Film critic Dominic Corry celebrates, clarifies and justifies his love for all things movie.

Movie Review: Sucker Punch

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Emily Browning, left, and Carla Gugino in Sucker Punch. Photo / AP
Emily Browning, left, and Carla Gugino in Sucker Punch. Photo / AP

This typically slick and gorgeous outing from master visualist Zack Snyder (300, Watchmen) excels during the action scenes, but falls a little flat in the plot department.

Australian actress Emily Browning (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events) plays a Babydoll, a spirited young girl who is sent to an insane asylum by her evil stepfather. All of a sudden, the asylum becomes a dance school, in which Babydoll's mad skills attract much attention as she bonds with four fellow inmates/dancers.

Resolving to escape before a scheduled lobotomy, Babydoll and her four friends must undergo several high-octane trials - including slaying a dragon and taking on giant samurai robots - which all appear to be in her head.

Sucker Punch is Snyder's first film not based on existing material and, even though the various aesthetics are somewhat derivative, I found myself appreciating the fact this wasn't a sequel, remake or TV show adaptation.

The dramatic scenes between the huge set-pieces do get a little tiresome but the actresses manage to keep a straight face.

The action scenes are amusing but it is undermined by the ambiguity regarding the reality of what is happening. Ultimately though, I like Snyder's decision to keep things on a metaphorical level.

If you can look past the reactionary responses to the film's pronounced sexuality, there's definite fun to be had here.

Stars: 3/5
Rated: M
Running time: 110 minutes.

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