Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch"

Sucker Punch
1/10/2011


"Sucker Punch" is the highly stylized feast for the eyes that is director Zack Snyder's trademark.  Starting after his breakout 2004 remake of "Dawn of the Dead" his movies are massive in scale and budget as well as stretching the boundaries of what CGI can do.  "300", "Watchmen" and "Sucker Punch" are all perfect examples of this.  Normally the gratuitous use of CGI and heavily processed imagery is something I try to avoid at all costs.  But for some reason I can't help it when he comes out with a new film, especially with "Sucker Punch".  Yeah, I'm a sucker and deserve to be punched.

Nothing more than a guilty pleasure and junk food for the brain. "Sucker Punch" stars one of my personal favorite actresses in Emily Browning (The Uninvited, Sleeping Beauty) as Baby Doll a girl who is sent to a Mental Institution by her step father.  Five days before getting a lobotomy, her mind escapes to a sort of fantasy world brothel where she meets a group of other such girls.  She joins Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) her sister Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung) who all wish to be free.  The girls need five items in order to escape.  A map, fire (a lighter), a knife, a key, and a mystery object.  The plot is kind of cheesy and stupid, but its really deeper than it looks.  Chockfull of symbolism and alternate meanings that multiple viewings are encouraged.. 

Every time Baby Doll dances we go deeper into another fantastical universe where the girls need to fight to obtain one the five items.  Each world they go into has it own unique theme from Feudal Warriors and The Trenches to Dragons and Distant Planets.  Obviously the heavy fantasy element caters perfectly to Snyder's talents as a visual filmmaker.  He tries for a Matrix level of coolness an makes a decent effort, but its hard to aim for coolness as it often comes off as pandering and cliché.

This movie really is a teenage boys wet dream with hot girls, big guns, crazy action and enough CGI to choke a horse.  I don't know what that says about me but we all need our guilty pleasures.  The blu-ray edition contains an extended cut of the film adding on an additional 17 minutes.  So all of you geeks and dorks out there check it out if you haven't already.