An excerpt from Pajiba’s review of Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch:
It’s as if Snyder spent a weekend dropping acid and playing every video game he could find, and developed a series of hallucination-based short films. Then, he came up with a sordid, melodramatic-as-fuck story about young girls trapped in a brothel/insane asylum/burlesque club/Dickensian shithole. Then, he decided he was gonna get all girl-powered and developed his own brand of lingerie-inspired pedophelia-themed feminism. Then he took all of those things, stuffed them into a bag three sizes to small, and then beat the fucking bag with hammers until he shit himself.
He then topped off the bag with feces, and hit me in the face with it. In short, Zack Snyder is an asshole.
For the life of me, I can’t figure out how a movie featuring Nazi zombies, biplanes, dragons, mechs, Samurai, and zeppelins (not to mention Led Zeppelin) could go wrong. This looks like this year’s The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.
Update: Outlaw Vern, whose filmatological skills I greatly admire, gives Sucker Punch a mixed review, but mostly a thumbs up.
Let’s start with the “awesome” part: this is just a pure, unadulterated, I-have-complete-confidence-in-what-I-want-to-do-so-give-me-millions-of-dollars-and-go-away type of vision. You could also say that about a few of the worst big budget movies of all time (specifically BATMAN AND ROBIN and TRANSFORMERS 2: REVENGE OF THE TRANSFORMERS FROM PART 1) but Snyder has a gift for filmatic language and visual storytelling, he takes his characters and stories seriously instead of lamely making fun of them every two seconds, and he seems very sincere about what he’s trying to say. His movies have an implied “Hello friend, are you on the same wavelength as me?” instead of the ol’ “Here you go assholes, you like this type of shit don’t you? Then pay up, asswipe.”
I do agree with Vern about a point he brings up often: I much prefer a director who is willing to live or die by his or her own personal vision, however weird or warped or kinetic it may be, because this approach stands in such stark opposition to most of the test-screened pablum that Hollywood churns out so relentlessly. Auteur-type movies can also fail, of course, but most of the time it’s in a glorious, off-the-rails way that can be fun (or at least illuminating) in its own way.