Sucker Punch is the sort of movie that could easily have been conceived by a couple of restless gamer-geeks over late-night beers.
I think it went something like this: “Let’s make a movie where hot chicks run around and slay a dragon!” “Why don’t we add some orcs into it?” “How about a big machine gun?” “Samurais!” “ROBOTIC samurais!” “MORE big machine guns!” “Robotic Samurais shooting big machine guns!” “One of the chicks has to dress like Sailor Moon!” “One has to ride in one of those machines from Exo Squad!” “Let’s get Vanessa Hudgens in it!” “Let’s have robots!” “Let’s have a bullet train like in TRON!” “This is gonna be a riot, but how about some Nazis?” “How about reanimated ZOMBIE Nazis!” “No, they’d be STEAMPUNK!” “Both!” “How do we link them?” “Make the fight scenes in their dreams!” “Make them LAYERED dreams like Inception!” “What’s in the previous layer?” “MORE hot chicks!” “Burlesque dancers!” “What if our girls can’t dance?” “What if they’re all crazy?” “Let’s shoot in an asylum!” “How about a lobotomy thing like Shutter Island!” “Why?” “Cos the chick killed her sister!” “Why’d she do that?” “Cos her dad killed her mother!”
When one of those restless gamer-geeks, however, turns out to be Zack Snyder, you’ve got yourself a legitimate show. But let’s have no illusions about this: No one watches Sucker Punch for the storyline. No one seeks wit from its the dialogue. No one expects its soundtrack to win an award. We’re all watching it, every single one of us, for 3 things: the visual effects, the fight scenes, and the chicks. But most importantly, the chicks. None of which disappoints. Where it goes uphill though, is that the story actually isn’t half bad. It’s not fantastic for sure, but it sure isn’t the worse script you could’ve found. As I’ve pointed out above, there are references from start to finish of all kinds of things from music, movies and animation. Zack Snyder stated in an interview that he enjoys the freedom of filming his own script, and this freedom does show in both the big bold fight scenes as well as the little pop culture references that are just screaming for attention throughout the film. The ultimate goal of the characters is, after all, to find freedom too.
What I loved best about Sucker Punch, though, was the soundtrack. Comprising zero original material, members of the cast reinterpreted music by Eurythmics, The Beatles and Jefferson Airplane into a haunting underscore that lifts emotion, adds aggression and contradicts tradition all at once.
For all followers of pop culture, for all avid video gamers, for all dudes seeking action and for anyone exasperated by their lady-friends’ Twilight obsession, this movie was made for you. For us.
Director: Zack Snyder
Producers: Deborah Snyder & Zack Snyder
Screenwriters: Zack Snyder & Steve Shibuya
Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn