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276 of 324 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Flawed Genius?
*** POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW ***

I'm making the focus of this review an explanation of what I believe (and others that have shared their thoughts with me) the story and film is about. I think alot of the issues negative reviews have is that it makes no sense, so hopefully what I've laid out here will help go some way to explaining it.

Like other,...
Published on 9 April 2011 by R. Harrison

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An indulgence all round
Blu-ray review.

Sucker Punch is an action-fantasy thriller film, following the fantasies of a young woman who is committed to a mental institution, and how she makes plans to escape the hospital before undergoing a lobotomy. The cinematic release earlier in 2011 received a generally negative reception from critics, who considered the film poorly written and...
Published on 11 Nov 2011 by OEJ


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276 of 324 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Work of Flawed Genius?, 9 April 2011
By 
R. Harrison "Rich H" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
*** POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOLLOW ***

I'm making the focus of this review an explanation of what I believe (and others that have shared their thoughts with me) the story and film is about. I think alot of the issues negative reviews have is that it makes no sense, so hopefully what I've laid out here will help go some way to explaining it.

Like other, more constructive, reviews have already stated this film works on a number of levels. Not just the various layers of reality but also with layered meaning and symbolism. I you were expecting *just* an easy to watch straightfoward action film then you're going to be, well, sucker-punched. Why would anyone think this though - the trailers' all pretty much warned you to not expect that and the title definitely does. In fact there are multiple ways to interpret the title of the film beyond it just not being a straightforward action film. Here are a few points to consider regardin it:

* Baby Doll was not the protagonist (a fact she twigs on to at the end).

* She isn't even necessarily real - she's an 'Angel' created in the mind of Sweet Pea.

* Baby Doll's back story (her sister and situation) all describe, in part, the story of Sweet Pea's (as alluded to within certain scene's of the film).

* Let's also not forget that Sweet Pea was playing the role of Baby Doll in the first scene on the stage. The narrator all the way through the film is Sweet Pea. The fantasy bordello elements didn't actually start until we meet Sweet Pea.

So, I believe Sweet Pea is the reality of this film, and no-one else, and if you realise Sweet Pea is the focus of the film's story (and this may only occur on repeat viewings) then you pick up on a lot more *clues* as to what is really taking place in this film.

Right at the beginning of the film a curtain opens and Sweet Pea is telling the story of how she came to be in an asylum. In her retelling, it's a 50's style asylum. The doctor reminds her that she's in control of the story. The asylum of the film isn't actually real (it goes without saying that the bordello and action scenes are also fantasies) which explains the anachronisms of modern music combined with 50's style fashion and technology.

In order to recover, she needs to explore her issues. Sessions in which they're addressed are too traumatic, so she further escapes into outright fantasies (the action scenes). The shifts through the various layers of realities and the projection of other personalities are the way Sweet Pea explores her issues and works through them. Its a very clever way of representing isolation and dissociative behaviour to make them palatable and accessible to the average film-goer.

The film's plotline is basically about Sweet Pea's journey along the path of recovery, her "escape". So, the other girls are symbolic of this journey:

1) Baby Doll is a projection of Sweet Pea's guilt over not being able to save her sister. She has to let that go at the end to fully "escape".

2) Rocket is repesentative of Sweet Pea's sister. She *is* Sweet Pea's sister but the denouement as she lies in Sweet Pea's arms goes some way to healing her [Sweet Pea].

3) Blondie is a projection of Sweet Pea's self-doubt. Constantly unsure, she also seeks justification and forgiveness in the arms of various authority figures (ie, the doctor and Blue).

4) Amber is a projection of Sweet Pea's denial and mental resistance to what has occured and this is symbolised in the fact that she's always the pilot - there to pull Sweet Pea out of the fire if it gets too hot.

Along with the layers of reality, all these characters are used within the film as metaphors for Sweet Pea's self-healing. The other characters (the doctor, Blue, her father) all exist as antagonists to this process throughout these layers of reality.

It really is a gutsy (maybe even experimental) film, dealing with these kind of issues, but because its wrapped up in the guise of a comic book (along with its script, visuals, etc) people don't seem to be able to see it for what it is. Which is a pity. With this in mind, I find it amusing to read alot of the negative reviews - especially the people that state how badly, scripted/acted/directed the film is and then plead with us that it makes no sense. If such people actually had any perceptive qualities they'd understand what the film is about, and as they don't it kinda calls into question their ability to recognise what a good film *is*.

In this film Zack Snyder has attempted to deal with some really big issues that are extraordinarily difficult to explain or represent visually in any format, never mind as the type of 'moving graphic novel' style he's known for, and he's probably failed as most viewers simply don't get the film. For me though, I found this film demanding (in a good way) and it made me really think about what was taking place and what it was actually about. Only a second viewing really sorted it out in my mind.

