Sucker Punch (2011)

4.5 Overall Score
Story: 3/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some good visuals

Story is lacking and makes for flat characters

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Sucker Punch

Studio:  Warner Bros.

Genre(s):  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  March 25, 2011

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


Go get ’em girls!

Babydoll (Emily Browning) has been institutionalized by her lecherous uncle (Gerard Plunkett).  Facing a possible lobotomy, Babydoll finds herself escaping into a fantasy world where she and the other girls are great performers in a stage play where the only escape is her dance.  With a great plan for escape Baby Doll, Amber (Jamie Chung), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Rocket (Jena Malone), and Sweat Pea (Abbie Cornish) must get the pieces to their escape before it is too late and the evil Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac) is standing in their way.  Babydoll’s time is running out and escape is the only hope.


Yes!!! Babygirl makes it to the next level!

Written and directed by Zack Snyder, Sucker Punch was released to a lot of criticism.  The movie found mostly negative reviews and fared poorly in the box office barely making back its production costs.

Sucker Punch is unlike any movie you’ve seen, but at the same time feels like tons of other movies.  It is that weird dichotomy that makes the film interesting, but in the same sense ultimately lead to its failure.

Sucker Punch is a movie about altered realities.  The movie acts like you are supposed to not know that the bulk of the movie is a fantasy, but they set it up at the beginning as a fantasy so I find it odd they act like it is supposed to be a surprise when it returns to the reality of Babydoll’s situation…It is like a movie with a twist that forgot to make it a twist.


I would rather see a movie starring these two…

This idea of realities altered by the mind and music isn’t a new one, but Snyder does make it look different.  I found the movie reminded me a lot of Moulin Rouge! which used popular music and Chicago which used fantasy worlds to escape reality.  Stylistically, it would have made more sense if there was a layer that wasn’t so stylized that would have been true reality.

The movie has an interesting cast.  Emily Browning is solid as Babydoll but the movie lacks the substance to let her really get the role.  I like Jena Malone as her friend and ally Rocket and Abbie Cornish as Rocket’s sister Sweet Pea who watches over the other characters played by Jamie Chung and Vanessa Hudgens.  Carla Gugino is nice as the girls’ teacher and adult ally, but Jon Hamm is underused in the film.  Scott Glenn is effective as the girls’ compass and savior.  I like the evil Blue Jones played by Oscar Isaac who also went on to a great performance in Inside Llewyn Davis.


Oh…now, there is a dragon…

Snyder took the movie in the direction of a video game.  A lot of the objections to the film came in that many felt instead of empowered, the women in the movie were exploited.  Snyder did a good job working the exploitive nature into the movie with the story, but the lack of substance in the story doesn’t make up for the exploitation.  It often just comes off as a weird fighting game with girls in school girl uniforms and military fetish costumes.

Sucker Punch is just a weird movie and a downer.  The movie despite being original often feels like rehash of other films and ultimately doesn’t work.  I wanted to like Sucker Punch (I’ve liked Snyder’s other things), but it just feels too desperate and trying too hard.  Some of the creative decisions really don’t work in this film which flies high but crashes hard.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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