Each of the individual young women who star in "Sucker Punch" would test the paying-attention skills of any red-blooded guy sitting across from them, but you put Jamie Chung, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens together in a room and then dare me to keep my mind on the conversation, and it's almost like a hidden camera show.
The truth is that these are charming young performers who are thrilled with the film they just made, and I wanted to talk to them about their expectations for the film versus the way it looks in its final form, and I wanted to talk to them about the process. And it was a good conversation, too. Jena Malone in particular clearly communicates her excitement about the movie in this piece, and I find their exuberance right now to be really lovely. Whatever happens with the movie, whatever the majority reaction is to it, I suspect this will remain one of the most important milestones for the entire cast because of the experience they had and the bonds they formed with the rest of the ensemble.
What different backgrounds they come from, too. Chung is a reality TV discovery, and so far we've seen very few of them make serious runs at feature film careers. Chung has a quiet charisma that I found affecting in her work as Amber in the film, and I hope this is just the start for her.
Malone, of course, has been acting since she was a child, and she's managed to make a very interesting transition into adulthood. No surprise with some of the mentors she's had on her films. When you have Jodie Foster as a resource, chances are you'll manage to make the jump from young actor to grown-up fairly well, your professional soul intact.
And with Hudgens, she's a megastar for a very specific audience, but for the general audience, she's still somewhat unproven. If you didn't see the "High School Musical" movies, then she's a fresh face, still new, and it's nice to see that she seems comfortable as part of an ensemble. I never got a hint of entitlement from her on set or during the interviews.
My review of the film is already up, and whatever problems I have with the movie, I can't fault the cast for trying. Give the girls a chance to explain what they feel like they made for you, and check out "Sucker Punch" this weekend in theaters and IMAX everywhere.