Review: `Sucker Punch` ‘sucks’ from the word go

Spicezee Bureau

One expected something great from the stables of Zack Snyder, who has directed cinematic delights like ‘300’ and ‘Watchmen’. But sadly, one can’t say the same about Snyder’s latest ‘Sucker Punch’.

Written by Snyder and Steve Shibuya, ‘Sucker Punch’ narrates the story of Babydoll (played by Emily Browning) and her escape from a harem-night club.

Set in the `60s, the film opens with a long, dialogue-free section in which our Babydoll and her younger sister lose their mother. They`re left at the mercy of a cruel stepfather (Gerard Plunkett), who kills the sister and frames it on Babydoll. He quickly hides her away in that most fearsome of hellholes: Brattleboro, Vt.

The hellhole turns out to be a gothic mental hospital where the where the corrupt chief doctor Blue (Oscar Isaac) presides. He immediately schedules Babydoll for a lobotomy in five days time.

The story after this goes downhill. All of a sudden the film shifts to a layer of unexplained fantasy where the hospital is instead a nightclub. Dr Blue is recast as a pimp, and the inmates as exotic dancers. They aren`t your typical mental hospital crowd, but a harem of beauties: Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung).

With Babydoll as their leader, the girls plot their escape. And to escape they must gather a series of items, each of which they scheme to obtain while Babydoll dances. She is apparently so good that it puts anyone watching in a kind of trance.

Each task is carried out not in the nightclub world, but some other, symbolic realm where a wise man (Scott Glenn) guides them in brutal, absurd tests: a dragon slaying; sword and machine gun combat with stone samurai.

The movie is packed with heavy, booming scores of mostly covered pop tunes. The camera work and the graphics are probably the only thing worth a mention in this fantasy fiction.

The movie’s is 110 minutes long but one might find it agonising to sit through the whole movie.

Ratings: One cheer for this one