Sucker Punch Review

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 21st, 2011 at 10:44 pm,

Sucker Punch Review Sucker Punch Review

Screen Rant’s Ben Kendrick reviews Sucker Punch

For many moviegoers, Zack Snyder seemingly exploded onto the scene with his visually striking adaptation of Frank Miller’s 300 – with Snyder both penning the screenplay and directing the film. The combination of Miller’s imagination and what we now know as Snyder’s trademark slow-motion/action choreography, resulted in an exciting and brutal film that paved the way for the director to tackle other high-profile existing properties, including Watchmen and the upcoming Superman: Man of Steel.

Sucker Punch, however, is entirely Snyder’s invention – earning the director his first original story credit. With Superman reboot fervor (and fear) at an all time high, not to mention the response to Snyder’s middle-of-the-road Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, many film fans are looking to Sucker Punch as a barometer for whether or not Snyder is still on his game – and subsequently, whether he’s going to deliver a respectable Man of Steel film.

Does Snyder’s latest effort offer an edge-of-your-seat visual spectacle with an engaging story? Or is the film just a confused mish-mash of fantasy set pieces retro-fitted with a convoluted narrative?

Read on…

Unfortunately, despite a few visually-striking action sequences, Sucker Punch is a soulless film which comes across as little more than an excuse for Snyder to showcase a series of vivid fantasy worlds in rapid succession.

If you’re unfamiliar with the basic Sucker Punch premise, here’s the official synopsis:

“Sucker Punch” is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality.  Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what’s real and what is imaginary.

Despite the filmmaker’s attempt at an overarching story of self-empowerment – as well as imaginative dream-worlds – Sucker Punch is one of the most formulaic films to hit the screen in recent memory. The basic structure is spelled out in the most recent trailer: In order to be free of her captors, Babydoll (Emily Browning) must find five (symbolic) items – the majority of which are tied to one of the film’s fantasy set-pieces. Similarly, the premise/vehicle through which Babydoll repeatedly enters the dream world isn’t nearly as artistic as Snyder must have thought – and, with each successive performance, becomes increasingly awkward.

Sucker Punch Cast Sucker Punch Review

The film’s reliance on disassociation from reality – while fertile ground for over-the-top action scenes – strips most of the Sucker Punch characters from having anything but cliché and one-dimensional personalities. Two quick lines in the film’s synopsis layout about as much as the audience will get, in terms of character, from the film’s warriors:

She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll has not lost her will to survive.  Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls – the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung) and the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish) – to band together and try to escape their terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac), Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino) and the High Roller (Jon Hamm).

All of the performances are extremely one-note – with only Oscar Isaac (Robin Hood), as the film’s main antagonist, successfully bringing anything more than surface-level emotion to the production. In the end, the film seems to violate the most basic storytelling principle – show, don’t tell. Throughout the movie, the audience is told, through dialogue, that each subsequent victory results in some significant impact on each character’s sense of self-worth – but the story never takes advantage of the promised momentum. As a result, even in the closing moments of Sucker Punch, it’s unclear whether anyone has actually been empowered – in spite of voice-over narration that preaches otherwise.

Similarly, when the fantasy elements of the film are later reconciled against the real-world events (which is an on-the-nose exposition dump), it’s hard to feel as though Babydoll’s imagination didn’t just protect her from the horrors of the surrounding environment – they also protected Snyder from having to truly grapple with the emotions and implications of the more important real-world story as well as the subsequent fallout. If Snyder had spent as much time developing a satisfying story arc for the real-world events as he did imagining backstories for the fantasy worlds, Sucker Punch might have actually succeeded in providing a competent narrative journey.

Sucker Punch Fantasy Scenes Sucker Punch Review

It shouldn’t come as a surprise then, in a film where visuals take precedent over character development and engaging story progression, that the Sucker Punch action scenes are fast-paced, exciting, and epic in scale. However, the film’s five-item formula wears on the proceedings, making it hard to appreciate each successive entry – especially considering the first two sequences are far superior to the latter ones. The final set-piece is especially lackluster – since it’s much more confined than the prior entries (not to mention it comes across as a mash-up between The Matrix Reloaded and Dru Hill’s music video for “You are Everything [Remix]”).

Given the film’s reliance on music (both in terms of story and execution), it’s a relief that the Sucker Punch soundtrack is one of the better aspects of the production – especially considering the recordings feature vocals from star Emily Browning. Each action set-piece is framed within a single song – modernized covers ranging from Bjork to The Beatles – and while the on-screen execution can be stiff, there’s no doubt that the music is successful in pumping more adrenaline into the already intense action set-pieces. The opening prologue, set to a remix of Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” is especially persuasive. In general, the inclusion of Browning’s vocals in a number of the songs add an additional, and especially intriguing, layer to the fantasy versus reality conflict in the film. If only the rest of filmmaking choices in Sucker Punch were as playful and interesting…

Sucker Punch Emily Browning Sucker Punch Review

In an increasingly tech-savvy world, it’s hard to ignore the feeling that a feature film may not have been the best medium for the Sucker Punch concept. Had Snyder presented a less-expensive version of the story in the form of a high-profile short-film/web-series event, the overarching narrative might be easier to appreciate – and would have allowed the director to add more room for character development as well as the fantasy worlds he spent so much time developing. As it is, the film is at odds with itself – with each fantasy setting competing against the others while, altogether, overshadowing the larger themes and story beats.

