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  • Warning: Spoilers
    Don't look at the movie the way it is. You can hate it for whatever reasons you like but this movie isn't just stupid, soulless and pointless sexual fantasy. There is more thought put into it than you could ever imagine. Too bad critics panned the movie for the things that couldn't comprehend and the audience went with it.

    The whole thing is a big fantasy that does not exist or happening in the real world. The movie is actually about Sweet Pea(Abbie Cornish). She is the star of the show. Snyder made that very clear from the start. Babydoll(Emily Browning) is a figment of Sweet Pea's imagination. She is the physical embodiment of Sweet Pea. She is the 5th thing. She is the guardian angel that Sweet Pea created to deal with her trash life. The entire film is a reflection of the internal struggle of Sweet Pea. That's why she is the one who's narrating the film. The stuff that we've seen with Babydoll during the first act, that's all Sweet Pea acting out her past trauma in her mind, just as she was taught to do in the mental institution. That's why the movie opens on a stage that direct parallel to how Sweet Pea is acting out that same trauma on a stage when Babydoll first arrives in the mental institution aka the theater. After that, the lobotomy comes, the key to everything that happens in the movie. Reimagined through Babydoll perspective, Sweet Pea disassociates from reality when the needle plunges into her brain, retreating into her mind in the same way she's taught to by Dr. Gorski. She's not in the real world anymore. This is also what happened in Sweet Pea's real life. And the effect of that lobotomy is the goddamned movie. Yes, this movie is the result of a lobotomy. Just one big subconscious coping mechanism for Sweet Pea to find peace. And this girl is able to interrupt the lobotomy, intruding on her own story. She's even able to repurpose the accidental killing of her sister into a deliberate and necessary sacrifice on her sister's part to save her. In this second layer of fantasy, Sweet Pea imagines herself and the rest of the girls working in a brothel, objectified and lusted after by an audience. This mirrors us tuning in to see these girls perform for us in various outfits. This connection is made clear from the opening of the film, which lets us know that we're the audience watching all this unfold on stage. By choosing to watch the movie, we are complicit in everything that's happening. Of course, this doesn't mean to condemn you for wanting to see nubile girls kicking ass. What this movie is really about is the difference between empowerment and exploitation. This is represented through three layers of fantasy, first was the mental institution, second is the brothel, third is the fantasy-action scenes, each exploring a different set of social values, each aligning with different phases of the feminist movement. First up is a grim incarnation of the '60s -the mental institution- set during the second wave of the feminist movement, when gender inequality was much more widespread. That gender inequality is amplified in the second world -the brothel- which takes us back even further, to a time when women were literally treated like property. And finally we have the pop culture world -the world of today, action scenes- which imagines Babydoll's dancing through various aspects of modern geek culture, dressing the girls up in all the typical fetishistic attire we've come to expect video games, TV, movies, etc... Sweet Pea is aware of how sick this is and rejects that Baby Doll's dancing could possibly be empowering. It's only through seeing its effect on men does she start to see how much power they really have, as the girls start taking back the control they've lost by using men's objectification of them to their advantage. By embracing their sexuality instead of fearing it, they learn that their inherent femininity can be better used as a means of holding men under their sway. Suddenly, it's the men who become helpless instead of them. Point being, men may be in a position to physically overpower women, but women have the power to psychologically overpower men, thus inverting history's long-standing power dynamic between men and women. This is then mirrored to very much the same effect in the action fantasy scenarios - a symbolic gesture on Snyder's part to show women taking back geek culture, which men have been dominating with their boy club mentality and pervasive misogyny for far too long. This is demonstrated further once we cut back to Babydoll's lobotomy after Sweet Pea has found peace. While Sweet Pea busy imagining that she's taking the magic school bus to a better world, Blue has plans of his own. But its no use, she's already escaped, even if it's only mentally. Sweet Pea sacrifices her body -Babydoll- and retreats into the comfort of her own mind, a paradise over which nobody has control of but her. Blue may have control over her body, but without her mind, he has nothing. The importance of this is also apparent during Babydoll's encounter with the High Roller, who recognizes that the choice to truly be with someone lies with you and you alone. As the scene with the High Roller reaffirms, the distinction between exploitation and empowerment all comes down to personal choice. And that is just half of the point this movie trying to make. Women deserve just as much control over their bodies as they have over their minds. You can interpret this movie so many ways, it's beyond belief. It gives you so many options to think. It's really funny that the one who made this kind of a movie and the one who is trying to defend it is a male. But it is what it is. If this movie made by someone like Stanley Kubrick, probably everyone would have tried to decipher the depth of it and wouldn't have even minded the bad reviews.

    It's really sad that people turn off their brains and see everything literal, and never uses their brain to read the images that appear on the screen when they see a Snyder film.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    In a world filled with mindlessly violent movies and flimsy plots with practically nothing to substantiate the actions of the characters, I went into this movie looking for mindless violence and girls-with-guns escaping reality and an asylum and not much more.

    What I found instead was apparently missed by a lot of other people out there. I read reviews that said this movie was soulless and pointless sexual fantasy. I don't know what movie they saw…because that wasn't this movie.

