Sucker Punch delivers blow to senses undefined

April 14, 2011 Review Print Print
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Visually arresting. Deliciously twisted. An elegant commentary on personal freedom. All these could be used to describe “Sucker Punch,” the latest special effects extravaganza to hit theaters.

Released March 25, “Sucker Punch” is one of the very few movies that has left me still trying, hours later, to figure out all the nuances of the experience.

Initially, the movie seems strangely unfocused, moving through to what seems to be the climax within the first 10 minutes.

But then the main character, Baby Doll (Emily Browning) falls into what appears to be a dream and the real plotline begins.

The story begins with the death of Baby Doll’s mother. After the funeral, her stepfather discovers that his wife has left her entire estate to Baby and her sister.

Enraged, he separates them, and although it is implied that he intends to rape them, it is never made clear what his plans for them are.

While attempting to save her sister, Baby points a gun at her stepfather.

But when she fires, possibly to prove she will, the bullet ricochets and kills her younger sister.

Baby’s stepfather then uses the young girl’s death, and Baby’s involvement in it, as an excuse to commit her to an asylum.

The twists come hard and fast after that, as Baby Doll falls into a dream world that parallels the asylum.

But from that world, she then enters yet another dream world, one in which she fights to reclaim her freedom against ever more impossible and fantastic creatures.

The special effects are the standout feature of the film. Vast, sweeping battle scenes cut in with hand-to-hand combat reminiscent of animé and martial arts films delight the eyes and leave viewers hungry for more.

But unlike many movies where special effects are the central point, “Sucker Punch” never loses sight of the plot.

Throughout the movie, viewers are kept guessing on what is and what isn’t real. The strangeness of the dream within a dream within a dream lends a surreal quality to everything within the movie.

The cast delivers a stunning performance, easily carrying the surrealism of the plot and visuals into their characters.

Perhaps the only bad thing about “Sucker Punch” is that nothing is ever truly explained. It is left to the viewer to decide whether the events in the movie really happened or were simply a delusion of Baby’s.

Overall, “Sucker Punch” is one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

I definitely recommend giving it a look, but with a warning: hold onto your mind.

This film will leave you questioning everything.

Rating: A

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