I believe, this film is a rough diamond and confirms that Zack Snyder is a visionary film maker who's attention to visual composition is up there with other movie making greats. As with his other films, he also knows how to integrate a film's score/music into a scene and in Sucker Punch he's reached his zenith on this - the soundtrack really fits. Sucker Punch, when at is best, dances along like some crazed hybrid action movie/graphic novel/music video. And its awesome. When not doing this, it does lack pace and interest can wane - almost like coming down from a drug induced high. But, considering the context of the film, perhaps that's somewhat deliberate? ... Snyder's took a real risk with the driving force behind this film as well as its presentation, which is commendable. Sucker Punch is an imperfect work of art which doesn't really fall into the category of 'standard film making'; it attempts to use the medium and approach storytelling in a different and highly stylised way, and I really enjoyed those aspects of it in addition to the central conceit of the film with regards to uncovering and understanding the layers of reality and the symbolism of the characters.

Although the film is not perfect by any means or without its faults, I hope people give it more of a chance in the future.

7/10.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Sucker Punch (Incl. Extended Cut) [Blu-ray + DVD] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Good thank u
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enigmatic and outrageously entertaining, 18 Mar 2014
By 
P. Morgan "Philmaddict" (Cardiff) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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To anybody having seen the cinema/DVD release only, I would thoroughly recommend this extended Blu-ray 2 disc edition. The first disc has the cinema version, the second the director's cut, containing over 17 extra minutes, that add up to a real fleshing out of the narrative. There are notable highlights here, including substantially expanded action sequences, particularly the fortress assault in pursuit of fire, which is on a par with the Orc scenes in 'Lord of the Rings' ( but with added machine guns!!) There's also an eye-popping burlesque/night club scene with Oscar Isaac and Carla Gugino performing the show stopping 'Love is the Drug'. Also on this disc is a full feature run-through of the film with director Zack Snyder, various film technicians and actors dissecting and explaining many of the processes involved in production and special effects. Definitely a must buy item for anyone who liked this film on its initial release.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ladies totally owning it and DC is better than the theatrical version, 21 July 2013
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This review is from: Sucker Punch (Incl. Extended Cut) [Blu-ray + DVD] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
It ads more story instead of action and thats what it needed. It fleshes out the world more and I still think its a good movie despite what the majority says...

It looks gorgeous in 1080P and the art work is sublime.. It has its faults to be sure but I still enjoy it
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 22 April 2012
By 
KM (Liverpool) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 10 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Sucker Punch [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
My lad and I really enjoyed Sucker Punch. We'd heard mixed reviews on it but you've just gotta see it for yourself and I'm glad we did!

It's basically the story of a girl who accidentally kills her sister (whilst trying to defend her)and ends up in an asylum, via the underhanded dealings of her stepfather she is in line for a lobotomy so she can't tell anybody about what's been going on with the horrible stepfather. That's it! But as she's about to have the procedure she immerses herself into an imaginary world which is what this movie is all about (in the main!).

As you can imagine (no pun intended) the stuff you could possibly dream up with your mind is amazing and what we are treated to here is absolutely brilliant in my opinion. Forget all the hidden meanings and psycho babble of each and every little scene and character and just sit back, crank your speakers or sound system up and enjoy the CGI fest and audio that will be blasted into your ever grateful ears folks because this movie does deliver great action scenes covering martial arts stylised fighting, guns, guns and more guns, Sci Fi, robots, giant samurai demons, steam punk german armies, orc like creatures and dragons accompanied by great audio and visuals!

As pure total and utter escapism I couldn't fault it, brilliant!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An indulgence all round, 11 Nov 2011
By 
OEJ - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Blu-ray review.

Sucker Punch is an action-fantasy thriller film, following the fantasies of a young woman who is committed to a mental institution, and how she makes plans to escape the hospital before undergoing a lobotomy. The cinematic release earlier in 2011 received a generally negative reception from critics, who considered the film poorly written and acted despite the visual flair, and significantly underperformed at the box office, barely recouping its budget.

Within about fifteen minutes of watching this Blu-ray film (which I rented) I 'got it', and from then on it was basically a question of going through the motions, with no shocks or twists at all. A couple of things occurred to me; first that this was little more than a complete indulgence for the director and creator, and secondly that it probably would have been truer to those indulgences had all censorship been lifted - or at least, given an 18 rating. As it stands it's almost conspicuous for its toning-down of whatever overt sexuality that the writer and director surely had in mind originally, the financial objective being to get it accepted for viewers of only 12 years of age. The film cost over $80 million so maybe there was unplanned pressure to get it to a wider audience. Personally I think this backfired; it's a film that, like Sin City for example, should really be aimed at adults with no compromises in terms of censorship.

This is definitely a film that if you're going to get it at all, you must go for the Blu-ray version. It's all about visual and aural impact so to best enjoy that, go hi-def. Music being such an essential element of this film, the soundtrack takes full advantage of the 5.1 DTS-HD format, with nearly constant activity in the rear and side channels and distinct stereoscopic movement from speaker to speaker.