    This movie wasn't about a girl escaping reality by setting up a fantasy within a fantasy and using those fantasies to escape an institution in reality. This movie was about a young woman who had accepted a hopeless fate, but is saved by someone she eventually calls an angel…told from the angel's point of view. This is not Babydoll's story. Yet she still brought down the beast.

    This movie was not about a boy's fantasy about girls in short skirts and fishnets holding big guns and a really cool sword. For one thing, boys tend to like bloodshed. Girls tend to like looking awesome. (Please note, I am using the phrase "tend to like" on purpose. I do like bloodshed on occasion and I am a girl. I know those of the male set of the species who also like to look awesome. I'm making a separate point here.) There is very little bloodshed in this movie. The steam-work soldiers did not bleed. They're already dead. The other creatures, the robots, the dragons… There's practically no blood shed within the fantasy. There is a highly sexual look to the movie. Babydoll is sexually objectified by her stepfather and the orderlies and the guards. Is it any wonder that her first reality-escaping-fantasy is a brothel? And then, within that fantasy, she uses her ability to dance provocatively to render the men motionless, thoughtless, and incapable of noticing anything else around them. It's called a power trip. Every woman wants to be sexy. Every woman wants to be that capable of holding every man's attention that completely. It was Babydoll's way of using that sexual objectivity as a weapon. And that weapon carries into the next level of her fantasy, becoming a handgun with cartoonish animal charms dangling - taking a weapon and adding a distinctively feminine touch to it - and a really sweet katana engraved with intricate and delicate designs.

    This movie was about heroes and self-sacrifice. It was not about women in lingerie holding weapons. It was about using everything you have to fight for freedom - and that your freedom is not the only freedom worth fighting for. This is not Babydoll's story. It may not be yours. But it's still worth telling.

    Oh yeah, and one more thing: If someone fights for your right to breathe free, fight for the next person's right. You won't know whose story this is until the end.
  • mort3466 April 2011
    Nearly every review you read for this film will say the same thing, it's a 'love or hate' movie, and there's a very good reason for this. "Sucker Punch" is not the film you were expecting, whatever that might have been, particularly if you were expecting a hyper-masculine affair a la "300". If anything it is hyper-feminine; at its core this is a movie about women struggling against the evil male influences in their lives. That doesn't mean it isn't loaded with action - it really is, and it is beautiful, but if you're looking for an easy watch, this isn't for you. In terms of sheer originality, this movies narrative style is right up there with classics like Pulp Fiction and Memento, but there is a downside to this - you need to keep an open mind. If you can't watch this movie, at least once without - and this may sound weird, but you'll get what I mean when you watch it - demanding to know exactly what is going on, right the hell now, it will lose you, and it won't get you back. But if you can keep an open mind, right till the end, at the very least it will give you a lot to think about

    On the other hand, don't go thinking that is all it has to offer. It is visually stunning in a way that makes director's like Michael Bay and (dare I say it) James Cameron, look like blind toddlers with a handy-cam strapped to their heads. As for the music, it's not often I'm afraid of giving spoilers for a movies soundtrack, I'll say that much, and every track fits the movie perfectly.

    I'm going to shoot myself in the foot here, but when it comes to this movie, don't listen to the reviews, and just go see it. I really think time will tell with this one on that front. I can't promise you'll like it, but I can promise you'll remember it 6 months from now, and how many movies can you say that about?
  • Action, fantasy, flaunting natural babe, different eras and did I mention hot chicks? Yes, stay away if you like fantasy. Otherwise, this is why i buy DVDs
  • I originally wrote a review the day after I saw Sucker Punch. I panned it. To me my initial feelings were rather lukewarm at best.

    But then I gave it some time.

    And as I went through my days afterward my mind would wander back to the story and think about the visual food for thought.

    Yeah, the girls are hot. Yeah, the action is over the top, but if you look at the emotional landscape that is being explored in a more literal fashion via the action then yeah, this is a pretty cool idea.

    Sometimes films come along that are a "sucker punch" in terms of originality. The general public usually reacts negatively to it which leads to poor box office results. But later on the audience has had a chance to digest what was given and revisits the film and breaths new life into it.

    My prediction is that such a situation will happen with Sucker Punch. It'll probably not recoup its initial budget at the box office. People will flood the IMDb forum with reasons why it did not work. We will probably see about a few dozen threads at least where people will vent their reasons why they hate the film and why you too should not see it.

    But given some time it will recoup via video sales and other distribution deals.

    Why?

    Because it's still a solid story. The style of the movie is an Otaku's wet dream, but overall result is still the same: it does surprise and give ample food for thought.

    Think of it as stylized parable about repression, personal will and sacrifice. Because sooner or later after all the negative backlash and reviews blow by those emotional messages will be all that will be left.

    And people will remember it for that reason.
  • Here's the thing about this movie, its demanding. You have to be able to let go, realize that it's stylized after a modern comic book (of the adult genre), and just go with the movie. Let it take you on its ride, which is a beautiful/wonderful thing.

