I have for some time now been a fan of Zach Snyder's style of hyper realism. Films that elevate reality to levels of fantasy long adored by comic book nerds and film fanatics alike. From the stylised violence of 300, to the almost music video quality of Watchmen, he has an undeniable trademark visual. Suckerpunch has an overly clever soundtrack and suitably muted pallet to sit comfortably amidst the rest of Snyder's back catalogue.
While so many films of 2011 could be described as 'the bastard child of Inception and…' Suckerpunch benefits from such a comparison rather than cheapening Nolan's masterpiece. It follows the many layers of reality in the life of a young asylum inmate known only as 'Babydoll' (Emily Browning). Fresh-faced and innocent, I fell in love with her on the spot. The heart melts as the clock is ticking as her step-father's wicked deeds haunt her through every one of her fantasy realms.
Gun and sword, can you say overkill?
Suckerpunch sports an almost entirely female primary cast (with the exception of Oscar Isaac as the demonic orderly/pimp and Scott Glenn as the wise man and mentor). These ladies can be viewed in start contrast to the sausage fest of 300, kick just as much arse as those scantily clad Spartans in slightly more clothing. Emily Browning, while occasionally guilty of semi-dullness in the face of her co-stars, manages to carry the two hour running time with a genuine sense of drama and pathos. Notable supporting credits go to Issac for his truly wicked chief protagonist and Jena Malone as Babydoll's sassy best friend.
The remixing of classic tracks such as 'Love Is The Drug' and 'Search and Destroy' are carried off with similar finesse to the musical 'sextravaganza' Moulin Rouge! and Emily Browning's haunting rendition of 'Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)' perfectly underscores the films opening scene. The use of music in Suckerpunch is expertly placed and fans of the title sequence of Watchmen set to 'The Times They Are-A Changin', should instantly recognise Snyder's thumbprint on the opener to his latest adventure.
Suckerpunch's critics have branded it an amateurish and childish attempt to portray female empowerment on screen. However lovers of modern recent strong women Knives Chow, Natasha Romanoff and Lisbeth Salander will find interesting comparisons in the women portrayed here. Making a refreshing change from the slew of Bruce Waynes, Tony Starks, hammer-wielding thunder gods and all-American heroes!
While Suckerpunch should be considered seriously, it must also be taken lightly. Enjoy as you would any Snyder outing; with friends, with a good drink, and without reservations.