Zack Snyder’s shortcomings as a director come through loud and clear in “Sucker Punch,” a video game in search of a film. Emily Browning plays Baby Doll, a young woman committed to a mental institution by her evil step-father–or is it an upscale gentlemen’s club?
Baby tends to escape into her dream world a lot and for some reason a strip club where the evil psychiatrists and orderlies (Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac) dress like 1920s gangsters and the other patients (Jena Malone, Abbie Cornish, Jamie Chung, and Vanessa Hudgens) are erotic dancers is preferable to her.
In order to escape their captors, Baby and the girls are aided by a wiseman (Scott Glenn, channeling David Carradine in “Kill Bill”) in going on a mission to attain five items, which for some reason includes more escape into a dream world of their own making. Missions include fighting zombie Nazis with hi-tech battle machines, huge samurai warriors, a fire-breathing dragon, and killer androids on a runaway train. These segments look cool but they’re hollow, all video-game CGI, and include a lot of slow-motion sequences of the girls firing their guns and wielding their swords as they fly, twirl, and land in even cooler poses all while wearing skimpy outfits meant to fool teenage boys into thinking they’re going to see the sexy–might as well stay on the internet, guys.
Any suspense or flesh and blood character is drowned out by rampant noise, silly computer technology, and very little actual threat. The only thing that makes you feel anything here is the music selection. This is the kinda movie that isn’t just dull or laughable, it’s one that aims to challenge your patience while someone literally throws brain garbage at you. “Sucker Punch” aims for cool but comes off obnoxious.