Starring: Emily Browning, Jena Malone, and Vanessa Hudgens
Going to the theatre I was very excited about Sucker Punch. Director Zach Snyder has a SOLID track record. He remade George Romero's horror classic Dawn of the Dead and did a very respectable job. Then came the eye popping 300. Who could forget all of those six packs? That was a visual feast for the senses. Watchmen received mixed reviews, but I happen to think that it was a little ahead of its time. In a few years, it will be regarded much more highly than at the time of its initial release. With these three films under his belt, I was sure that Sucker Punch was going to be a knockout. I was sadly mistaken.
The film opens with our main character Baby Doll, played by Emily Browning (The Uninvited), dealing with the death of her mother and sister and being institutionalized by her molesting step father. In the asylum, Baby Doll meets other young women who are all forced to partake in an underground brothel for wealthy business men and politicians. She befriends Jena Malone (Into the Wild), Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), and a few other girls. All of them are dreaming of a way to become free. Luckily for Baby Doll it turns out that she is one hell of a dancer and is able to captivate prospective clients. While the men are distracted the girls are able to sneak around and obtain items needed for their great escape.
We never actually see Baby Doll dance. For it is when she dances, that her fantasy world comes to life and all the girls become powerful soldiers. They battle zombie Nazis, giant samurai warriors, and fire breathing dragons. These are Baby Doll's mental interpretation of her escape to freedom. The visuals are stunning and the girls are gorgeous but that is all we get. The story is so thin that you almost forget that you are watching a movie and not a video game. The audience is supposed to suspend reality and believe in this fantasy world. Snyder is just not able to make it connect on any emotional level. We should feel bad for these girls locked away, right? Besides, there is no way to logically explain zombie nazis and fire breathing dragons in the same film.
The visuals are the only thing Sucker Punch has going for it, period. Zach Snyder can be forgiven since this is his first true misstep. I just hope he recovers quick. He was recently picked to direct the reboot of the Superman franchise and this will require his "A" game. With his track record, I am going to let this hot mess slide. It was based on his name alone that I wanted to even see this film. As I limped away, when it was thankfully over, I could not help but feel like I had just been sucker punched.
fashionadofilm score 2 out of 10
fashionadofilm Jamie Clemons