Action, 110 Minutes, 2011
There are at least two ways to view this film. The most obvious (and most fun) is as a modern-day “Heavy Metal” with a stronger connecting story. The main story follows a troubled girl who escapes into lavish, multi-layered fantasy in her attempts to escape the sanitarium before she’s lobotomized.
She first transforms the asylum into a brothel where she becomes leader of a group of other women seeking to escape. With that foundation we’re then taken through an anthology of completely fantastical missions which take place deeper in her delusion.
These are fantastic, jaw-dropping action sequences mixing genres and eras masterfully. Ever want to see a hot chick fight 15-foot-tall chain-gun-wielding samurai with dual pistols? How about hot chick dropping from a WWII bomber to battle a fire-breathing dragon in a medieval castle? Well, this movie has you covered and more.
Viewed this way – as a visual extravaganza – “Sucker Punch” is unswerving success. Every decision is made purely on the amount of raw awesome added. Does it make sense? Who cares! Does it look cool?! That’s all that matters in the end.
However you can also try to watch this movie seriously; as a statement on mental illness, abuse and how broken minds cope. On this level the film is much less successful. The characters are shallow and, due to the fractured layering you never really get to know or connect with them.
It’s clear that they were trying to make a deeper statement and, in my opinion, they failed more than they succeeded. That simply doesn’t matter tho’: the movie works so well as a visual roller-coaster that nothing else really matters. Just sit back and enjoy the ride.