For a solid year now movie nerds and fanboys have been drooling over the prospect of director Zach Snyder getting back in the business of kicking ass! For some reason the man that brought us 300, Dawn of the Dead and Watchmen most recently gave us the children's film Legends of the Guardian. What?! So it was a relief to most of us to see the trailer for Sucker Punch. Hot girls dressed in sexy outfits shooting guns and kicking ass in a fantasy film about escaping reality while escaping an insane asylum. I was hook-line-and-sinkered! Sadly though, Sucker Punch was a giant, disjointed mess.
The film stars Emily Browning (The Uninvited, Lemony Snickets) as a wrongfully imprisoned girl who sinks into a fantasy world with her friends played by (the long time Gavin crush...call me, Jena) Jena Malone (Contact, Into the Wild), Abbie Cornish (Limitless, Bright Star) and Vanessa Hudgens who you either know from Disney's High School Musical films or her naked pictures that leaked online.
Snyder's trademark "look" to the film exists through the entire thing and it dazzles like it always does. It's colorful, exciting and dramatic. The problem is that the story is a mixture of fanboy dribble and poor storytelling. That could be that this is the first Zach Snyder movie that isn't based on anything. All his other films were either a remake, adapted from graphic novels or a children's book. He came up with Sucker Punch all by himself and it shows that he's not ready to pen an original script.
It's hard to keep track of what the hell is even going on in the film. Reality gets blurred very quickly and I'm fine with that but you have to let us know what's happening in the actual reality or we don't care what happens to the characters in the non-reality. There are fantasies within fantasies here and it's not done cleverly like in Inception. Not only do you quickly get lost but you find yourself rolling your eyes at how repetitive the damn thing gets.
Sucker Punch turns into a roulette wheel of nerdy action sequences that start, unfold and end exactly the same way each time and none of it is cool or exciting to anyone over the age of 14. Zombie Nazis, fire-breathing dragons, faceless robots and enormous devil samurais are all in this movie in brainless and confusing fantasies that exist in the main characters head. But if she's a teenage girl why the hell is she thinking like a 14-year-old comic book nerd?
The best part of the film, besides the general look of it, is the performance that the villainous Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood, Body of Lies) gives. He was fantastic in the film and makes me think that given enough time for his career to develop and put in the right movie, he could have Oscar-caliber chops...and I don't mean his name. But even his tour de force performance and my love for Jena Malone couldn't hold my interest for this film. Sorry Zach, but Sucker Punch was far from a knock out and just plain sucked.
Sucker Punch (Rated PG-13)
Gavin Grade: D+