The general premise of Sucker Punch is something which should appeal to me greatly. Despite getting horrendous reviews after its cinematic release back in March, I gave it the benefit of the doubt, holding off for the DVD to see if the same thing happened for this, which happened when I finally got round to watching Tron: Legacy on DVD, which I actually enjoyed very much - really didn't get all the bad vibes towards that film, readers.
Sucker Punch started so well with the back story to Emily Browning's Baby Doll coming across as a darker, more twisted, version of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. More so of course as Browning featured in film adaptation of it also. Unfortunately after this slick, macabre, piece of story telling it gets a little bit confused, to say the least. When entering the bleak, hostile environment of the insane asylum, the poor woman is condemned to, it gets more confused than it ever needed to be.
So through the art of some genuinely odd interpretative dance, Baby Doll and her fellow inmates - comprising of the gorgeous Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung - delve deep into their own subconscious, as an escape from the social horror of the asylum, to achieve the objects needed to plot their great escape.
It's fairly common knowledge director, Zack Snyder isn't known for deep and meaningful pieces of cinema, and yes he may only just be a cut above Michael Bay in the superficial faff department, nevertheless I've always found his films such as Watchmen and 300 enjoyable in their own way. With Sucker Punch however he just shoots wide off the mark several times, never quite knowing if he wanted to make some post-modern, pro-feminist action film, or just something for Call of Duty obsessed teenage boys with the attention spans of a five year old to oogle at for a couple of hours.
Which is a shame because Emily Browning is such a classy choice to lead the film, with a pureness and genuinely likeable quality rarely seen in such affairs. Likewise I particularly loved Jena Malone's appearance of whom I've been a fan of since I first saw her star alongside Jake Gyllenhaal in Donnie Darko all of those years ago. Other notable contributions are Jon Hamm playing yet another variation of Don Draper - that's not a criticism from me by the way - Carla Gugino as the girls' illusive dance teacher and the great Scott Glenn as the wise man who inexplicably turns up every time the heroines start a new computer game level...I mean, task...I mean, mission. You know what? I really don't know what I mean, and that's half the problem with this film.
If you really feel the film is for you however, at least do yourself a favour and experience it on Blu-Ray. As the visual presentation benefits tenfold from it. Though the set pieces are painstakingly repetitive, the one highlight is perhaps the soundtrack, featuring some rather slick, atmospheric covers and remixes of classic songs from Queen, Bjork, Jefferson Airplane and as well as some sequences with the cast which felt like they were lifted from either Moulin Rouge or The Rocky Horror Picture Show.
Dull, depressing, soulless and repetitive. Zack Snyder's latest isn't so much a 'sucker punch' to your senses but rather to your wallet, as you may ask yourself why anyone would spend between £10 - 20 on this nonsense. It takes a truly misguided director to make a story featuring beautiful, scantily clad women killing orcs, nazi zombies and dragons with machine guns and giant robots and still make it such a boring, worthless and ultimately woeful chore.
Sucker Punch is available on DVD/Blu-Ray from August 8th 2011. American readers can buy it right now.