Sucker Punch is an… interesting movie. I, however, believe it to have been too padded in order to earn approval of an audience.
The movie begins with a very dark opening of the death of the heroine’s mother and then, in an attempt to get away from her abusive step-father, she accidentally kills her sister. The girl, who is known as Baby Doll (Emily Browning), is put into a mental institution by the step-father. There she meets fellow inmates Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone), Amber (Jamie Chung), and Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens). Discovering that she is set to have a lobotomy in five days, Baby Doll plots with her friends to try to escape.
Seems simple enough, right? Well here’s where it gets confusing. Baby Doll begins fantasizing that her world is a prison where she is forced to be a stripper. The corrupt hospital owner, Blue (Oscar Isaac), is the theater owner who imprisons the girls, and the doctor, Vera Gorski (Carla Gugino), is the somewhat kind dance instructor.
Here’s where things get really strange. When Baby Doll dances within the fantasy, she enters ANOTHER fantasy where the girls are heroes with guns and swords and planes and such. Led by the Wise Man (Scott Glenn), the girls partake in dangerous missions mirrored in the fantasy within reality. (Good God, this is beginning to sound like Inception.)
Sucker Punch, I think, lacked half a plot. Rather, it had a plot in pieces, but it had terrible transitioning between them. For instance, in one scene, Baby Doll goes to the fantasy within a fantasy for the first time, with music playing in the background. We zoom into Baby Doll, and when we come out, the world has changed. She acts without any emotion, surprise or fear, and simply walks inside a building, and proceeds to have an epic battle against a giant samurai.
The part of the movie with more story put into is the time in the theater and hospital. This has a strong plot that if expanded on, I feel, could make a terrific movie. But the warfare scenes seem thrown in there simply as a crowd pleaser. Her visions could have been things other than war too! That would have supported the plot of ‘A girl who uses her imagination to escape’ better.
This film is extremely artistic and well-designed with tons of details. It is also very graphic and disturbing, with blood, zombies, sexual activity, and even dragon guts at one point. It is not for young eyes.
Age Recommendation: Around teenage years. Not necessarily adults only, but not for young kids.
Final Verdict: 8/10.