The best films are ones that throw the audience into a state of complete disarray over the spectacle that has just revealed itself before their very eyes, causing countless debates and a multi-faceted storyline that needs to be revisited time and time again.
Perhaps I wouldn't go as far to say that Zack Snyder's "Sucker Punch" is one of the 'best films', but it definitely gives the audience something to contemplate, long after they have left the cinema.
Much like last years "Inception", the main cause of confusion is over what is reality and what is only the protagonists fantasy. But I am getting ahead of myself...
"Sucker Punch" is a stylish film that focuses on the dark, troubled life of an orphaned young girl, nicknamed "Babydoll". In the first 6 minutes (It's your lucky day because you can watch them here.) reveals the terrible hardships that Babydoll and her sister have to endure in their lives. First, their Mother dies, then, they are left with their twisted step-father, who tries to sexually abuse the two siblings. After accidentally murdering her sister, Babydoll is locked away in a mental institute, scheduled to be lobotomised. It's from here on, that the main character begins to make adjustments to her perceptions of the harsh reality of life in the mental institute, changing the situations that actually take place inside "The Lennox House for the mentally insane" into increasingly impossible situations where her and four other girls (Blondie, Amber, Sweet pea and her baby sister, Rocket) are battling the likes of dragons, Nazi robots (Because let's face it, every American movie needs some sort of German bad guy) and other insane villains. And they fight them all in heels. So you know they mean business.
"Sucker Punch" displays just how talented it's director, Zack Snyder is. His use of macro shots and slow motion have become an artistic fingerprint, giving his films a stylish flair and securing his right to be classified as a great film-maker. The first twenty minutes or so reminded me quite heavily of "Sin City", whereas the close ups of the shooting of the lightbulb and the button spinning on the ground reminded me of Snyder's previous film, "Watchmen". The transition between slow motion and real time was effective at times, but it was over used towards the end of the film. Other than that? I really can't fault Snyder's directing. His subtle use of colour in scenes such as Babydoll's first experience of being in the mental hospital (he greyed out the entire of it to show the bleakness of the situation) was a stroke of genius.
Emily Browning didn't really have much to develop on, her character Babydoll didn't speak for the first half an hour of the film, which began to get highly annoying... it was kind of like watching the first part of "Wall-E", where all you want to hear is some voices! However, Browning played her part well, and was believable both in her portrayal of a strong, female warrior and an innocent young girl, just trying to look after her sister. The real star of the film was Oscar Isaac's portrayal of Blue Jones. I didn't even know that you could hate a fictional character as much as you hate Blue but Isaac's acting proved me wrong. His complete disregard for the human existence is shocking and it's impossible to sympathise with him, no matter what your gender.
The thing that has caused the most controversy is the film's sexual exploitation of it's female characters. There is not one female character that is not threatened with rape or is forced to dance sensually for another man's pleasure. Some focus on the negative side of this, saying that Snyder "Must hate all females" if he is putting his characters under these type of situations. As a female, I can say that I feel more inspired by the characters than insulted by them. Babydoll's fantasies is her way of escaping from reality and getting vengeance on the men that have abused her so horrifically in her life. Perhaps she is powerless in "Reality" but in her imagination, she is stronger than anything. That's the biggest theme of the film: using imagination as an escape.
Go it to see Vanessa Hudgens as a bad ass warrior princess if nothing else. Wow. She isn't a Disney girl anymore!
Oh, I forgot to mention... She's actually a pretty good actress! Don't believe that High School Musical was her "acting".