Zack Snyder is not one to shy away from big, action packed and visually stunning films. 300 and Watchmen are two such films. But with his new film, Sucker Punch, Snyder seems to have gone too far. By trying to go it alone, doing the writing, producing and directing, he missed out elements that are needed to make a film stand on its own two feet.
Sucker Punch follows the story of Baby Doll (Browning), who is locked in a mental house and then forced to dance and perform other services at the hands of paying men. With the help of Sweat Pea (Cornish), Rocket (Malone), Blondie (Hudgens) and Amber (Chung), she seeks to escape from her prison before the high roller arrives in just five short days.
Baby Doll soon discovers that when she dances she escapes into her own world where anything is possible and finds her guardian angel is there to protect and guide her. When dancing, anyone who is watching becomes completely distracted allowing the other girls to steal the items they need to escape.
Before going to see this film you know it is going to be far fetched and unrealistic, but the film still goes too far and so many bits just don't make sense. There are so many visually mesmerising fight scenes involving dragons, robots, 20 foot ninjas and Nazis but inbetween, there is nothing holding it together. It seems to be fantasy after fantasy, straight out of the head of a teenage boy.
The girls' attire, apart from making them look stupidly good, didn't really have a place in the film. I can understand that while dancing, they would be dressed as they are, but when Baby Doll enters her own imagination, she has no reason to continue to dress in the same way, and the others certainly don't.
This film could have been the big break for all the girls involved but as there is little opportunity to show off any acting chops, the opportunity (unfortunately) appears to have passed them by. I wonder just how much time they spent not in front of a green screen. You have to give it to Snyder though, he does know how to make a fight scene gripping. The distinct lack of cuts during the action really kept you locked into the scenes, making you feel a lot more involved, like you could actually be there.
There is talk that some scenes that helped hold the story together, had to be taken out because the film certificate board didn't agree with them. If a director's cut is released, that may be a step in the right direction, helping bridge the gaps.
Until that happens, Sucker Punch is just an adrenalin shot, put together for adolescent males who want to see nothing more than barely dressed girls fighting with everything and anything.
Expected rating 8