There’s no doubt that a lot of audience members will walk out of Sucker Punch in awe of the fight scenes and, as a result, might enjoy the film. That said, given the movie’s emphasis on self-empowerment (as presented through dialogue and voice-over), it’s obvious that Snyder was aiming for more than just an action-packed popcorn flick – making it hard to ignore that, much like Babydoll, the filmmaker may have temporarily lost his footing in reality.

If you’re still on the fence about Sucker Punch, check out the trailer below:

[poll id="139"]

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @screenrant and let us know what you thought of the film.

Still have questions about the film or just want to talk about it without worrying about spoiling it for others?Please head on over to our Sucker Punch Spoilers Discussion for our full analysis of the ending and other story details.

If you want to hear the ladies of the film discussing their love of gunpowder and swordplay, head over to our Sucker Punch cast interview.

Our Rating:

2.5 out of 5
(Fairly Good)

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  1. Yeah, I thought it sucked. I was really looking forward to it. I was irritated that *SEMI-SPOILER AHEAD* most of the movie took place a layer removed from the actual reality that was set-up as the main conflict at the beginning of the film.

    To those who wonder why people thought the film sucked, a perfect example is the excerpt from the synopsis: ‘street-wise Blondie’ and ‘fiercely loyal Amber’. Like, you didn’t get any of that from the film. The four other girls were basically all one note characters except two of them are sisters.

    And what happened to Amber and Blondie-or Rocket for that matter (in the real world-if you’ve seen it you know what I mean)?

    SPOILER AGAIN: If he wanted it set in the brothel, then why the hell just not set the damn thing in the brothel??

    Yeah, for those of you said the action scenes were cool, well-yeah, no kidding. But they didn’t mean anything. If you went by your friend’s house and his roommate was watching some anime you’d never seen before-and you caught a few minutes of it while you waited for your friend to get his shoes on and then you left. That’s about as much stake there was in the visuals of the fantasy world.

    Just a helluva disappointment overall.

    • I agree. To sum up I just have to say its a enormous let down of a movie. And like the movies title, I felt sucker punched at the end.

  2. I have to say I am sadden by all of the horrendous criticism of this film. In my opinion, and it’s just that an opinion, I thought the film was wonderful. The movie was visually stunning, the characters were wonderful, and the plot was incredible. Because ticket prices cost as much as a utility bill, I don’t go to the movie theater to watch anything. Sucker Punch was well worth my 20 bucks! The music that he chose drove the film and created great emotions and intensity. Baby doll, in my opinion, wasn’t meant to be a lead character triumphantly escorting her enslaved friends to freedom. She was merely a tool or the piece of the puzzle. I give Sucker Punch 2 thumbs up!

  3. I was sooooo bored in the beginning and happy when the fantasy world came along, most of the film would have worked if she spent more time in the fantasy world and only got back at the Asylum at the end of the movie. I didn’t care for the characters except for Rocket and Sweat pea. The pimp baddie was the only one in the real world with a 2 dimensional persona. This film is a complete failure and I fear for Superman Reboot. How many times can they reboot the franchise?

  4. Just got back and I was pleasantly suprised. The review made it seem like it had no merit as a film but like someone said it had a lot of sisterley love in it. I was entertained the whole time. Crap I feel asleep during inception and this film.was fun the whole ride. It’s not the best film nor the best I’ve seen this year but I would buy it on blu ray when it comes out.

  5. Snyder makes Michael Bay look like a pro in popcorn filmmaking. There are ups and downs in life and this is one of em. Superman is part of Pop culture and an American Icon. I pray he succeeds in delivering a compelling story with cool action.

  6. Two problems with this film really took the enjoyment out of it. *SPOILERS*

    1. When Baby Doll was about to get her lobotomy, the world changed into the burlesque prison. The film director basically told us, “From this point on, this is NOT happening.” When you tell the audience something isn’t happening, they stop being emotionally invested in the film, because it doesn’t matter. Who cares if Rocket gets punched in the face by a robot or dies in the first layer of fantasy; it’s not like Matrix where if you die in the simulation, you die in RL. So we tuned out and stopped really caring about the characters which took all the tension out of the fights, which cheapened them. The fights LOOKED beautiful, but had grip or tension. Why make awesome fights if they don’t mean anything?

    2. This was a burlesque film… with NO burlesque in it. We’re repeatedly told this big event coming up for “The High Roller” that all the girls are practicing hard for. We see them warming up, sometimes we see them in costumes, other characters get to see the dancing and say, “OOOH how damned great that was!”, girls die right before the dances and are survivors are told to get on stage. But we the paying audience… get to see NOTHING. Worse, we see a few seconds of two different dances performed in the credits, so we KNOW they exist. Yet they won’t show us. WTF? I don’t want to be hyped about something for six months outside of the film, had a HUGE build up inside the film with absolutely no payoff. Checkov said that if you introduce a gun in the first act of a film, it had better go off by Act 3 or you will piss off your audience. Well… the gun didn’t go off.

