Archive: Sucker Punch (2011) A Review

Visually and Musically fascinating, narratively, it left a lot to be desired.  A definite case of Style over Substance.

Certificate: 12A

Director: Zack Snyder

Screenwriter:  Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya

Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish

Genre: Action, Fantasy

Runtime: 110 Minutes

Rating: 2.5 Stars

Reviewed by: Pearl

If only they could have written a story that made sense, or characters that had interesting stories, or had to do more then dance around in their underwear in order to save the day.  Emily Browning is worth so much more than the role she is given here.

After being sent to an asylum by her abusive step-father, and paying off the orderlies so ensure she is lobotomised, a young women creates a fantasy world for herself to help herself deal with what is happening.  In it, she and four other women, must collect 5 items that will aid in their escape, if they can do that without being caught, they will be free.

I don’t think I have watched a film that is quite this beautiful to look at for quite a long while.  It is beautifully stylized, and each ‘reality’ that ‘Baby Doll’ exists in, has it’s own visual style.  The fantasy reality being the one that screams ‘ZACH SNYDER DIRECTED THIS’ the most.  A lot of great stylized action sequences and dark backgrounds.  Fabulous use of SFX to result in fight sequences that almost look matrix-esque, but beyond that, not a great deal is going on.

‘Sweet Pea’ is the one character that probably has the most story, and she isn’t the main character, and even then, the MOST story, doesn’t in anyway mean that she has a lot of story.  The problem with films that deal with different realities, especially if you have more then one alternate reality in one film, is that they can become hard to control and things fall through the cracks, and that is what happens here.  Baby Doll comes up with a fantasy to help her through the events that are happening, in an already fantastical world she has created.  Two would have been fine and then we could maybe have focussed on the characters a little bit better.

It was interesting in the end, as she is walked through the hospital, to see all the people from her fantasies as they really are, not as the highly caricatured villains that she made them out to be.  Apart from Oscar Issac of course who I think is even worse in real life then he was in her exaggerated fantasy. 

If you haven’t already seen it, and you want something kinda fun, a one hit wonder kinds thing, then I can recommend it.  It won’t blow your mind, but it will blow a couple hours during this tedious time we are all stuck indoors.

Sucker Punch is currently available to stream for free on Amazon Prime.

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