Another Brutally Honest Flick Review By The Jaeger

Sucker Punch
Directed By Zack Snyder

A teenage girl is locked away in a mental asylum by her abusive stepfather where she is scheduled to be lobotomized. Seconds before her “treatment,” she retreats to a fantastical world in her imagination where she and four other female inmates plot to escape the facility. The lines between reality and fantasy blur as Baby Doll and her four companions, as well their guide, fight through a series of fetch quests to retrieve the items they need that will allow them to break free from their captors before its too late...

Many reviewers all over the interwebs have tried to use this flick as some kind of so-called “proof” that Zack Snyder is some kind of misogynist that doesn’t understand or care for women. To these people I say you missed the point of Sucker Punch even more than Michael Bay missed the point when he made Pearl Harbor. The flick is about an imaginative girl’s escape from a cruel and nasty world, filled with horror and betrayal by the very people who should be taking care of her. A world not unlike our own, when sometimes the bad guys win. She escapes into the only place she can; her imagination, the only place where she can control the world around her, and ultimately her destiny to become the hero she couldn’t be in the real world, all within the few moments of lucidity she has remaining before being lobotomized. The film is NOT about “rape” or “hatred of women” as some other reviewers have stated, and I invite them to pull their politically correct heads out of their asses and grow the hell up before making such inflammatory and downright ridiculous statements.

The action sequences absurd in their awesomeness and remain some of the strongest, visually arresting, and impressive scenes in any film from the last ten years and are without a doubt the highlight of the film. But therein lies the problem, after the first fantastic sequence with the Giant Samurai, I found myself uninterested in the scenes in between, as nothing else in the film is anywhere near as interesting as “fantasy within a fantasy” action scenes! Not that it’s a bad film, its just a little scattered and uneven, seemingly unaware of what kind of flick it wants to be; a kick ass girl power flick, or a commentary on the horrors of 1960’s institutional cruelty and the loss of "the self." I'm not saying it can't be both, but it can be a bit disconcerting when a movie is marketed so heavily as one thing, and the product on screen turns out to be something very different indeed.

The biggest problem with the film lies in its wholly unsatisfying and unnecessary first layer of fantasy that turns the asylum into some kind of absurdist, surrealistic cabaret theater/ brothel. I understand what director Zack Snyder was trying to do, in that these scenes are supposed to be a bridging point between the real world, and the second layer of fantasy represented by the action sequences, but ultimately it just doesn’t work and feels on the whole superfluous. If I was directing the flick I would have eliminated the first fantasy world altogether in favor of an extended real world sequence in which the character beats are longer, eventually transitioning into the fantasy action sequences one after another, then back to the real world for the big finale.

The blu-ray, on top of a fantastic looking MPEG-4 AVC transfer in 1080p and a downright outstanding DTS-MA 5.1 surround track, contains yet another fantastic Maximum Movie Mode hosted by Director Zack Snyder that takes a deep and satisfying look into the making of the film. This for me is the highlight of the blu-ray and I recommend watching it even if you didn’t enjoy the flick upon first viewing.

All in all Sucker Punch is a great concept clumsily executed, and for that reason can only get THREE Giant Samurai out of FIVE.

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