    • Yeah Moopy, I see your point. When Dorothy got hit on the head and went off to Oz, audiences stopped watching. What a stupid premise, a movie where events happen in fantasy. I’m glad obviously fantasy movies like Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Alien, any and all sci fi, horror, action-adventure or most other genres don’t have audiences. People only care about reality. That’s what movies are for – reality, not imagination. Documentaries are obviously the most important movies out there and the only ones audiences care about.

      • Good luck with the sarcasm Allen. Just remember: more sneer when you can’t win in an argument.

    • This was not a burlesque film, at all. (Maybe you should learn what Burlesque is. It is about the mysterious, sexy and empowering side of performance but not being strippers or whores. They do not have sex with the audience. Burlesque is a form of art, not what was depicted in the movie). The reason they used a the “burlesque” lounge feel is that it was an escape from their sexual abuse in their reality. In the lounge, it gives them a sense of that they have control over their abuser by being the ones in control of the sexual advances. Then the so called “High Roller” is, in reality, the lobotomist. So in fact you do get to see what happens with the “High Roller”.

      As for the dancing, it is an illusion created for the audience and for the girls themselves to believe they have some control over what is happening. We don’t see the dance because the director wanted to show the internal struggle of Baby Doll, not her sexual allure.

      As for the “if you die in the simulation, you die in RL.” is completely false. At the end of the movie, it flat at tells you that everything that happened in Baby Doll’s fantasy was a stylized version of her reality. So whenever the girls did get physically hurt in the fantasy realms, it was suppose to represent the abuse they’re actually enduring. Of course, it wasn’t as severe as in the fantasy realms, it was still physical attacks.

      I’ll have to say that you obviously didn’t pay attention to the movie if you believe it was a Burlesque film. Or that there is no emotionally investment what happens to the girls in the fantasy realms.

      • @ Alexandra: You should post this under the spoiler discussion. You have given the end of the movie away to all who have yet to see it.

        • Honestly, I gave nothing any way that you don’t, well can’t, figure out within the first fifteen minutes of the movie. The “stepfather” and Blue are discussing her “meeting” with the lobotomist in 5 days. Then when it comes to the “lounge” setting Blue talks about giving Baby Doll to the High Roller in 5 days.

          I don’t know about you, but it clicked with me right then.

          • @ Alexandra: I don’t mean spoilers for me. I’ve seen the movie. I’m talking about spoilers for the people who came to read a review to get an idea of what the film is about not what happens in the first 15 minutes that gives away the ending.

      • *spoilers*

        Dear Alexandra, how are you? Still having problems forming strong arguments? Looks like it.

        I know what Burlesque is; anyone who’s seen the Pussycat Dolls perform knows EXACTLY what it is. Did I mention anything about strippers or sex in my post? Oh, that’s right, I didn’t. Not only that, the film makers shot two burlesque stage shows: the red devil fan dancers, and a white/blue/top hat routine, but won’t let us see them; if this wasn’t a burlesque film those scenes never would have been filmed to begin with. I also didn’t say, “I want to see Baby Doll dance” that was (again) your misinterpretation. When I’m promised something in the trailer (and credits), when the first layer of fantasy is based around the girls training for a big event, and a dance is happening while Baby Doll is helping Sweet Pea escape, then I want to see it. You can’t build up expectations and not deliver without disappointing off a large portion of your audience.

        And, yes again, I get the whole violence as a metaphor for dance. While it’s not original it is clever.

        Next we have your assertion that EVERYTHING that happened in fantasy, happened in RL. Wong. Wrong and again wrong. There were three events that happened- the fire, Sweet Pea escaped, and a guard got stabbed. EVERYTHING passed that is either not true, or unknown. Do you really think the Doctor would magically gloss over the fact that three of her patients were killed, but remember to tell us about a closet fire? Somehow a stabbing was more important than THREE deaths?? No, because there were no deaths. We don’t even know if Rocket and Sweet Pea were sisters, since there’s no reference to it in RL. None. So, yea, I seemed to have proved that nicely.

        You’re also COMPLETELY MISSING THE POINT. The point is you can’t tell your audience to stop emotionally investing in a film for over an hour, and then expect them suddenly care when you show them a twist at the end; it’s too late to get them back. We know that it wasn’t happening because BD is about to be lobotomized and this is all fantasy; because it’s not happening, there’s no tension. That’s horrible storytelling. I saw this film on opening night when the interest was at it’s peak. When the movie ended there was no excited conversation or “buzz” in the room. There was a resounding, “That was alright : / ” instead of “HELL YEA!!!” because of those bad elements.

        • *spoilers*

          Hmmm, well lets see. You said it’s a burlesque movie with no burlesque, that would be true if Blue didn’t force the “dancers” to have sex with clients. Interesting, because I am pretty sure burlesque dancers are not forced to have with people nor do they take their clothes off. So, yeah. Not burlesque at all.

          Yeah, you haven’t proved that at all. For one, the doctor is not the one narrating the story, so the part “gloss over the fact that three of her patients were killed” wouldn’t be mentioned. They would not make the movie where everything that happens in fantasy isn’t happening in reality. That wouldn’t make sense at all. I want to point this out that we know the girls die in reality because of the conversation between Blue and three other guards about not hurting anymore girls. Hmmm, lets see. In the movie where the girls in fantasy are dying is where they are getting lobotomized in reality.

