The latest offering from director Zack Snyder, in many ways lives up to its title. Unfortunately, I suspect it isn’t the way he wanted it. Sucker Punch is a disappointment!
Snyder is known for his stylized action sequences and stunning visuals. Both 300 and Watchmen relied heavily on the CGI drenched imagery which immersed audiences into a neo-fantasy worlds of mythology and comic pop culture, respectively. Sucker Punch, his first original script, is replete with the same signature Snyder visuals and action. The slow-down, pace-up of intense gun battles and sword fights, a trademark Snyder approach is a delight to watch on screen.
The visuals and action are simply fantasy sequences that are being played by the female protagonist in her questionable mind. And to make it more confusing, in the fantasy world, she has second level of fantasy. Inception anyone?
The fantasy world, specifically the second level with all the action and foot tapping background score, truly is amazing. Ranging from gatling gun wielding giant samurai warriors, colossal mythical fire breathing dragons to killer Nazi zombies and futuristic androids, the dream world scenes are truly praise worthy and absolute eye popping!
Despite the stylized action, stunning visuals and thumping soundtrack, Sucker Punch bores you to no end. Why? Simply because of the story. Or more accurately, the lack of it. The main plot is almost childish and seems to have been concocted at the very last minute in an attempt to make the various fantasy sequences part of a coherent storyline. Sadly it just seems wasted and the amateurish performances by the lead femmes does little to help.
The real world is shown on screen for about just 20 minutes, which works well, since there isn’t really much to show in there. The fantasy sequences are almost comic book like. In fact I get a feeling, Snyder was heavily influenced by Japanese manga, filled with metaphysical and metaphorical references. Somehow, the transition from paper to celluloid didn’t work very well for this one.
Sure there is plenty eye candy for the male audience, both in the form of bootylicious babes and gut wrenching action. Alas, it falls flat simply due to the lack of the backbone of the movie, the script.
Guess Snyder should stick with what he does best and leave the story-writing to the professionals!