    You also have to pay attention. This movie is layered in metaphor and is way more cerebral than one might expect. You have to work to understand what's going on and part of that work is letting it take you away.

    If you can do this, and your friends can do this, you will have hours of conversation afterwards about what it all means, what the metaphors mean, and what was actually happening in the 'prime' reality of the insane asylum.

    If you can't do this you will probably think the movie is stupid, contrived, and pointless. But you would be wrong.

    Oh...and beyond all that stuff above...the fight scenes are an absolute nerdgasm, a sci-fi/fantasy orgy of epic proportions.

    Steam-punk Nazi Zombies... I came out of that movie feeling like I just had a threesome with Isaac Asimov and Anne McCaffery.

    I absolutely loved it.
  • You know why I own it on DVD? Because when I watch movies I want action. I want violence. I want force. I want flaunting thin babes showing me their slender bodies. Sue me. I am a man. I don't want a film that looks like my day-to-day when I walk by the shopping plaza and fat women are munching on donuts and coffee. This was fun, had good CGI, there was action and the babe was super thin. I will rewatch this often (sorry all the stupid remakes out there!).
  • After absorbing myself in the world of Zach Snyder's "Sucker Punch" for a while, including one viewing at IMAX, one in my local theater, and multiple listens to the soundtrack, I felt the unusual calling to dump my thoughts out regarding this haunting, beautiful, polarizing, and brilliant film.

    From the first trailer I saw, I'd been anticipating the release. Usually this is bad, as it means my expectations are built up and it will take an outstanding performance to meet those expectations. Turns out, Sucker Punch is everything I'd hoped it would be, and more. Some would say that in art we see what we want to see, though maybe it's true also that we see what we are prepared to see. Here's what I saw and felt about the film, why it resonated with me and why many people didn't like it: Within the first five minutes, I knew I was in for a treat. The film opens with an excellent cover of "Sweet Dreams" by the film's lead actress. The initial scenes are otherwise silent and the storytelling is all visual. Yes, you're about to experience a film that is basically a 120-minute music video. But that's not all. It's also an action extravaganza AND it's cerebral to boot.

    Right out the gate, from as early as the opening sequence (where we enter through a state and later rain on a car window forms the movie's title), this film announces that you should shut off your disbelief. It's fantasy at all levels and doesn't have to make sense to entertain or ask provocative questions, both out loud and suggested.

    Thank goodness for the fantasy elements as had this been a movie about an escape attempt from an abuse-steeped asylum, it would have been immeasurably depressing. Snyder's vision protects the audience from what Baby Doll, Sweet Pea, and the rest were experiencing in the "reality" of the film probably more effectively than Baby Doll's fantasies protected her from those horrible experiences. As it is, the film is sad enough in its portrayal and suggestion of certain negative themes like incarceration, lobotomies, aggression, rape, corruption, and betrayal. On the other hand, it's also a film that is both empowering and moving.

    In contrast to the dark themes, we also have several positive themes like the individual's search for freedom, teamwork, giving, love, forgiveness, risk, and courage. This film likely upsets many viewers because it doesn't exactly have a happy ending. (An approach which tends to spell failure at the American box office.) I enjoy the apparent contradictions it presents to the audience. One popular debate is whether the film is empowering to women. I think this debate in particular misses the point of the film, and takes too much at face value, but it does show how polarizing the movie is.

    The conversation, both internal with yourself and external with others, about what is portrayed in the film can be difficult for one to consider, which is likely why it's a turn-off for so many. The critics may be upset by the questions it provokes about themselves. Cognitive dissonance encourages them to just forget all the issues, label the film a piece of garbage, and move on. Other viewers were likely upset by the film's darkness - it certainly made me uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean the movie was bad. For those of us looking deeper, there are all manner of important questions provoked.

    People are being abused. What are you doing about it? Is reality a prison? If reality is a prison, as the trailer for the film states, what does that make you? Why are you here? Are you here to be "corrected" or to escape? Do you want to be free, or should you just shut up and let the guards continue to take advantage of you and the other prisoners? What will it take to escape? Are you willing to risk your life in the quest for freedom? Is Sucker Punch really just a action-extravaganza with no plot (as many critics would suggest), or is it a subtly and cleverly presented art film about your evolution and self-empowerment? The film even asks a series of provocative questions out loud in the final narration. I'm a panentheist, and I don't claim to know what Zack and Deborah Snyder believe, but my interpretation of the final narration is that it is reminding people of the divine dichotomy. We are individuals, but we're all connected to all-that-is. The world's horrors and beauty were created by us, collectively. What we see around us is a reflection of our collective beliefs. The contrast exists so you can continue to choose what you want. Will you consciously choose to evolve, expand, and therefore grow all-that-is? The film explains this by announcing that you have all the weapons you need and encourages you to "fight". Leave the realm of living life by default, and begin working towards freedom. Gather your tools (map, fire, knife, key) and don't forget the fifth element - love. Prepare yourself to lose everything and gain the perfect victory.

