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Sucker Punch (2011)

You Will Be Unprepared.

Starring:

Abbie Cornish

Carla GuginoCarla Gugino

Emily Browning

Gerard Plunkett

Jamie Chung

Jena Malone

Jon Hamm

Oscar Isaac

Richard Cetrone

Scott GlennScott Glenn

Vanessa Hudgens

Directed by:

Zach Snyder

Rating: 5/10

Running Time: 110 minutes

US Certificate: PG-13 UK Certificate: 12A

Country: United States, Canada

When a film comes out from Mr ‘300’/’Watchmen’ Snyder you know it’s going to be a big stylised visual treat. Sucker Punch is certainly that but has it got substance to back up the style?

Sucker Punch follows the exploits of Baby Doll (Browning) – a young abused girl who’s stepfather (Plunkett) has sent her to a strange mental asylum that seems to only accepts nubile young women. Faced with a strict regime that makes her work in a brothel and the looming prospect of a lobotomy (surely one which make her less suited to brothel work), Baby Doll retreats into a fantasy world with four of her fellow inmates where she sets about trying to escape the facility. As the lines of reality and fantasy blur and she faces a race against the clock to retrieve the five items which she needs to do so.

Sucker Punch is a weird one. It’s hard to pin down how much of it is done with a subtext of irony and nod to exploitation movies and how much is down to ridiculously poor storytelling and plot holes galore. The plot is pretty nonsensical and poorly executed and the characterisation is non-existent as Baby Doll mutely makes her way through the film with a perma-expression of angry sadness – or ‘sangry’ if you will. Her paper-thin companions are similarly unfleshed out and leave you with a feeling of apathy towards the events on te screen.

The many action set pieces in Sucker Punch are handled excellently and the action, including every villain known to man from Nazis to huge robots, will appeal to all action junkies. Perfectly for the demographic of young geeky men out there, the girls have a repertoire of stunts to add to their looks. Unsurprisingly, Snyder has made it look great as well, with a magically created dreamworld that really has many original touches and uses a range of special effects and CGI to good effect. It’s big, loud, brash and ultimately pretty fun but, at the end of the day, Sucker Punch doesn’t really make any sense.

It's Got: Great action sequences, pretty dream sequences, Nazis AND robots

It Needs: Better characterisation, better writing

Summary

It’s big, loud, brash and ultimately pretty fun but, at the end of the day, Sucker Punch is filled with paper-thin characters and doesn’t really make any sense.

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