          • *spoilers*

            The burlesque issue: yes it is. You’re argument is that a burlesque show is not burlesque if the dancers have sex after wards, forced or not. That is an argumentative fallacy because you’re basing the definition of one thing off of two unrelated things. They are separate. All that matters with burlesque is what happens on stage- no skin, all sex appeal done extremely well. That’s the end of it. Doesn’t matter if the dancers are nuns or whores- what happens next is a different plot point, the definition of burlesque starts and stops at the beginning and end of the show. I don’t need to see what “happens next”- that would have taken the movie in the wrong direction. But if I’m promised a stage show for what, six 5 months(?) then they had better deliver a stage show.

            As for the deaths I’ve proved it quite throughly. The doctor is the one getting the viewers up to speed about what happened as they walk hurredly through the hospital halls. She tells us of the fire, the stabbing, the escape. She’s NOT going to suddenly not remember three deaths of three main characters. As for “They would not make the movie where everything that happens in fantasy isn’t happening in reality.” Really? REALLY? Where’s the horde of Germans (or their substitutes?), where’s the bomb (or it’s sub), where’s the zeppelin? Etc… You’re picking and choosing your events if you say NO to any of those. OF COURSE most of it isn’t real- it’s just fodder for those small parts that are.

            When the guards say they don’t want to “hurt” the girls anymore- they’re talking about forcibly tying girls (in the past- this activity has been going on for a while) up into chairs so Blue can have his way with them, or so Blue can forge papers to have them lobotomized, and THEN have his way with them, but not killing them. If you want to make the lobotomy = death in fantasy analogy then I would say it’s an clever idea, but unsupported. Remember in the beginning of the film, Blue arrange for the doctor to arrive in a matter of days. That means he wasn’t there before he worked over Baby Doll, which means the girls didn’t get the same treatment. If the doctor had said, “This is the 4th time this week I’ve been here.” THEN it would make perfect sense. But he didn’t, because he wasn’t there; there’s nothing to support that he was, and all kinds of 1st layer fantasy plot build up to show he (as the high roller) would arrive in the future.

            I’ve pointed out the problems I’ve had with this film several times now and backed them up, so I’m going to end it here-I have nothing more to prove. I wish they had done as good a job with the plot as they did with the special effects because the plot fell flat for reasons I’ve already stated. Seems like many others agree with me: take a look at the poll on this page. Only 52% gave it 5 or 4 stars- not a ringing endorsement. You’ll find this rings true across other review boards. Moral: Story and emotional development comes first. Explosions and cool fight scenes come second.

  7. You know what movie reviewers are never happy with the outcome of a film. No this wasn’t the best film ever made but it certainly wasn’t as bad as you’re trying to portray it. I enjoyed the film because I looked past the women and the outfits and the action and the music. Zack gave us what he promised so why are you complaining? I would like to see what the perfect movie is since most of you seem to know. I would like to see what your movie would be about with the same amount of time and budget and ten bucks says you wouldn’t know how to do a thing. So shut up and cut the man some slack. Before you review you need to keep in mind no movie is going to be perfect because that’s an impossible feat.

    • Ebonee,

      How about you shut up (feels nice to be on the receiving end, doesn’t it?). And quit the soapbox crap. We’ve given TONS of movies here 4, 4.5 and 5 out of 5 stars so guess what… quite often we ARE happy with the outcome of a film.


    • Hey Ebonee, if you’re so dissatisfied with the way they write their reviews here, why don’t you shut up and go start your own movie review website? Ten bucks say you wouldn’t know how to get it up and running. ;)

      • $5 says she’d be too cheap to pay for the web hosting

  8. Critics are just there to spout their opinion and cause a ruckus. Its up to you whether or not you take the bait.

    Be a thinker. Use your own mind. Think for yourself.

    Use Screen Rant for the news, reviews are someone else’s opinion. And /everyone’s/ got one. Who cares.

  9. I have to disagree with this review. It seems as though you were coming into the movie expecting to be wowed by immense story telling and strong characters. I did not get that idea when watching the trailers. I came in expecting awesome fights and really cool sci-fi. I got both and a little more. Since expectations for story arc, plot, and characters were low, I actually got more from the movie. I loved the dynamic of Sweet Pea and Rocket and even though the characters did not develop much further, I felt it was enough for the intended story. They did not need to be oscar winning characters because the point of this movie was survival and fighting for freedom. And I enjoyed Snyder doing it through different levels of reality with the real world being only the beginning and end.
    I think this movie conjured up a lot of hype and expectation and that is why it is being ripped to pieces. I think you should give it a second watch and try to have some fun with it.
    P.S. When she said the last line of the film, I almost sidekicked the person next to me.

  10. A couple of things I want to complain about here.

    1. I wish that (with no offense to Mr. Ben Kendrick) that Mr. Vic Holtreman had reviewed this movie. I tend to enjoy his reviews and agree with them more than any other movie reviewer around.

    2. When did people decide that it was okay to just throw tons of plot spoilers about the movie out there in the comments section without writing ::SPOILER WARNING:: before hand ? The first few comments posted on this page give away the ending and other various key scenes in the movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet and now I’m pissed that there is little mystery left to the movie for me.

    • Veritas,

      In regards to your first question, I think I actually liked this film less than Ben did and would have given it probably half a star less.

