Sucker Punch is about Emily Browning, who is locked up in a mental asylum by her evil stepfather. She retreats into an alternative reality and plans to escape from the institution with the help of four other inmates. Read the review for more.

Business Rating: 1.5 stars

Star cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac.

Plot: Emily Browning is locked up in a mental asylum by her evil stepfather. She retreats into an alternative reality and plans to escape from the institution with the help of four other inmates.

What’s Good: The music; some of the battle scenes; the visual effects.

What’s Bad: Too many alternative realities get confusing after a while; the background score gets too noisy at times; some fight sequences seem too unreal.

Verdict: Sucker Punch will do poor business in India because of the routine story and the confusing screenplay.

Loo Break: Not really.

Watch or Not? If you’re into action-packed movies with visual effects, Sucker Punch is for you.

Sucker Punch Review (Sucker Punch Movie Stills)
Emily Browning imagines fantastic alternate realities to escape from the asylum.

Warner Bros.’ Sucker Punch is about Babydoll (Emily Browning) who visualises an alternative reality in her head in order to escape from a mental asylum.

Babydoll (Emily Browning) accidentally kills her sister while trying to escape from her evil stepfather. He then sends her to a mental asylum where she will be lobotomized in five days. She creates an elaborate world inside her head where she has to collect a map, fire, a knife and a key in order to escape. Four girls from the institution – Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung) – join her daring plan.

In Babydoll’s world, the girls have to striptease for their customers while the Doctor Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino) becomes their dance instructor. The girls soon realise that Babydoll’s erotic dance is so mesmerising that her audience is left staring at the gyrating moves while they can steal the objects needed to escape. When Babydoll closes her eyes to dance, the audience is transported to a battle zone (very much like a video game) where the girls have to fight their enemy. The battle zones range from a snowy Shaolin monastery, steam-powered German zombies during World War I and Avatar-esque battle machines to a medieval fortress with fire-spewing dragons.

Sucker Punch Review (Sucker Punch Movie Stills)
Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and Amber (Jamie Chung) join Babydoll (Emily Browning).

The girls then use their charms, fighting skills and some amazing weapons to get through each battle; all this with their sexy clothes, mascara and rouge intact. But the sinister caretaker, Blue Jones (Oscar Isaac), is watching every move. Does he find out about their plan? Do the girls manage to escape before Babydoll’s lobotomy? The rest of the movie answers these questions.

Story and Screenplay – Sucker Punch Review

Zack Snyder seems not to have spent too much time on the story. The screenplay (by Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya) has the same routine in each of the battle sequences, but it still not worthless if only because of the visual effects. Very much like Snyder’s previous film, 300, the visuals do most of the talking. However, the writers should have spent more time on the characterisations so that there wouldn’t be such a partisan depiction of the characters. And while some of the fight sequences are stunning, many others end too abruptly. Moreover, the Inception-like world of Babydoll’s imagination gets too confusing at times as the screenplay keeps flitting between the asylum, brothel and battlefields. A majority of the Indian audience will appreciate the action sequences and the skin show but will be put off by the confusing screenplay.

Sucker Punch Review (Sucker Punch Movie Stills)
Emily Browning plays the doe-eyed victim and the sword-wielding warrior with élan.

Star Performances – Sucker Punch Review

Emily Browning plays the doe-eyed victim and the sword-wielding warrior with élan. Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and Jamie Chung are good as her co-plotters. Vanessa Hudgens is no actor. The one scene in which she gets to emote, she fails miserably. Oscar Isaac is impressive as the malicious caretaker. Carla Gugino, as the doctor/instructor, deserved more screen time.

Direction, Music & Visual Effects – Sucker Punch Review

Director Zack Snyder (Watchmen, 300, Dawn Of The Dead) does a good job. Though the film reminds a great deal of ‘300’ in many scenes, the fights are a treat for the eyes. Snyder’s use of music in the film is excellent. While Tyler Bates and Marius De Vries’ background score is very good, it is the rehashed use of tracks by Emily Browning, Björk, Queen, Iggy Pop, The Beatles and Lords of Acid that is impressive. The visual effects are very good. Larry Fong’s cinematography is lovely. William Hoy’s editing could have been better.

The Last Word
On the whole, Sucker Punch will interest only fans of action films. In spite of the sexy actors and flashy fight sequences, the film will do poorly at the Indian box-office.

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