    The fight is not with swords and guns against horrible monsters outside you, but inside yourself. It's your task to vanquish your fear. That will set you free internally, which eventually will help free you (and the rest of us) externally. You may not make it out alive, but all-that-is will benefit from your efforts.

    Sucker Punch wasn't a mind-blower like The Matrix, but it was an entertaining, well-made action film with an intellectual layer and depth, for those who were prepared to receive it. I left the theater with conflicting feelings about what I'd seen. I liked that. It's a stunningly beautiful and poignant film. It was exactly what the trailer promised and more. Oh, and the soundtrack is pretty great, too! Consider me a fan.

    4.5/5 for the theatrical version. I'm looking forward to the director's cut.
  • Bloody amazing

    The film was bloody cool and it put me through a range of emotions, and was nearly in tears, and considering I've never cried at a film that's saying something, Even if you are not a fan of action/fantasy/hot slender babes you will find something to enjoy in this film
  • I personally enjoyed the film and I am a fan of Zack Snyder's previous films (Watchmen,300,and Dawn of the Dead). The visuals were pretty much stunning with very few exceptions, but they are easily forgiven and not distracting at all. The acting wasn't anything "Oscar" worthy, but then again it shouldn't be. The performances were very good for an action film and I like it that way. This films definitely attracts the teenage male demographics, who like action packed films filled with hot women. This film, however is not for everyone. Some people might not like CGI, some women might be offended that this film is very shallow, violent, and very degrading towards women.This is definitely the type of movie you'll either love or hate.

    My only problem with the movie is that the story doesn't seem fully realized… If you want to keep me interested you will need a lot more than 20 minutes of fantasy CGI sequences sprinkled throughout a 120 minute trek However go in this movie expecting to have a lot of fun! Overall the movie has stunning visuals, great action scenes, and worthwhile acting. I definitely recommend this movie to people looking to have a good time.
  • What more could you want?

    There was also a show, a brothel, Nazis, a monster, a samurai sword and even more babes running around and defying the odds.

    I loved it.
  • But a lot of fun, fantasy and action nonetheless. The film has quite a bit of creativity that has been put into it. Watch.
  • I recently saw Sucker Punch at an advance screening and thoroughly enjoyed it. To be honest, I am the target demographic here. I'm a guy in his twenties who plays video games and enjoys fantasy movies and action.... but this is a decent film overall. It appeals to my "sensible adult" side that appreciates a good, well written film, with great directing, great acting, and overall good cinematography. It also appeals to my "twenty-something male" side that loves sexy ladies, guns, killer robots, dragons, samurai and swordplay. The abundant CG is stunningly beautiful and doesn't feel overdone or become visually exhausting like some movies. This movie gets me. and I know that there will be a good number of people who dislike this movie, dismissing it as juvenile, or stupid. who dislike the amount of CGI used in this movie. I don't care... I love this movie for exactly what it is... a good movie that appeals to me in every way.
  • Sucker Punch is totally out there, and probably the only way to combine so many different things in a single story.

    The story telling is incomplete, in itself, but not the story. Most of it is told metaphorically. You get to imagine the rest. An easy thing to do is to dismiss the movie because of the beautiful women, or the intense and fantastical action. That is a grand mistake. The story is poignant and very sad, yet wrapped in a beautiful cinematographic cocoon. It's breathtaking. I kept wondering when the hammer blow of bad poorly constructed elements would descend upon me and disappointment, break my heart. It never did.

    The dialogs might look simple, and the story line really quick, but their complementing information is in the magic of the metaphors. It's an incredible ride led by the excellent acting of those gorgeous creatures and genius directorial mind, as well as the superb editing and CGI.

    Ride the wave, shed a tear, see it.
  • "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. She meets the people-in-charge, Blue (Oscar Isaac) and Dr. Gorski (Carla Gugino) as well as the other girls in the institute: Rocket (Jena Malone) and her sister Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Amber (Jamie Chung) and Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens).

    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.

    Snyder goes the way of Tarantino in appropriating and amalgamating artistic and stylistic influences from the most conspicuous of genres and mediums. Within the real world or whatever the relative equivalent of what exists in this film's dark and twisty tone, the film uses templates in the vein of sexploitation female prison grind-house features from the 60s and 70s like "Love Camp 7", "99 Women", "Caged Heat" and the grandmother of them all, 1950's "Caged". As the film progresses into its action-oriented enterprises, it quickly recalls the dizzying array of cut-scenes from video-games and punk anime-style design in how it encompasses the digital environment. Snyder's thematic goal is to situate the idea of imagination as a coping mechanism for terror, a concept seen recently in "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Tideland". The landscape of the mind is uniquely realised here by Snyder, who etches a remarkable amount of detail into each CGI frame, an hyperbolised celebration of artifice and invention that is at once magnificent and exhilarating as it is compelling and spellbinding.

    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.
  • With 300, Zack Snyder has made it abundantly clear that his movies dazzle they eyes, indeed they do, but his characters never engage the audience in a personal and emotional level. And Sucker Punch is just that. A visually dazzling collage of mental insanity taken to the extreme with a fairly interesting premise that looks promising on the surface, but never truly lets you sink your teeth into the inner workings of the main character.

