SUCKER PUNCH: EXTENDED EDITION
MOVIE: *** (out of 5)
DVD EXPERIENCE: **** (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
After her mother dies, a girl finds herself stuck under the abuse of her father. When she attacks him and accidentally kills her sister, he commits her to a mental hospital. There, she faces more abuse and escapes by entering a fantasy world of her mind where she fights her fears, which manifest as villains and creatures.
WHAT I LIKED
I’m a big fan of Zack Snyder, even though his movies are far from perfect. I can find something I like about each one. It’s a shame that after coming on so strong with “Dawn of the Dead” and “300,” his career has faltered.
As he does with his other films, Snyder brings a strong visual style and plenty of action. Rather than dissecting the story and characters of “Sucker Punch,” it’s much more impressive to look at the movie as a series of music videos and wickedly cool action sequences. “Sucker Punch” is a visionary movie without much of a visionary story. Were it a series of short films, it would have been perfect.
Oh, and the girls in this movie are sexy as hell. I know that makes me sound creepy as hell, but that was the intent. Like the silly actioner “D.O.A.: Dead Or Alive,” this is a not-quite-porno fantasy for 13-year-old boys. And yeah, I noticed the stockings and push-up bras as well.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
As awesome as the fantasy sequences are, they are strung together with a needlessly depressing and smarmy storyline. Think of this film as the bizarre love child of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Watchmen,” with a costumes by Strippers ‘R’ Us. It’s not an idea situation for a good film, but it’ll get your attention.
The “real world” moments work better than the first-level fantasy, in which the main character of Babydoll envisions her institution as a weird tribute to “Burlesque” and “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.” This first-level fantasy is just too seedy for my tastes, and it really doesn’t mesh with what should be happening in the real world.
There are some serious flaws in this film, not the least of which is Carla Gugino’s accent, but I can’t say that it’s a waste of time to watch.
The multi-disc Blu-ray comes with the DVD as well as both the theatrical cut and the extended cut of the film. Unfortunately, the 17-minute longer extended cut only features a long-form musical number which is painfully out of place and a overly expository ending scene with John Hamm. I’d stick with the theatrical cut if I were you.
Blu-ray features include Maximum Movie Mode, which is a great Warner Bros. general feature, taking you through the many levels of the film. There are additional features, including the original “Sucker Punch” animated shorts and a “Behind the Soundtrack” feature.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of Zack Snyder’s visual style and 13-year-old boys who haven’t figure out how to use the Internet.