Customer Review

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Misunderstood Fairytale, 6 July 2011
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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Location: Manchester

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