This is a hard movie to explain, I will do my best, so stick with me. A young girl played by Emily Browning is institutionalized by her hands down evil stepfather, he pays off a corrupt orderly to give her a lobotomy. In order to escape her fate, she, and her fellow mental patients plunge themselves into a of fantasy to survive the real world. They must obtain five items to escape their fate. The fantasy worlds they find themselves in are over whelming and action packed.
I’ve read many review of this film who think it’s horrible or trash. I will tell you now I do not see it that way. This film is stunning and must be seen on screen, the problem is the movie should have been great but it fails to deliver the right emotional punches to make this film work. I will start with the actresses, who frankly are wonderful here, which to me was a surprise. Actresses like Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung don’t stand out in my mind as great performers, but here they do a very good job. Abbie Cornish and Emily Browning stand out but Jena Malone is the one who brings an emotional weight that was really necessary in this movie. So for me the acting really actually was a home run, especially with the concept being so out there.
The story in Sucker Punch is strong but pulled off in a wrong style. Here the girls go into a fantasy world to act out actions they have to do in real life. Great concept, problem is it is never really explained, it just happens, now sure I accepted it and knew what was going on, but still no one mentions the fantasy world. The other major issue is these fantasy worlds were designed for twelve year old boys. It’s girls wearing leather outfits or something out of an anime movie, fight either: German soldier zombies, Dragons or robots. Sure the action is top notch, I must stress that seeing this purely for visuals is a must. On the big screen this movie is stunning. I just couldn’t help laugh at the idea that a young woman would have fantasies about dragons or fighting armed robots.
The movie is a mess and seriously lacks an emotional punch, characters do die but when it happens there isn’t any real tug at heart strings. The movie which deals with seriously strong subjects, women and sexual slavery and freedom in a time where it’s hard to fight for. Yet the film never seems to have any weight, the mix of dark themes with epic comic book violence just doesn’t feel right. If the fantasies these girls had were more reality based or something from a childs fairytale book, it would make sense. Here we get beautiful women fighting in World War I, using modern machine guns to fight steam and clock powered zombie German soldiers. This scene is epic and so well shot it left a smile on my face. Zack Snyder knows action, he showed this off in 300 but it’s clear to me here that he knows action. Still these girls battle with these zombies and I just didn’t care. It’s all visuals and that’s it. Still the movie is worth a look at, there is a lot of cool stuff there, it just needed a little more heart to seal the deal for me.