Sucker Punch

1 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

1 out of 5 stars
Zack Snyder’s bloodless mash-up of comic-book fantasy, kick-ass action and teenage wish-fulfilment thinks it’s a smart subversion of submissive female stereotypes. In fact, it comes across as the sad wet dream of a middle-aged man raised on the reductive archetypes of comic-books and computer games.

Committed to a 1950s mental asylum by her step-father, Babydoll (Emily Browning) escapes from the grim reality of past abuse, cruel male guards and theatre-based therapy by conjuring up worlds in which she and fellow inmates fight giant samurais, steam-powered World War I zombies, flame-breathing dragons or robots. But Babydoll could be just a fantasy of Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), whose survival strategy is to create a liberating, movie-inflected version of her relationships with her kid sister Rocket (Jena Malone) and fellow inmates Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung). In these alternate worlds, the Wise Man (Scot Glenn) offers the incarcerated girls freedom through violence – or, more precisely, male fantasies in which they strip down to their underwear and literally battle with their demons.

As in ‘300’ and ‘Watchmen’, Snyder pulverises our senses with derivative digital images and obvious musical choices. But his failure to delineate the levels of ‘reality’ is confusing and self-defeating. Carla Gugino vamps it up as the Polish-accented drama therapist/brothel madam, Oscar Isaac is convincing as the asylum guard/pimp and the female actors are left to emoting and fighting in their pants.

By: Nigel Floyd



Release details

Release date:
Friday April 1 2011
114 mins

Cast and crew

Zack Snyder
Jamie Chung
Carla Gugino
Vanessa Hudgens
Emily Browning
John Hamm
Abbie Cornish
Jena Malone
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