110 Min. | Action – Adventure – Fantasy | April 2011
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Director: Zack Snyder
Staring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish
Sucker Punch Review: “Sucker Punch,” the latest barrage on the senses from writer-director Zack Snyder (“300”, “Watchmen”) is his first film that’s based on his own source material. And it proves to be quite stunning definition of pop filmmaking. In a triumphant marriage of style and tone, Snyder has created his own “Kill Bill” by going deep down into the rabbit hole. A glorious pastiche of colour, CGI and kinesis, “Sucker Punch” even through its obvious flaws, has set a new bar for graphic storytelling that attempts to transplant the purity of imagination onto the cinema screen. Essentially cohering around a simple premise – hot chicks kicking ass and taking names, the film’s bravura opening charts Baby Doll’s (Emily Browning) institutionalisation by a wicked stepfather after her mother’s death and her introduction to the asylum where damaged young women are sent to be kept away from society.
In Sucker Punch, the story that follows Baby Doll reveals a larger canvas of a clever narrative conceit that coincides three realities together (“Inception” comparisons, tread lightly), the first being the asylum, the second is a burlesque brothel run by Blue and trained by Gorski and the final and most resplendent one is Baby Doll’s hyper reverie focused on destroying the forces of evil – be it shogun titans, zombie Nazis or killer androids. The darker the reality preceding it, the deeper and more risky the wormhole of fantasies go. There is a real sense, despite its tremendous parade of visual set-pieces that Snyder wanted a narrative strong enough to endure the weight of spectacle, and in many respects he has. He uses the age-old device of character quests to propel the plot, peppering it with familiar consequences until he doesn’t.
The flow culminates in an intriguing final act that sets it a mark higher than anyone would have expected, or even needed from a film that already proudly wears its stripes as pure escapist entertainment. Werner Herzog once posited that the dearth of new and unique imagery that do not reflect the times we live in will be the death of civilisation. If anything, “Sucker Punch” truly defines the generation of filmmaking we exist in – a sophisticated and passionate emblem that delivers an overload of sugar high through the ideals of creating and maintaining a creative medley of pop-culture influences, bridged together with keen commercial sensibilities. Suddenly, Snyder holding on to the helms of the next Superman film makes more sense than it ever did. Overall, Sucker Punch is watchable.