Sucker Punch sucks more than it punches (see what I did there?)
Ever since I first heard about Zack Snyder's new movie I thought he was asking for trouble having "Suck" in the title. That's like begging critics to tear it apart. Sure enough, they have and I can't blame them. This is probably one of the most misguided and poorly constructed big studio movies in years.
I can almost appreciate what he was trying to do with this movie, combining all his pop culture interests into one story. But throwing One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Moulin Rouge, Brazil, Kill Bill and countless anime and video games into a blender does not a compelling movie make. Like Inception, this is a movie about the nature of dreams, but unlike Inception it spends so little time developing the characters and explaining the rules of the dream world that it's impossible to care about anything that happens. We spend maybe five or ten minutes in the "real world" part of the story and then we go into the first fantasy layer where the heroine imagines herself in a whorehouse (apparently much more preferable than an insane asylum) before going into a further fantasy layer where every time she dances she inexplicably imagines herself fighting giant samurai, robots and zombie Nazis.
These action scenes looks cool in the trailers, but in the movie there are no stakes and they have NOTHING AT ALL to do with the real plot. So they just turn into a tiresome CGI wankfest that I wanted to end as quickly as possible. An example of how pointless these scenes are is the Scot Glenn character - a wise mentor who has no real world counterpart and tells the heroine nothing useful at all. Except that she must kill sleeping baby dragons for some reason.
There are the seeds of a good story here, and if Snyder had actually spent anytime developing Babydoll or the other girls' desire to escape then at least the film could have had some emotional investment. As it is, I feel bad for the actors involved having to portray a teenage masturbatory fantasy that has no logic or depth. It's the ultimate example of style over content, an accusation unfairly labeled at Snyder's previous films, which actually had halfway decent scripts.
It doesn't give me high hopes for Superman. Avoid at all costs.