Review – Sucker Punch

Every director has a personal ‘pet project’ they want to make but the only way they can ever make that film is to give a film studio a MAJOR hit. A film like ‘Inception’ was a reward for Christopher Nolan delivering bags of cash with ‘The Dark Knight’. Stephen Spielberg would have never been able to make ‘Schlinder’s List’ without delivering the goods with ‘Jurassic Park’. Zack Snyder dominated the box office with ‘300’ and got his reward with the muddled ‘Watchmen’ but it seems the rules have been broken and the man has been handed a second chance with ‘Sucker Punch’. ‘Sucker’ Punch’ is the story of Baby Doll (Emily Browning) who is sent to a mental institution by her abusive stepfather. In order to cope with her surroundings Baby Doll creates an alternative reality in her mind where she plans an escape with fellow inmates Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone) and Amber (Jamie Chung). ‘Sucker Punch’ is a muddled film with some great action and visuals let down by terrible performances and a convoluted plot.

The best thing about ‘Sucker Punch’ is the action sequences set in different alternate realities which range from a castle under siege from a dragon to a thrilling futuristic train with deadly robots. Most of it feels ripped straight from a video game or some crazy Japanese anime but it works and Snyder puts his own directorial twist on all the action sequences. The action is a lot of fun with the leads ripping up bad guys with samurai swords and different crazy weapons while dressed in costumes pulled straight out of the dreams of any red blooded meat eating male. ‘Sucker Punch’ treads the fine line between being a feminist’s nightmare while still having enough girl power beat the boys at their own game and it will be interesting to see people debate over whether the film gives power to women or simply takes it away and is considered sexist.

Despite its striking visuals ‘Sucker Punch’ has some huge flaws and it comes down to bad performances from the cast as well as some awful plotting. While all the leading ladies look great not much can be said about their acting which comes from a script filled with bad dialogue that works against them every time they speak. To make matters worse the plotting is all over the place and it takes a while for things to sink in. When things start to make sense Snyder tries to throw in a few twists that fail big time and there are some plot holes you could drive a 747 through. The plot is one big convoluted mess that shifts between a number of different realities without explanation and does nothing to push the story forward.

‘Sucker Punch’ delivers on action but fails with everything else and has all the makings of a cult film. You can guarantee that at the next fancy dress party or comic convention you attend the ‘Sucker Punch’ girls will defiantly be making an appearance…and I don’t really have a problem with that.


The Popcorn Junkie