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Sucker Punch

You Will Be Unprepared 

Year: 2011 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1 (Scope) 
Certificate: BBFC 12A Cert – Under 12s admitted only with an adult 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Zack Snyder 
Starring: Emily Browning, Vanessa Hudgens, Abbie Cornish  
An image from Sucker Punch

Babydoll (Browning) is institutionalised by her step-father in order to prevent the details of the death of her sister from becoming public. To make it certain, he bribes an orderly, Blue Jones, to lobotomise Babydoll. She escapes reality by hiding in her own fantasy world, there meeting new friends Sweet Pea (Cornish), Blondie (Hudgens), Rocket and Amber. With five days to go, they devise an escape plan requiring five special items, each hidden somewhere inside the fantasy world. Together, with the help of a mentor, the girls must hunt down the items and fight if they are ever to escape.

Sucker Punch is the epitome of stylistic. Like Snyder’s previous films, Watchmen and 300, it is filmed mostly in CGI, allowing the fantasy world to be shown in all its splendour. It’s clear that a lot of time and effort went into designing it as well, with sweeping landscapes and blends of futuristic and older technology. The relatively unknown cast also shine; Browning as Babydoll is easily the best realised, but Scott Glen as the Wise Man/mentor adds an air of mysticism and presence that the film thrives on.

Much like his previous films, it’s easy to see how invested Snyder is in this world. Based on a script he wrote, Snyder allows Sucker Punch to flow, pulling it in when necessary but letting the scenery and action do most of the talking. He handles the juxtaposing realities well, showing how events in the fantasy bleed over into the real world.

Overall, Sucker Punch is highly-stylized, high-octane fun. There may be a slight tendency to pander to certain demographics at times, but in the end Sucker Punch can really be enjoyed by anyone willing to immerse themselves in its stunning world.

Thomas Freeman

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Screenings of this film:

2011/2012 Autumn Term (35mm)
2011/2012 Autumn Term (35mm)