After adapting material from great writers and director’s such as Frank Miller, Anal Moore and George A. Romero, the 300 director Zack Snyder is back for his first film from a none established source in the seemingly beautiful Sucker Punch. This being Snyder’s fifth film and third screenplay you would have thought he’d be competent enough to whip up at least a half decent movie. However this is not the case as instead he throws up this childish dribble.
Set at an undisclosed time, the story begins with a nameless character (Emily Browning) going through difficulties at home as her abusive father torments her and her sister after the death of her mother. Shortly after this nameless character is sent to an insane asylum come night club after she is blamed for the death of her little sister.
When at the asylum, she receives the nickname Babydoll as she finds that dancing is taught to the patients to help them overcome their troubles. However Babydoll is special (why wouldn’t she be), when she begins to dance she begins to enter a world of her imagination where she has to defeat some generic obstacles such as dragons, Nazi zombies, robots and so on. Babydoll is quick to realises that she can paralyse men when they watch her dance and she begins to form a simplistic and naïve plan to escape from the power crazy owner Blue (Oscar Isaacs) before the doctor arrives to lobotomise her in a few days time. With the help of a few other inmates such as Rocket (Jena Malone), her uptight sister Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), the ironically named Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and the unfortunately boringly named Amber (Jamie Chung) they set out to collect four various item which in some way will aid their escape.
In quite a surprising turn Snyder, who has made some good pieces of work, has out done himself as Sucker Punch is one of the most stupid and insipid movies you’ll see this year. The terrible plot is covered by flashy fight scenes which resample an anime sooner than a comic book. The visuals are quite impressive but I falls flat as the context is so preposterous it’s ridicules. The thought that when a character dances she fights generic looking robot is so contradictory it just makes it feel as if Snyder has no respect for dancing and replaces it with a twelve year olds wet dream.
When watching the movie it’s hard not to notice the portrayal of both sexes which Snyder puts forward. If it wasn’t offensive enough to cast only beautiful women from different cultures (one for everyone) who blame men for all the evil in the world, the men in the movie are at times so blinded by their penis’ that they boil down to nothing more than dumb fifties archetypes of a manly men. The machismo is through the roof like the skimpy outfits the women wear when running around the imaginative world. It seems Snyder was aiming more for Sin City in tone then his last audience splitter Watchmen.
Then when you begin to see the characters more clearly you begin to realise that none of the girls are even slightly insane. It isn’t made clear if this is an intentional One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest similarity but it seems it’s more down to a bad script. But that obviously isn’t where the criticism on the script ends. A lot of things are so contrived in the script such as the insane asylum come club (which is more a whore house) who’s workers only gain a sense of morality towards the end after some futile sacrifices and murders of the patients.
The only redeeming fact is that some of the antigravity like fight scenes are impressive which doesn’t compliment Snyder as it does the fight choreographer. The stylish sword swinging as well as the artificial visuals which looks to be mostly green screen do make the film worth seeing but audiences will become restless and soon bored of the subtle distraction to a very flawed movie.
With all it’s flash visuals and smooth choreography, Sucker Punch is nothing more the a horrendous pop corn movie. The film will sell tickets though and audiences will feel cheated as the advertisement promised a better movie all round. All that is left is an immature portrait of mental health which merges into a twelve year olds wet dream. It’s uninspiring and boring. It appears that the genre for a character who deals with troubles in an insane asylum (ala Girl Interpreted, I’m A Cyborg, But That’s Ok) is over as it has become as cut and paste as the last film.