    Emily Browning plays Babydoll, a blond bombshell who is placed in a mental institution by her cold stepfather, and is then seen trying to persuade the orderlies into lobotomizing her to keep her from giving details surrounding a tragedy in her life. However, Babydoll begins to create a dreamworld in which not only to pass the time, but to figure a way out of the asylum.

    As if that makes any sense whatsoever, here are the main problems with Sucker Punch that's been plaguing modern cinema; no plot and character development. Barely any of the characters that the protagonist meets are developed. They're just static talking heads spouting out lines that are trying to hammer into the audience that they are more than just cliché's and cardboard cutouts. The acting feels stiff and artificial with no sense of tension or suspense. You never feel that the characters are in real danger of any kind. It just goes thru the motions and despite having a nice premise to go on, the film feels like a half-ass-ed attempt to be something new and fresh.

    Sucker Punch has some merits. The special effects and action scenes are impressive. I did get a kick out of some of the battle scenes which are nicely choreographed and executed with lots of explosions. Watching it is sort of like looking at a silent film on steroids but minus the heart and soul of that bygone era.

    The incredible aesthetic beauty and action choreography are a lot impressive than Snyder's 300. But the problem with Sucker Punch is that even in a fantasy film, or any action film for that matter, you have to put effort into making the audience care for your characters no matter how good looking the action and special effects are. You simply won't care who lives or dies in this film. At some point, you have to try to make the audience care. This film simply never does.

    I think that I got my point across perfectly clear regarding this film. If it entertained you, fine, then it did it's job. The problem is is that there's nothing remotely remarkable about this film aside from the visual aspect of this film. If more time was spent fleshing out the story, characters, with a more coherent script, then this could've been a really good film. But since so much potential was utterly wasted, I have no choice but to give my grade and it's a D.
  • I have been absolutely pumped for this movie since I first saw the trailer for it last summer. I'm fresh from viewing it, and I have to say that it's not quite what I expected, though not necessarily in a bad way. To those who haven't seen it, two words: Do it. But be open to the fact that it will almost certainly not be exactly what you expect. Although it looks like a somewhat mindless kick ass, eye candy flick, don't be fooled: there is a pretty good story here, and its deeper than your first impression of it will be, also. Oh, and don't try and predict the ending.

    After you watch it, you will need to process what actually happened, but put your thinking cap on- because its deeper than you think.

    All in all, the acting was good enough (though it didn't blow my mind), the visuals are stellar (did blow my mind) and the soundtrack is amazing (where is my mind?). Definitely worth seeing. 8/10
  • What is likely to be the most underrated movie experience of the year, Zack Snyder's barrage of girls, gun and giant samurai is a misunderstood effort from the man behind 2009's excellent adaptation of Watchmen. Yes it's not without flaws, yes it can be predictable (especially the "5th item") but it doesn't mean that it isn't everything that most films seem to miss these days: fun.

    Fun isn't usually associated with child abuse and an asylum but that is where the curtain opens the audience at. An opening silence gives great anticipation, a tragedy occurs and protagonist Baby Doll is shunted into an asylum by her step-father, where she awaits lobotomy in five days' time.

    It should be said at this point that this review is coming from someone who openly loathes the style over substance limbo of an era in which we live, what with CGI and 3D being used as an excuse for anything considered a showcase for this technology.

    Sucker Punch boasted a similar exercise course of stylish nonsense yet the finished result left this reviewer in a state of pleasant surprise; the concept was highly original – though sprinkled with an influx of other influences which ultimately could have been the films downfall had the context they been used in feel more of a parody than a series of dream sequences. Orcs, dragons and robots have never been more refreshing out of their native genres.

    As the visuals go, there was never going to be an issue there. It's easily Snyder's best looking film to date, and for a written debut the plot is on par with the heavily –action orientated 300 in that it takes a back seat once the films' issue has been established. It's only noticeable dent in its armour is the characterisation, or rather lack of characterisation. For a film nearing the two hour mark the audience are relatively unrewarded when trying to relate to any of the five heroines' of the story.

    It may be great to see that Baby Doll, Blondie, Sweet Pea, Amber and Rocket haven't been assigned to overused archetypes – that would be taking the easy route, yet there's not even been a road taken here. The characters as such remain relatively hollow, being left as shell-less, albeit undeniably attractive characters.

    There's not even, what you could coin as a 'Fenster' wherein a character with next to nothing about them can morph into something noticeable, even memorable. They are what could be the fully-fledged realisation Pulp Fiction's Fox Force Five, each an assassin with their own weapon speciality; perhaps this is how the audience is supposed interpret their personalities, each instrument being reflective of the character using it.

    That is my only complaint, everything else did, as Big Daddy put it: "Knock(ed) me for a loop", with three particular, but unspoiled scenes, breaking a monotony that had infected the infinite amount brainless action films that have preceded Sucker Punch – and sadly continue to follow after it. While the scenes aren't anything ground-breaking they play to Zack's strengths – detaching from the action so it does not cease to stand impressive next time round and focusing on the realism that confronts them back in the reality.