But don't expect much more; the characters are all shallow and pointless, the viewer hardly cares if anyone dies or not, and claims by some other reviewers that there are 'deep, hidden messages' within this film are just ridiculous. There's nothing more to it than what you see. Watch, enjoy the sounds and visions and then pretty much forget about it - although I can imagine that many people will want to watch it several times even if they agree with this. It's an odd mixture of intrigue and utter nonsense, in some ways so bad as to be 1-star crud, yet equally worthy of a 5-star max for its special effects and overall visual impact. But deep and meaningful it most definitely is not, and the acting (particularly from every single male character) is pretty amateurish.

I've given it a 3-star rating because it's in the middle and since it's possible to apply any and every rating, might as well give it that. I'm not saying that it's exactly in the same peer group as Sin City, but for the record I thought that was much, much better than this. It shares some concepts with The Matrix too, and again it's nowhere near as good as that. I preferred 300 as well (by the same director). In summary it was a touch disappointing, I had expected more and better. Glad I watched it though.
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Initial post: 29 Mar 2012 13:37:59 BDT
The Truth says:

Good review. And I agree - there is no need to look for any deep and hidden meaning in this film. It is what it is, and you'll either love it or hate it. I, myself, loved it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood Fairytale, 6 July 2011
By 
This review is from: Sucker Punch (Incl. Extended Cut) [Blu-ray + DVD] [2011] [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
I'm not an avid reviewer, but I do sometimes feel the need to defend films that seem to have been unfairly maligned, such as this little gem. We're all entitled to our opinions, but I believe a lot of the negative reactions to Sucker Punch have been based on misguided expectations. With its misleading marketing campaign & big budget credentials it did appear to be a much more commercial, easy-going crowd-pleaser. Unfortunately, feel-good it ain't. But it's in no way a gritty drama either, instead a nightmarish vision of brutality, coping mechanisms, escapism and the evil that men do.

We no longer question the horrific nature of Grimm's fairy-tales because they're so well established, but never before has a modern IMAX experience had such dark, ambiguous and immoral content. With its offbeat approach, extreme tragedies, nick-named characters and imaginary fantasy worlds, this is the kind of thing that Tim Burton used to do so well. It's probably the most comic-book film ever to have not been based on a comic; easily more like a graphic novel than anything else I've seen on the big screen. This also seems to be a film that nobody wants to admit to liking. Despite some negative reviews Sucker Punch did make a profit at the box office and was the number 1 DVD release for 4 weeks running.

The content itself was the true sucker punch, a poke in the eye for the mainstream audience, which somehow makes Zack Snyder's film seem even braver. I can understand where he was coming from, but I'm not really sure what his target market actually was. Despite all the incredible action Sucker Punch is admittedly too morbid & depressing to appeal to the adolescent boy crowd, or even just your general popcorn muncher. The over-the-top genre-spoofing fantasy action sequences are undeniably spectacular, but they're slightly defused by the fact that these are merely metaphors for the truly dangerous tasks the girls have to undertake to escape the asylum.

It's certainly worth buying the Blu-ray as the extended cut is better than the theatrical release. There is more action and a chilling extra scene which the censors deemed too strong, not that it made any difference in the end. Maybe people wanted the film to take itself more seriously, bearing in mind the subject-matter, rather than have this Monty Python outlook... I would say, if you're nostalgic for that old, skewed, Terry Gilliam kinda thing, give it a go. You won't be disappointed. Otherwise, avoid. Maybe that's what they should have put on the poster (if they'd wanted a commercial failure, of course).
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sucker Punch - Marvellous!, 8 Aug 2013
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This review is from: Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is without a doubt one of the best film purchases of my life. At first when looking at the customer reviews for this product I was somewhat doubtful, but make no mistake, after watching this film; it is absolutely excellent!

The plot is somewhat hard to explain in writing (although easier to understand while watching). It centres on 'babydoll' who after being attacked by her step dad gets blamed for her sisters death. She gets sent to a mental institution. Im going to stop there. What happens next all ties in to the end of the film, and so I will not spoil the story for you!

However I will say the acting throughout is extremely well done. The casting is superb, and you really feel for each of the characters when something bad, or good happens. Special effects are amazing! Plot is well though out, thought provoking and emotional. Fighting scenes are exciting and gripping, especially sword play. I was hooked from the start of the film. All the women in this film are very beautiful too, as an added bonus :)

Overall I give this film a 5/5 because its just downright awesome . Trust me, when you watch it, you'll know. Disregard bad reviews, this film was thoroughly enjoyable.

Bravo!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend, 2 Mar 2014
This review is from: Sucker Punch (DVD)
This was a stylish and very creative production. A really thought provoking film.

The music overlays seemed so appropriate. The female singer performing an excellent interpretation of Tomorrow Never Knows for example.

I've read a number of reviews, some complaining about the portrayal of women for example. I think they missed the point frankly. It's portraying an alternative image of disturbing reality. I'd say more but don't want to write a spoiler.

It's been described as Alice in Wonderland with guns. Possibly. Though I have a feeling Alice's experience wasn't so very different. Just 100 or so years earlier.

Pleased I watched this.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film, 11 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Sucker Punch [DVD] [2011] (DVD)
This is a great film, i got it for the fiancee and she made me sit down to watch it. The film is made great and had a good story line I would recommend it.
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