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Sucker Punch
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Sucker Punch – Review

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Following the death of her mother, Babydoll (Emily Browning) is framed by her stepfather for the death of her sister, putting her on the fast track for a lobotomy at a dark creepy Asylum, Lennox House, home to other hapless girls (Abbie Cornish, Vanessa Hudgens, Jena Malone, Jamie Chung).

Just as a thick needle is levelled at her eyeball, ready to be hammered into her brain, the house transforms into a seedy nightclub, where the girls are instructed by an Eastern European dancer (Carla Gugino) and enslaved by the brutal proprietor, Blue (Oscar Isaac).

Babydoll quickly becomes a valuable asset, attracting top clientele and swooning them with her performance. But everytime she steps on the dancing stage, she instantly enters a surreal world of her imagination, where she battles iron-clad samurais in an Asian Temple, Nazis in WWII and fire-breathing, flying dragons and an army of Robocop-style fighters.

In those dreams she meets a Wise Man (Scott Glenn) who presents her with five items she would need to escape the house. She shares the information with the other girls and they conspire a perilous plan that could set them free.

WHAT’S IT LIKE?

Like Zack Snyder’s other movies, such as 300 and Watchmen, Sucker Punch is visually stunning, offering spectacular action scenes and dazzling CGI work. He has proved his aptitude to tell a story strictly with images, like in the era of Silent Film. Using deft camera moves and precise framing, he skilfully tells Babydoll’s background story, before she arrives at the Asylum, without any dialogue.

However, Snyder has yet again failed to utilise his technical virtuosity to tell a story with a substance and emotional weight that would bond with his audience. Instead of developing Babydoll’s character and her interaction with the people around her, he thrusts her into a mayhem of bloody battlefields, explosions, spearing and sword fighting in a ludicrous surreal world that doesn’t unveil much about her personality or advance the story, because she is merely dreaming, and she dreams a lot.

And since nobody dies dreaming, the action scenes, where Babydoll and her friends are plunged into perilous, deadly situations, are devoid of suspense and thrill. Therefore, the needlessness to be concerned for the girls induces a lack of interest in their story. After a while, the film becomes painfully boring and exhausting to watch as it thunders to a confusing end.

Sucker Punch feels like a video game, abstract and detached from really, where the cause and effect rules don’t apply; it’s an utter chaos with a lot of noise.

Opens nationwide 1st April 2011

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