    Critics have mauled it, calling it "dull", "senseless" and even "plot less" yet the fact many fans have interpreted it as having meanings on a deeper level, particularly the importance of Sweet Pea's character, suggests there may have been a certain naivety from critics - a definite contribution to its growing cult status (there is an excellent interpretation on the IMDb Message Board that is worth a look). You could also throw weapon argument mentioned above into the mix for further evidence of such ignorance - I also stand guilty of missing this possibility.

    The film has also been accused of being overtly sexist, but drawing another parallel to 300, 300 men are seen topless and not a single complaint is raised. But five scantily-clad women and one imaginary brothel are seen and all hell has broken loose. 300 got a reasonable 60% on Rotten Tomatoes and Sucker Punch just 22%; both are relatively balanced in terms of their stories, character's and direction yet the reception of each is hugely unbalanced. It effectively asks who the sexist ones really are.

    Sucker Punch is misunderstood, not question about it. It's not the genre changing cult films that Blade Runner or Donnie Darko are, but it certainly deserves the fans that it has generated and I for one eagerly anticipate the Extended Cut to see what else it has to offer.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SPOILERS AHEAD!

    I'm from Argentina and here this movie was premiered today, one day before the rest of world.

    Sucker punch has great action, production and music but there's one big problem which is the same problem many many directors and producers and filmmakers in general keep doing: The script is BAD.

    Today I learned that not even Zack Snyder can save a bad script.

    The main character gets confined to a mental asylum for reasons that stop being important once she is inside (for the rest of the movie). There, she flashes a weird burlesque world slightly related to the real world. and there, she flashes another world which is pure fantasy. This flashy third world has the cool action that we want to see. sadly it doesn't work at all, since nothing there makes sense. She finds suddenly turned into a super powered chick who fights robots, Nazis, dragons and samurais. Who are them? nobody. Why does she fight them? No reason. What if she loses the fight? We don't know. Who gives a damn then about them? Well, not me. Of course, after we start to see that her actions there mean something in the real world (actually it's not the real world either) but it's already too late. We see the first fight without caring about it since it doesn't have a background at all. And that transfers to all the rest.

    Some of the actors were good but many of them have the problem of having to act a scene that makes no sense at all and that hurts their performances really bad. The perfect example of this is the doctor that lobotomizes her, having to repeat the "there was a creepy look in her eyes" speech like 5 times to make the audience believe it.

    It's sad that all those good action scenes fell flat for the lack of story. When I saw the first action scene versus the samurais (the best one by far) I thought: "Man!! if I had this one action scene alone at the end after a great movie with good characters I'd been totally happy. No need for more action than this in a well constructed movie." of course, I was able to think that so early cause the fatal flaw of the movie was all exposed already.

    Aniway. Nice action and nothing else.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This film could not be more appropriately titled. I was a "sucker" to pay good money to see this slop, and I felt like "punching" writer/producer/director Zach Snyder for putting me (and many others) through it.

    In addition to Snyder's ("Watchman," "300") "point-the-camera-and-get-away" direction, there's the horrid acting (a term I use more than loosely) of Emily Browning and others. Add to that the convoluted storyline and not-so-special effects, and you easily have one of the worst movies of the year.

    What small plot this picture has features Babydoll (Browning) as a much abused stepdaughter placed in a "Shutter Island"-type 1950s mental institution. There, she meets a group of equally terrible actresses and begins her flights of fantasy. Browning seems to have one expression, a sad-sack, dopey-eyed, head-cocked look that makes Anna Faris' thespian abilities look like Katharine Hepburn's.

    With this group, she delves into an "Inception"-like world of multi-layered dimensions, fighting giant killer robots, massive zeppelins, German zombies from World War I. These scenes are all one big CGI mess that - to some, I suppose - are going to appear impressive, but when all is said and done give the (intelligent) viewer one large headache.

    Meanwhile, an oriental-like wise man (Scott Glenn, "The Right Stuff," "Hunt For Red October") waxes philosophical about finding a map, a key, fire, a knife and other mundane items which are supposed to make this film somewhat deep. Glenn, by the way, only was considered for this role because David Carradine had passed away.

    To waste any more words on this slick piece of garbage would only serve to justify Snyder's pathetic vision of titillating teenage males by enticing them them with nearly bare-breasted, violent adolescent girls with guns and martial arts skills.

    Take my advice here; unless you're a confused young women with anger and appearance issues, or a horny 14-year old boy, avoid this movie like the bubonic plague. No matter what kind of money you save by doing so, eventually, you will thank me for it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm not sure how this movie got such rave reviews by some people, oh wait yes I can, the ONLY people who can possibly like this film are fantasy/anime/comic book junkies!

    Where do I begin... First and foremost, the biggest upset of this movie is the plot, which flip flopped back and forth, with no real point or purpose for the most part - and not in a creative/unique way. The plot starts off in some wannabe 'Inception' idea, with a fantasy inside a fantasy. Baby Girl goes from about to get a lobotomy (odd enough as it is), to going to a story inside a story, which ends with the lobotomy ending (basically the story in between the lobotomy was never explained outside the fantasy, and couldn't have happened since the lobotomy happened from the beginning of her entering the insane asylum).