      As to spoilers, people, you are NOT SUPPOSED TO BE POSTING SPOILERS in this comment thread. We have a spoiler discussion post and we linked to it quite clearly at the end of our review.

      Best regards,


  11. I see Sucker Punch as a collection of the best of what sci-fi and fantasy is about flerting with Cult and Terror every now and then for a couple of minutes. The result: THE PERFECT ACTION MOVIE. Hey, that’s my opinion only, but as long as I am free to express it let me say: this movie makes us think that it’s just a lot of cool action scenes and a lame moral, therefore simply a good entertainment piece. But when you stop to think everything you know about this story that wasn’t shown in the movie, but was there somehow, then you realize what great story it is, and the way they tell it is even greater! Don’t mind the cliches and the copycats, it’s all just part of the charm.

    Oh, and despite Baby Doll doesn’t say a word for the first 30 minutes, Emily Browning’s voice is there from the first one, singing the special version for the movie of Sweet Dreams (Are made of this). Pretty cool, yeah?

  12. i just wish SOMEONE would explain the ending!!!!???? Speaking of which, other than that very disappointing ending, the movie could have been BRILLIANT…well, atleast the STORY could have been brilliant, the ‘fantasy’ did get a little too carried away and out of control!

  13. I think the only person in the audience of 30 (2nd opening day) or so when I watched it was a female who pointed out that the entire film is actually a ‘chick flick’ pretending to be a male film. I thought about it for awhile, and I have to say, she’s write. It’s very ‘Girl Interrupted’ meets ’300′. I think the concept is a good one, but it was done better in ‘Shutter Island’, and the video game knock off bits were pretty lame: especially killing an innocent baby dragon :(

    • I am never the type to point out spelling and grammar errors. Hell I make them all the time.

      However, this bothers the hell out of me.

      “she’s write”

      Is right and write really that confusing to people? Spelling and grammar mistakes are one thing, but using the wrong word when it’s something as simple as right and write bothers the hell out of me and it’s been getting very bad on the site lately.

      Even worse I’ve been noticing a lot of people interchanging know and no. How do you make that mistake? What is wrong with people?

      • No offense but don’t you think that it’s just a tad rude to criticize someones grammar and spelling, or do you just get enjoyment out of trying to make people feel bad?

        It shouldn’t matter if this person wrote “write” instead right, this person just wanted to give their opinion, not take an english test… You understood what was typed didn’t you? So why say something about someones spelling, when you clearly knew what they meant to type? I’m sorry but just as how some grammar and spelling errors bother the hell out of you; it bothers the hell out of me when people make it a note to point out someones irrelevant errors.

        I apologize to this site for making such a reply, but I just can’t stand it when people have to make themselves appear superior to others.

        Hopefully you, Daniel F, don’t make this a habit because it just shows poor character.

        • Palm not that I actually care what you think about me and honestly couldn’t possibly care any less.

          However, it’s not a habit. I’ve never called people out for spelling or grammar issues in the years that I’ve been here.

          However, this also isn’t a spelling error. He took mixed up two words that a 3rd grader knows the difference between.

          I couldn’t care less if someone misspells a word, or doesn’t put some comma’s down. Does not bother me one bit we all make little mistakes.

          This however isn’t a simple mistake. This is the type of mistake that making it means you don’t know the difference between the two words. I’m also frustrated because there has been a large influx of this on this site recently and it’s almost as if in the last two weeks we have added six new member who don’t understand words. Either that or the same guy has been making these mistakes and sometimes under separate screen names.

          This happens to be a personal pet peeve of mine and I’m sure you have a few pet peeves that would piss people off for you having them. Get off your high horse.

          Also feel free to take your opinion of me bend over and store it away.

          • Daniel, ewe are write. It bothers me two when people dew that. I guess sum people reed posts out loud sew it doesn’t bother them because it sounds the same when they here it.

  14. Saw it, loved it and here’s why:

    This story is like metaphors built upon metaphors, if u weren’t paying attention enough u would’ve missed something that becomes relevant in a later scene or at the end of the movie. Sorta like how Inception had 3 levels; 1.reality 2.dream 3.dream within a dream Suckerpunch has reality, sub-reality and then the fantasy world being imagined.

    Action scenes were EPIC and stunning I am pretty sure I did not blink. The soundtrack for the movie was original and used as a storytelling device to drive certain scenes, 2 songs were done by Browning herself, 1 by Carla Gugino and Oscar Issac while the others were various remixes of songs.

    Only after the movie was over and I was discussing it with friends we realized all the little details and metaphors that were in this movie like POW! an unexpected punch to the face. Is that why Snyder chose Suckerpunch as the title of this movie? Maybe, maybe not but when you think about it that way the title makes sense. In interviews for this movie they kept saying “it isn’t linear” and I was like wtf does that mean and well now I know, its how YOU yourself interpret the movie. In the end my loyalty to Snyder paid off and I did not regret spending the money to see this as it is still on my mind at this very moment.

  15. Really enjoyed the action sequences and the music. It was a very satisfying movie experience

  16. Ok the movie sucks obviously … the box office is a clear indication of how crappy this film is. If a second part to a kids film tops the charts and Sucker Punch is trailing behind it? No one wants to see awesome special effects if the story and the acting sucks! That’s the honest truth! I’d rather watch a 6 hour version of The Kings Speech than watch this garbage called Sucker Punch! Sorry.

