REVIEW: Sucker Punch

Greetings all Montoya here

Last week Geek Syndicate was invited to a screening of Zack Snyder’s latest visual effects mind feast but was it any good?

Baby Doll (Emily Browning) finds herself sent away to an asylum by her sleazy stepfather after accidentally killing her little sister. While inside she meets her fellow inmates Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Amber (Jamie Chung), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Rocket (Jena Malone). They decide to escape the asylum by way of a 5 step plan to steal certain items that will allow them to succeed. While inside the girls ares forced to dance for the asylum manager and his clients, this is when we realise that when Baby Doll dances she allows herself to fall into a fantasy world that take on the themes of the items they need for their escape plan. The story then follows their escape both in the fantasy world and the “real” world.

Last year when we started to get details of Sucker Punch it sounded OK, but then as more images started to arrive and then the trailer hit it was looking like a fantastic mind blowing kick ass movie for the next generation. As I stood outside the cinema I could see that most people were feeling the same as me, their were high expectations on this movie that it would deliver the visuals and a story that could hold it’s own. I myself was thinking how on earth it could not be a 5 star film without even seeing it. The problems start there. The expectations were so high for this film that it could not go anywhere but down. I mean this is Zack Snyder who did the great 300 and the flawed but beautiful Watchmen.

The film starts with a very loud barrage of images setting up the back story of Baby Doll. Now when I say this film is loud, that is an understatement, it is war on the eardrums. The music keeps coming with some very impressive cover versions. It takes a little while for Baby Doll to first go into her fantasy world and here she meets her “spirit” guide in the shape of capable actor Scot Glenn. He informs Baby Doll to start her quest and find the aforementioned items. This is when the film gets started with the other 4 female leads joining Baby Doll in her fantasy realm.

The first real action sequence with the giant Samurai’s is impressive but there is still some dodgy CGI here which is a shame as this was the opening gambit to set the tone. While it did look good and the fight scenes were wonderfully over the top it was missing something that is very hard to put my finger on. The team also have to fight dragons, steampunk Nazi zombies, and robots in their various missions to steal their items.

The acting seems comfortable apart from Carla Gugino’ Dr Vera Gorski  (the dance teacher and psychiatrist) who seems unsure how to play her role. The plot in the “real” world seems flawed and slow paced. I am comparing this film to both Snyder’s previous films and also Sin City in style of tone and plot, however  this seems like it should have been Snyder’s first film with this technology and not his third.

The film took many years to come to the screen and I can see why, due to story waiting for the technology to catch up. I really wanted this film to work on multiple levels but it sometimes comes across as a video game cut scene. The plot also by Snyder is fun but at times seems to be a bit messy. Strangely enough I would have preferred to see this as a graphic novel first and then see the movie because I wanted more time taken to exploring the other characters and their stories.

The girls really look the part in both the outfits and also their fighting skills and a special mention for Sweet Pea’s Abbie Cornish who just rocks in her role and comes across as having real combat training. Hudgens hopefully has at last left the High School Musical films behind her and rightfully deserves this from this movie. In fact the weakest of the group is Baby Doll herself, maybe this is intentional but does not sit right with the aim of the story.

So overall the films high expectations pre release have probably not helped it and although I would have been first in line with my buds to see this film I just cannot say it was great. Maybe a second screening will be better and I will be able to just sit back and enjoy the ride. I am a fan of Snyder’s work but I hope this is not an omen for Superman…

GS Rating 3/5

SOURCE: Warner Bros

GS Reporter: Montoya

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