    Now for the second level of the story: So Baby Girl and her pose are trying to escape their slavery from the burlesque/whore house, and they must obtain 4 items and a "mystery" in order to escape, which is all fine and good. However, in the process of obtaining these items, Baby Girl and/or her pose enter the third fantasy/story aspect of the film, which is COMPLETELY NON RELATED TO ANY OTHER ASPECT OF THE FILM, and is replaced with pretty much every popular fantasy/fiction battle scene from the last 30 years of movie history. From a generic samurai sword/battle battle, to a Nazi war scene with some mech machines, to a scene literally right out of Lord of the Rings with Orcs, a castle, and dragons, to a Unstoppable(runaway train scene)/Matrix/Terminator/Defuse a bomb scene, the plot is a mess! I was waiting for some fairies, elfs, werewolves, vampires, or unicorns to come up next, but I'm sure they are saving those for sucker punch 2!

    Aside from the plot, there were some other major issues. The soundtrack consisted of about 3 songs (or at least the same artist since they all sounded the same), It was so predictable that there would be nothing but hard chick rock. I think the movie tried way too hard to emphasize the hardcore, tough chick act; yet they still always have to have women look like little sex dolls when they battle, with perfect makeup, tits hanging out, and short skirts.

    The volume of the audio was WAY off, in some dialog scenes the words were barely audible, yet in the battle scenes, the sound was so loud that you couldn't even think, and after the movie my ears were ringing as if I were standing right next to the speaker at a Metallica concert. I even plugged my ears at some points to attempt to save my hearing, and I could still hear the sound perfectly. I'm sorry but blasting music does NOT make a movie better.

    I typically enjoy fantasy/super hero movies, but this one failed on all levels for me. I feel there was almost no effort in the writing of this movie, almost as if it were an after thought. The actors all seemed second rate, the crying was clearly fake and lacked emotion. Oscar Isaac seemed like he was trying too hard to be like Joker from Batman, yet he showed no genuine emotion in the scene where he executes the two girls (that execution scene had no place in this film, it made no sense, look around the theater after this scene and you will see most people scratching their head).

    If I could rate the CG alone, it's easily an 8 or 9 out of 10, but the terrible plot, mediocre acting, and overblown-everything ruined it for me. If you honestly enjoy this movie, you have to be lying to yourself, or foolishly attempting to defend it based solely on the fact that it has fantasy/comic book aspects.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Even with millions of bullets flying through the air, dozens of swords swinging & the hundreds of punches these hotties take, not one of these girls ever gets a single scratch during the battles. After the first brawl pitting the Girls Club against steam-powered Germans & ferocious shooting planes it's so painfully obvious that none of the girls will be in any real danger that the big budget special effects are just fluff & overkill. What's the point of all the bullets & bad guys if the chicks are indestructible? By the second battle it's just so irritating watching these females punch, kick, shoot, jump & slice their way through crowds of bad guys when they could have just walked & not gotten hurt. The story is clever but watching chicks that fight again & again & can't possibly be defeated is not one-tenth as interesting as watching people who can actually die in battle.
  • mr_budalah27 March 2011
    1/10
    awful
    Warning: Spoilers
    I'm sick and tired of wasting my time watching garbage because of reviewers on IMDb have gone soft...

    Lately, meaning last two years or so, except for a few titles like "Shutter Island", "Inception", "The King's speech"etc., that have met the expectations, because of some real great professionals were involved, there was a ton of shitty films. I think... I HOPE! it's because of the financial crisis that turns even artists into money hungry cons.

    This is one film that could've, should've revitalized the industry but failed to do so because of greedy director, producer, etc... Dude, you don't mix heavy drama, psychological tension, sexy teenagers, sci-fi, tons of cgi, and constant action, together in a big pot and hope that because of the fact that you used all the best and most expensive ingredients you'll get a smashing result! It is Crap! better of with a low budget-good plot movie. It is too much, and instead of getting our attention, it bored us, too much of everything for almost none strong backbone plot... "Punisher 3" would have been far better, I would have enjoyed it more, no matter how cheesy it would have been...

    "Sucker Punch", in my opinion is a big screw up.

    P.S.: Thought that baby doll girls with head drama would fantasize something that wouldn't involve heavy guns, monsters, swordplay, Nazis, dragons, orcs, mechanized samurai, robots, mechs, zombies, etc... I'm almost sure I missed something... That is only a boy's sweet dream. I think that both the producer, and director, woke up all wet and hard one day, and decided to put their wet dreams into a movie.