    I just hope Superman doesn’t end up like this garbage!

  17. i disagree with everything that ben said.
    basicly what critics do is observing a film and look for faults,for something they think could have worked out better.

    but what critics forget is that a film is an emotianal journy that triggers the mind and takes the mind along in a visual journy . if you add the visual aspect of suckerpunch with , what i think is a great storyline of self empowermend ( wich is exactly what u see in this movie) and the unexpected ending of it.
    if your mind is off (not looking for faults or a super pshycological storyline) and allowing this journey that is sucker punch into your emotional part of your brain. there is not a single movie in 2010 that showed the same or better view on empowermend,loss,self sacrifice .
    the transition from babydolls imaginarry and real world perspective is flawless using the female body to captivate the low life scumbag men and use it as a distraction is brilliant. while in her mind her goal that she has to reach and the courage she needs to have for it is displayd in this stunning visual translation of her mind getting her ready to reach that emotion is by far the best translation of the imagination that the mind can display i have ever seen . ( read it twice if u didnt follow that )
    the ending was in 1 word brilliant !

    if you want a pshycological multiple layer of story telling whatch inception.
    if you want an over the top never ending battle scen movie with humor watch 300 or transformers .

    if you want action depth and great storytelling watch suckerpunch !!

    • Brian,

      I suggest you read the comment that came directly after yours by Neurion.


    • Hey Brian,

      I thought this film had some wild and interesting visuals, music and ideas as well. Never the less, I think the so called empowerment that you mention is false or counterfeit. EMPOWERMENT!…probably one of the most over used and “politically correct” terms used in recent years, is every where. Especially in regard to groups that the “Powers That Be” are trying to placate. That’s why it’s always being applied to the same groups; women, ethnic minority groups and any other special interest group. Currently, it is also kosher to trash and slander groups considered to be responsible for all the world’s problems i.e. males (especially caucasion ones), clerics (especially catholic ones),and pretty anyone who doesn’t sign up to be a so called “Liberal.” Please understand, I sympathize with anyone who gets a bum or raw deal. Yet, there is a right and wrong way to help an abused person(s). Unfortunately, our society has accepted an adversarial vs. a complimentary relationship between women and men as okay. So, the media continues to churn out scummy and unrealistic characters, only males evil and despicable and females are sweet, virtuous and EMPOWERED!!. I don’t buy it. Brian, wake up and smell the TESTOSTERONE, which is in short supply these days. For that matter, wake up and smell the estrogen…if you can. It seems its been replaced with machine guns and samurai swords.


  18. Sucker Punch…or b**** Slap the audience?
    I have only one question for writer/director Zack Snyder, WTF?
    I enjoyed ‘Dawn of the Dead’ and ‘300’. I can’t say the same for the long, boring and “self important” Watchmen. If this film is supposed to generate certain sympathy for abused women or just abused anybody in a terrible situation…it fails miserably. I will say that ‘Sucker Punch’ has a lot of interesting cinematography, imagery and slick action sequences. However, all of the attractive aspects of the visuals are undermined by the “over the top” and “in your face” nature of those same images. Apparently, the word “subtlety” is not in Snyder’s vocabulary. It’s as though he crafted the film for ten…or maybe thirteen year olds, which may explain the PG-13 rating. That’s one thing that’s kind of creepy about this movie. It preaches about the abuse and exploitation of women at the hands of sordid old men and contemptible younger men. Even a mayor and a Catholic priest are part of the lecherous clientele. It costumes the beautiful young women in corsets, fishnet and garter belts and pretends to be a friend and champion for “the female plight.” Bullsh**! One cannot be politically correct and incorrect simultaneously, without eventually showing the other side his sanctimonious and pharisaical face.
    Two points: It seems hypocritical to me that Snyder would make a picture about women being exploited, while exploiting them himself with so much risqué and sleazy imagery. Also, the fact that this film was careful to receive a PG-13 rating, while maintaining its hyper sexual themes is truly reprehensible. Now, I like a sexy chicks and a good “catfight” as much as next guy, however, given the dark type of eroticism in this flick, it was irresponsible to go for the PG-13. Z Snyder should have at least had the “stones”…and decency, to go ahead and get the R rating that this movie begs for. Alas, adults are not seeing what they really want to see and thirteen year olds are seeing more than they should. It’s a “lose lose” all around. This film is actually less of a morality tale and more of an immature, adolescent boy’s imaginative mixture of sexuality and violence. Hey Zack, either be the sex minded horn-dog your imagery shows you to be, and make films for adults, or dial it way down and stop scandalizing the kids. Okay, I’ll try to get down off my soapbox now.
    Alright, aside from the aspects I’ve already mentioned, the film is still not very good. It is pulp, and it is fiction, but it aint PULP FICTION baby. There’s not much character development or scenes that compel the viewer to care about “Baby-doll” or her “sisters in arms”. So, I wasn’t laughing or crying. It was just kind of a half way titillating bummer of a movie. Also, the CGI is pretty cool, but still looks bogus as hell. Having seen most of the filmmaker’s previous work, I pretty much knew what I was in for. But, I was still hoping for the best. I thought that maybe he had “grown up” since Watchmen. Not this time around. Hey Zackary, on your next film project, come back with your shield…or on it!
    P.S. I still think Snyder has talent. He just needs to grow up and stop making two hour commercials and music videos instead of motion pictures

    • Neurion -
      Nice call on the PG-13 vs. R rating. So many movies are shoved into the PG-13 rating now that the rating is almost meaningless. I’m surprised (or maybe I haven’t come across it yet) that Snyder hasn’t been criticized for getting the PG-13 rating on Sucker Punch considering he was “praised” by many for sticking to his guns and going R with Watchmen. Just wait – and we’ll see the unrated director’s cut released a few months after SP is released on disk.

