The reviews of "Sucker Punch" (here and here) are so sneeringly negative, I'm actually starting to feel sorry for Zach Synder, of all people. It's a truly terrifying spectacle, an epic-scale, $100 million version of the public humiliation all artists have to be willing to risk in order to dredge something up and offer it to the public. The critics function as the enforcers/playground bullies in this after-school pile-on; exorcising their own free-floating embarrassment -- the timidity that led them to play it safe as critics rather than take chances as creators. Wouldn't blame any budding filmmaker who read these notices for deciding to change careers on the spot. I blush for my former profession.
"...["Sucker Punch"] is not convincingly feminine. (Imagine a boy playing with dolls as if they were tin soldiers.) ... It’s bloody but without menstrual awareness; just as its musical pretext neglects to express genuine feminine trauma or yearning. The girls are like Charlie’s Angels—featuring Scott Glenn as a guardian—doing a 'Kill Bill' remake. Fatally, 'Sucker Punch' has no divas. ... Despite their little-girl-wearing-Mommy’s-make-up stylization, these actresses aren’t fierce like the icons in '300.' This neuters Snyder’s video-game logic into a kid’s game."And the most interesting taker on the film so far, from HG brother blogger Christian Lindke.
The movie is visually stunning, but it shares more with Scorsese's Shutter Island and del Toro's Pan's Labyrinth than it does with the expectations its advertisements create. It is a film of sorrow, hopelessness, loss, despair and the role that fantasy plays in dealing with these powerful emotions. The movie's tagline is "you will be unprepared" and I have never read a more apropos movie tagline. Most people think a tagline like that hints at a narrative twist in the movie, and there is one, but in this case the tagline is telling the viewer that the film's trailer isn't truly preparing the viewer for the experience.