When it's over, Director and Writer Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) who usually has a keen eye for bringing comic books to the big screen, failed to bring his own vision of an alternate reality to life. His story about a young girl, Baby Doll, who is put into a mental asylum and who retreats into her imagination where she envisions a plan to escape with four other inmates is a bold attempt at a story that keeps the viewer guessing about what is real and not real. Unfortunately, this tactic didn't work. I ask myself this: is the film a fantasy, an action flick, a drama, science fiction, a chick flick, or a mind bender? The answer? I think it's bit of all six and that's where the problem lies. The film's a bit scattered and can't seem to decide which way to go. The plot stagnates and the characters come to a stand-still, failing to evolve or bond with each other. Sucker Punch reminds me of a 1994 movie called, Bad Girls, starring Madeline Stowe and Drew Barrymore. Both films had a female cast donning guns and weapons, and both films had the girls trying to escape an institution(prostitution in the old west and a mental institution in an alternate reality setting), and although Bad Girls didn't score big with audiences, it had the element of female bonding which allowed the characters to act and re-act to their environment and each other, which was lacking in Sucker Punch. Snyder could have fleshed out the characters more by incorporating scenes where they had opportunities to interact and to reveal more of their personalities. In addition, a better cast would have helped. Actress Abbie Cornish was the strongest player, while the rest of the girls seemed mediocre. I thought the visual look of the film was fantastic. I really liked the costumes and make up, because it helped reinforce the illusion of an alternate reality. I liked how the soundtrack amplified some of the slow motion sequences by adding an edgy feel to the scenes. However, how good a film looks and sounds isn't enough to compensate for weak characters and a plot that never thickens.
My rating: 2.5 out of 5
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