    I recommend this sort of action-fantasy-drama-psychological-horror-thriller flick, to twisted teenage horny boys who enjoyed "sailor moon" with napkins instead of popcorn...
  • zetes27 March 2011
    Warning: Spoilers
    A crime against the cinema. It's too bad. I honestly have enjoyed Zack Snyder's films in the past, besides that crappy owl movie he made last year. I'd classify them more as guilty pleasures than actual good movies, but I found them entertaining and neat to look at. Sucker Punch, though, combines all his worst traits and adds a script that he himself wrote (along with co-writer Steve Shibuya). His previous films were all adaptations, three of picture books and one a remake of a George A. Romero classic. He didn't have to think much himself to make those neat images. Sucker Punch demonstrates that he just doesn't have the ability to think of things himself. It's a movie that combines mental hospitals, burlesque shows, giant samurai warriors, half-mechanical zombie-Nazis, mech suits, orcs, dragons, killer robots, and atomic bombs, pretty much every cool thing one can think of.

    And then one might guess that the problem is overkill. It isn't (well, that may be a smaller problem). The major problem is that there's not a single thing we haven't seen before here. Also, the plot is created in the worst possible way. The skeleton of it is pretty much identical to Inception. While this film had to have been conceived beforehand, so you can't blame it for ripping Nolan's film off, that's just one more strike against it. Emily Browning plays a girl who accidentally kills her sister while trying to defend her from her rampaging stepfather. She's sent to a mental hospital, where she hides behind two levels of reality. In the first level down, she's the new girl at a burlesque house/whorehouse. Snyder inserts a very video game-esque premise: she and her hooker friends (Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung) are basically sex slaves, and they must find five objects to help them escape. Now, up to this point, the film is tolerable. It's not good, but it's watchable. The girls are very attractive, and the visuals are kind of old-fashioned and nice to look at.

    But here comes the third level: whenever the girls are about to steal the next thing they need to escape, they all descend into a fantasy world which is about the most video game-like thing to ever appear in a movie. Well, kind of. There was Scott Pilgrim vs. the World last year. That one actually used video games in a clever, metaphorical way, and it did it with its tongue in its cheek. Snyder really thinks we want to watch people play video games on the big screen. The worst thing was, after I experienced the abject horrors of how boring this could possibly be the first time, I realized I was going to have to sit through this same thing four more times. Oh, these sequences are beyond awful, with these girls fighting through dozens of not-very-great-looking CGI Nazis, robots, orcs, whatever. This is the worst parts of every event movie of the past decade mashed into never-ending sequences. There's nothing logical about the existence of these sequences. The funny thing is, in that second level of reality, while these fantasy sequences are going on, Browning is dancing sexily in front of whomever the girls want to distract. I think Snyder had to have known that the premise that this girl is such a sexy dancer that anyone watching her would be so utterly distracted that the other girls could steal from them was laughably ridiculous. But, watching the movie, I'm not so sure he was smart enough to realize this. He's also not smart enough to realize that the audience this film was intended for would probably rather be watching the girl dance sexily than watch these hot girls play video games in front of us.

    While these video game sequences are some of the worst cinema I've ever experienced, and about the worst bit of narrative, as well, Snyder isn't done completely screwing up. He completely miscalculates which characters the audience gives a damn about. He also doesn't make any sense of the connection between the first and second levels of reality (we'll thankfully forget about the third), and characters whom we met in the second level but not in the first aren't able to connect to the audience when we meet them there. The film ends with a character whom we don't know and don't give a crap about. And then I stand up and flee the theater, and it's all I can do not to start a riot in the lobby.
  • I attended the midnight showing of the film last night and here are my two cents:

    Let's start out with the fact that I really enjoyed the movie. It was no forest gump, but looking at the Director's history, no one should be expecting that anyway. Having previously directed Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen, this one fits in pretty well in the mix. The style is more Watchmen-esque than 300, but man may there be violence, and much appreciated! Oh, and the costumes are just what the demographic ordered. Though from the previews I may have been predisposed to expect a more straightforward storyline, kicking and fighting it's way to a climactic finish (possibly a little twist thrown in there); I was happily dazed enough to enjoy myself.

    As I write this I am still trying to piece together the understory and back goings of the film. When I initially left the theater, though stunned in a sense of sheer awe, I was quite sure that I "got" the whole idea: Pretty straightforward, classic Indie-esque Hollywood action film. Wrong. But as I lay in bed earlier this morning trying to gather my thoughts after waking up from a Sucker Punch of a dream, I realized that I had missed something: The morality of the film. It was deep, and the more I think about it the more I realize it. This film had more guts than I realize. It wasn't only great slo-mo, poster/wallpaper-worthy brilliance (Though that it was). It had real soul. In fact I'm toying with the idea of a second watch, sort of how you rematch the Matrix Reloaded just for that epic car chase scene; but hopefully here to also flesh out some of the ideals behind the whole thing.

    It was an epic struggle between hot chicks and bad guys, and worth the dollar for the big screen. And to boot, the film is on its way to passing my test: "Occupies my thoughts for the next couple days". And therefore I give it a burn-out and beat the Mustang-driving-teenager-in-the-lane next-to-you green light. If you liked Mr. Synder's (the Director) past films, you like action, or you like girls, or you're just a man; this is a good one. Go see it some night after your boss makes you sit through a two-hour meeting on Synergy. ...Then go home and change your wife's wardrobe for her. A
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