Visionary Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hool director Zack Snyder explores a different kind of hooters. It wasn't screened anywhere near press deadlines, for the usual reason: sucking.

Sucker Punch

WW Critic's Score: 29

In promoting Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder insisted we should prepare to have our minds blown. He totally succeeds in blowing while telling the story of Baby Doll (doe-eyed and possibly comatose Emily Browning), who is whisked away to a gothic hospital for criminally hot chicks. In order to escape a lobotomy at the spike of Don Draper (this is the '50s, after all), she is tasked with finding five items to secure her freedom. But to get those items, she must escape to a fantasy world where she and friends Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung are lingerie-clad prostitutes in a rundown 1920s brothel. Oh, oh, oh—but the items aren't in this fantasy world. In order to get them, Baby Doll has to strip, an act that transports her into ANOTHER fantasy world, an Iron Maiden album cover full of zombie Nazis, orcs, robots, monster samurai, dragons and other shit that inspired by a 13-year-old boy's notebook doodles. Once she procures the items, she's transported back to the brothel to plot the escape. Oh wait! The brothel is also the asylum. Or is it?

Mind blown yet?

Apparently, Snyder's was (maybe blame  bong hits taken during scriptwriting). Sucker Punch is a big, sloppy mess of a film designed solely to put the sexy women in fetish costumes straight out of a Japanese cosplay porno. Which is a fantastic idea. Snyder knows how boobs should look while being jostled by slow-motion machine-gun kickbacks, and occasionally Sucker Punch throws in a few cool set pieces, particularly a World War II trench battle against mechanized zombie Nazis.

But goddamn, did he need to take himself so seriously while presenting what's basically a video-game combination of Girl, Interrupted, The Matrix, Hellboy, Kill Bill, Lord of the Rings and a teenager's wet dream? Snyder finds no humor in the  ridiculousness he's wrought, staging the entire affair with a ham-fisted sense of self-righteousness, as if his Alice in Wonderland with machine guns were something more than a fanboy love letter for horny kids.

Say what you will about Snyder, the dude's got a deft eye for visuals, something he employed brilliantly with his surprisingly bombastic Dawn of the Dead remake. Hell, the visuals almost distracted from the utter brainlessness of 300 and the overreaching pretentiousness of Watchmen. Here, though, the visuals can't make up for what isn't just a horrible movie, but three horrible movies packed into one, a redundant mess full of shitty performances and ripoff action.


opens wide today; find showtimes