Quite possibly the most obnoxiously noisy mess of a movie I’ve ever seen, Sucker Bait — excuse me, Sucker Punch — is not without its points of interest, in much the same way that a sheep with five legs in a sideshow is interesting. In fact, Zack Snyder’s latest is kind of a sideshow in its own right: fascinating, appalling, and tedious depending on where you look. It’s as if Snyder simply dragged in everything from the attic of his mind and threw it up on the screen. It’s like an art house jumble sale filtered through the sensibility of an adolescent video game junkie with a taste for lingerie catalogues. It’s probably hopeless trying to make sense out of Snyder’s feverish nonsense, but let’s give it a shot. The plot follows a girl called Baby Doll (expressionless Emily Browning) who is railroaded into a home for the “mentally insane” (that’s what it says) for a quick lobotomy by her evil stepfather. While waiting for the lobotomy, she fantasizes that she’s in some kind of creepy David Lynch brothel and further fantasizes videogame adventures where she and some of the other girls (Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jamie Chung) follow the instructions of a sub-David Carradine wiseman (Scott Glenn) to acquire the items they need to escape the brothel/asylum. It’s mostly an undigested mash-up of bits of other people’s movies, anime, PG-13 level “barely legal” porn, and videogames for two punishing hours. If it evidenced even the slightest sense of humor about its intrinsic absurdity, it might have been fun, but it takes itself way too seriously for that.
Director: Zack Snyder
Writer: Zack Snyder and Steve Shibuya
Cast: Vanessa Hudgens, Emily Browning, Jamie Chung, Jena Malone and Abbie Cornish
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