Sucker Punch Reviews
Theatrical cut: Visually, this movie is a vast collection of fantasy/sci-fi/cinematic/video game archetypes and references thrown together into a blender, with an almost active contempt for internal consistency. How else do you explain pitting sexy actresses in Sailor Moon-type costumes, and armed with machine guns against zombie clockwork German WWI soldiers AND orcs AND dragons AND robots? And for good measure, add mental institution/women in prison cliches AND burlesque costumes. Some credit must be given for sheer bravado here. And yet the combination and vertiginous piling of images simply fosters boredom.
Narratively, the filmmakers would like the audience to believe that the movie is like a violent version of Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge. But what actually is on screen is a collection of scenes that don't even purport to relate to one another or cohere. Dream worlds are stacked one on top of another, teetering like a pile of misshapen rocks. This is the kind of movie where dialogue cliches originating in bad war movies and bad B-movies are used to punctuate explosions, and where the heroine has less and less interesting things to say than Arnie in any of his movies during his heyday. And the cherry on this bizarre confection is a ridiculously turgid voiceover attempting to indict the target hyperactive and addled male audience for objectifying women (and making the movie objectify women). This, after the audience has been subjected to waves of sleaze unconvincingly countered by pseudo female empowerment.
This movie is horrifically cynical, either stupendously lacking in self-awareness or a brazen attempt exercise in self-hatred. In any case, this is a must-see if only for just how messed up and demented a major studio blockbuster can be. It appears to be a highly expensive rendering of the imagination of a toddler on a sugar high, assisted by a horny but bored teenager who has absorbed plenty of contemporary mass media and does not care to process any of it.