s star,Â Emily Browning, covering the Eurythmicsâ€™ â€œSweet Dreams (Are Made of This).â€Â Here, her atmospheric vocals taunt us as the music steadily crescendos, her voice channeling a mix of Angie Hart (Frente!) and Juanita Stein (Howling Bells). She also delivers on â€œAsleepâ€ (The Smiths), a beautiful cover that thankfully doesnâ€™t stray too far from the original.
Other highlights can be found within the Sucker Punch remix of Bjorkâ€™s â€œArmy of Me,â€ (featuring Skunk Anansie,) as well as Skunk Anansieâ€™s cover of The Stoogesâ€™ â€œSearch and Destroy.â€ I canâ€™t imagine any female vocalist other than Skin doing this latter song raw justice.
Considering the filmâ€™s plot of reality and fantasy blurring together, I was surprised the director didn’t choose a cover of â€œWhere is My Mind?â€ (The Pixies) that reflected, at minimum, the original, alternative elements of the song vs. that of a pop song. The second half of Yoavâ€™s featured cover is tolerable, but the first three minutes turn the song into a laughable lullaby, probably due to Browningâ€™s contributing vocals, which are too fragile for this song.
Actors Carla Gugino and Oscar Isaac contribute â€œLove is the Drugâ€ (Roxy Music), which some may enjoy, although perhaps only if they havenâ€™t heard the original.
Emiliana Torriniâ€™s â€œWhite Rabbitâ€ (Jefferson Airplane) and Carla Azarâ€™s â€œTomorrow Never Knowsâ€ (The Beatles) seem essential staples on a soundtrack for a movie thatâ€™s been called â€œAlice in Wonderland with machine guns.â€ Still, the covers are mediocre at best.
Overall, it seems the success of this soundtrack depends on whether its musical audience is familiar with the classic rock/alternative originals, or if the filmâ€™s audience is better able to appreciate these songs when put in the movieâ€™s context.