    • Neurion, I think you’re over-analyzing the movie and never got a chance to enjoy it. Also you liked the bastardized Dawn of the Dead which makes your movie taste a little bit suspect but I can overlook that. Movies are meant to evoke feeling in the viewer and here we get to experience the reality of a group of women living in a hard situation.

      Now having been institutionalized in a county-run mental health center myself (for depression don’t fault me for that) I could instantly empathize with the main characters as to the mental strain and need to glamorize your situation. The dissociative events where they replaced the horrors of their situation with them doing over-the-top heroics. After all of the action you are suddenly back in this gloomy place where the viewer gets a feeling of what reality is like for those who have to escape it. Sad, boring, dull.

      I feel like the best parts of the movie have been lost on people because all they can do is complain and nitpick rather then sit back and experience something. The movie is a whole work and nobody seems to understand that. Don’t separate the fight scenes from the rest because they tell you a lot about how the characters see themselves.

  19. ummmm…who wouldn’t want to go see a special effects laden show featuring 5 sexy scantily clad girls with guns and explosions?

    • Chrissy,

      Ummmm…based on your name, I’m going to assume that you are a female. Based on your comment, I’m going to assume that you were being either sarcastic or you’re a lesbian (hey, turnabout is fair play). In either case, I couldn’t agree with you more. Being a straight man (regardless of my fairly androgynous nom de plume), I enthusiastically enjoy looking at five sexy, scantly clad girls…with or without guns or explosions. The point that “Panda” and I were agreeing on, was that the filmmakers should have made an “R” rated picture. Visually, the main “thrust” or “hook” of ‘Sucker Punch’ is the sexual exploitation of subjugated women, and the psychological self “empowerment” necessary to escape it. That alone should have been enough to put SP in rated R range. Unfortunately, the MPAA (ratings council) has become numb to “adult themes”. They tend to react only to specific images or language in a film. Just because there are no bare butts, thongs, or topless scenes in this movie, doesn’t mean that its harmless or not objectionable for kids. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think that a 13 year old girl or boy should should see this movie. Of course this is just my personal opinion.

      Now, being a lover of all things feminine and sexy, I enjoy a good “Peep Show”. So, I will tell you what I would have liked to have seen in ‘Sucker Punch’: More T&A…especially A, less guns and explosions, more T&A, less man hating, more T&A, one or two more redeeming characters, more T&A, less visual “over the top” condescension, more T&A, and…oh yeah, an “R” rating.

      P.S. I hope I don’t come off as too much of a smart-ass Chrissy

  20. Alright, I finally saw the movie last night.

    I give it maybe 2.5 starts at best. Which is very disappointing, because I’ve been looking forward to this film since Octoberish…the trailer just made it look so good!!

    The problem with this movie was simply a bad script. Some have said it was bad acting – I disagree. The actors/actresses all seemed talented and just did as they were told. It’s not their fault. Just bad script. Which meant shallow character development with awkward dialogue/scene direction.

    The action and cinematography were great!….it’s just too bad there was no reason to really care, because the film never made me care about the characters or the background much. And the concept itself is just preposterous if it’s left without background story/explanation – which it was. A luny bin that’s really a 5 star brothel/cabaret? OH YEAH, REALLY?! That could use just a little explaining to draw me into accepting it on an emotional level. Otherwise it just feels silly. And then, why did the girls seem to actually care somewhat about their dancing? They’re sex slaves!! What’s in it for them? Absolutely no explanation. No explanation for much of anything in this movie except Babydoll is trying to escape and needs 5 items to do it (sounds like a videogame)….

    Sad this movie wasn’t developed into what it could have been. It really had potential. Only reason I would ever watch parts of this movie on tv is if I’m channel surfing and come across an action scene.

    Disappointing, Snyder.

  21. Solid review, very in depth. I read another good review online – these guys broke it down really really well I gotta say – one person HATED it, but another liked it. I saw the movie last weekend, and its really weird to say but I totally agree with both – it was terrible and awesome at the same time!*******-it%E2%80%99s-just-another-review/

  22. I actually don’t understand why the over analyzing of the movie. Empowerment, women being abused, etc etc…. For me it was 5 sexy kick ass women backed with awesome graphic & slick fighting sequence. The story, okay, it could be better. But it would be so much better if the alternate world is actually real. My fav is Sweet Pea tho I adore Emily acting as Baby Doll. She’s uber cute.

    & yes, I’m a girl & no, I’m not a lesbian.

    • That’s the beauty of it, Snyder said he wanted it to be open to interpretation.

      Check out this recent interview he did and I’ll quote an excerpt from the article where he says:

      “I feel like people either see it two ways: completely in the overt version as exactly what they see, which is just this girl going crazy and then going on this adventure for no reason. That version of the movie that people see is as a super straightforward movie. Or people see it as a crazy, sort of, commentary on genre films and what is sexuality and why the girls are dressed like that. I think that’s also valid, because that’s what the movie is.”

  23. I liked the movie. I thought the action was superb.

    The set designs were stunning. I liked how the colors from each reality affected the mood of the film. I immediatlety knew which reality I was in by the colors of the scene.

    The music for the film was amazing. Implentmented well to each scene.

    The costume designs were nice. I thought the pacing of the film was alright, things never seemed to move too slow; maybe a little jumble from time to time. For the most part, I stayed entertained.

    The story was solid. Some of the acting and dialouge was kind of bland but sufficient. To it’s credit though, there was a scene in the movie that left the whole theater in awe toward the end of the film.

    All in all I felt was a highly entertainig action film that had minor acting, dialogue, and character development problems. 3.5/5 for me.

  24. I’ve said it before – Snyder would do much better with shorter projects. He just doesn’t have the touch (yet) to direct an emotional full-length film. The guy went straight from commercials to films without getting the basics of how to tell a story where the audience feels invested.

    He really should do a web series or something to mold his craft at telling stories rather than just cool action sequences. His current talents would be greatly utilized in something like the Aeon Flux shorts on Liquid Television – short, full of action, and the viewer basically fills in the gaps of the story with their imagination. What Snyder gives us now is too much to imagine our own story but too little to feel like I’m being told a story.

    • Uhm… Watchmen?

      • What about it? I thought Watchmen was terrible and I honestly don’t know how people could like it – but to each his own (I know many people whom I respect that liked it). I saw it in the theater – hated it – then I tried watching the director’s cut a couple months ago and I couldn’t stomach it in one sitting.

  25. I just went and saw this tonight, and I have to agree with just about everything Kendrick has to say. I enjoyed it because it was visually pleasing, but I did feel that it missed its mark as far as the plot went. The soundtrack *was* great, which was nice. I felt throughout the entire movie that it would have made a far superior video game, actually, so I could relate when Kendrick said that perhaps it would have done better as a series, in order to further delve into the plot and character development. I also felt a bit of chagrin at the empowerment stuff while watching a bunch of scantily clad women prance around beating things up. I’m not an uber feminist or anything, but at the same time, it seemed vaguely disingenuous. Good review, I agree on all fronts.

  26. It has come to my attention that the movie Sucker Punch has had some negative reviews. I must strongly disagree that this movie was far from good due to a lack in story line; it had a solid plot that mixed in fantasy with a “sucker punch” of reality. Not every story ends with rainbows and victory, which is what made the film so interesting in my opinion. For those disappointed with a lack of plot, answer me why? The film shows strong points in keeping a solid theme interesting by stunning cut scenes and a twist from the expectations. The plot is unique and the punch line expiring, no matter the hardship, you can fight through it. Baby Doll didn’t lose her battle, she survived through it, and that was all she needed before she could let go. As for those who say the whole movie was for the effects, think about the purpose of a movie; it’s for entertainment! If your a guy who doesn’t think stunning girls fighting samurai, Nazi zombies, dragons, and robots to be thrilling, than your clearly homosexual and while their is nothing wrong with that, I can now see where your dislike for the movie comes from. For all those geeks out there who sit on their ass all day dreaming about being a knight in some WoW based fantasy or whatnot, I can’t see how you wouldn’t relate to this movie. Maybe it’s jealousy spurred by the movie (which should be agreed sounds pathetic), or maybe a loss of hope for a misunderstood ending. The point is Baby Doll never saw herself as losing or giving up. The directing wasn’t bad either; it consists of a large portion of unspoken setting which the audience must figure for themselves, a device which allows the audience to form predictions and formulate reasoning that best fits their likes. By showing the lobotomy first, it brings about a sort of dramatic irony even though we may forget this after a while of hoping that Baby Doll does indeed become free from the asylum in the physical sense. With this device, it’s easier to become attached to the character working in a beginning-end-middle direction (many movies use this). The music was used only for the purpose of adding excitement due to the fact that music, in its nature, creates emotions and moods in people.
    All in all, I felt that this was a great movie and that Zack Snyder did a terrific job at making a piece of entertainment that is certainly worth seeing if it fits your liking. I just felt that I needed to give an underappreciated movie the rebuttal it rightfully deserved!

    • it’s not that it doesn’t have a plot, its that the plot is so poorly developed. it’s like Snyder had ideas for four overthetop action scenes and strung them together with a plot that is trying to say something deep but doesn’t come across to the audience. i think i felt more invested in the charcters of The Phantom Menace than in SP.

  27. 4 out of 5. I had a blast! Is it gonna win an Oscar? No. Did I watch it with a big smile on my face? Hells yes!

    There is no other movie like this! Trolls will troll. This movie was just fun!

  28. As for the slow motion, had there not been any I would’ve had no idea what was going on in the fight scenes. With Zack Snyder you see every hit and I love that!

  29. wow i think i may be a;ong the only 10% who understood the movie…
    Baby doll does not exist and is only the imagination of sweet pea.
    Man open your eyes and re write your review, you just missed the point. Do not write about movies if you are so narrow minded when watching a movie. looks like a teenager review.