Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

March 25, 2011

Mean girls

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 9:10 pm

March 25, 2011

Cast: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Jamie Chung, Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino, Oscar Issac, John Hamm

Director: Zack Snyder

Sucker Punch, the ambitious new film from Zack Snyder, director of such visually inventive works as 300 and Watchmen, feels as much like a computer game as it does a music video and a comic book. Mixing fantasy with reality, it tells the story of a 20-year-old girl Baby Doll (played by Emily Browning) who is packed off to a mental asylum by her evil stepfather, where she will soon be lobotomized. There she envisions herself in a brothel, where she mentally escapes into yet another fantasy during her dance numbers.

The film is many things all at once, and it helps to go in with an open mind and a willingness to suspend disbelief.

The inmates at this institution for disturbed girls are all pouty and sexy and have names like Sweet Pea, Rocket, Amber and Blondie. Baby Doll enlists four of them to break out of this asylum/brothel; and to secure the tools needed to run away from their grim reality, the girls enter imaginary worlds where they dress provocatively and slay dragons, fight samurai robots and shoot down World War I zombies.

The action scenes are undeniably cool to look at, and Snyder employs the fanciest CGI to realize his bold vision. But the plot, as I warned you earlier, is likely to leave you scratching your head. On the one hand you could argue that a film like Sucker Punch exemplifies exactly what’s wrong with the movies today – it’s an expensive, nonsensical video-game. On the other, there will be fans who’ll embrace it for its sheer bravura and for the fact that it doesn’t bow to convention.

Personally I enjoyed the film for its blazing originality and for the ‘fun’ element Snyder brought to the action sequences. I also think it’s interesting how he objectifies these girls by putting them into these scanty outfits, only to empower them in a sense.

In the end, Sucker Punch is a mash-up of so many genres that I’ll take the same liberty to describe the film – it’s a kind of Charlie’s Angels for the Inception generation. If you’re willing to overlook the clunky dialogue and enjoy it strictly for the spectacle it delivers, you won’t be disappointed. I’m going with three out of five for Zack Snyder’s Sucker Punch. It’s no masterpiece this, but you will be entertained.

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)


  1. nice straight no-non sense ……..silly yet sensible …confusing …yet unparallelled piece of art ….watch it jus for the experience tat zack snyder brings into his films …(as lik in 300 & watchmen)

    Comment by Deerej — March 25, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

  2. I enjoyed only Effects only nothing else

    Comment by priyabrata — March 26, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

  3. Earlier I used to blindly trust Rajeev masands reviews. Now it really don’t know what’s his deal is.

    Comment by Dhaval — March 27, 2011 @ 11:41 am

  4. Hated it. Wanted to walk out after 45 minutes of total nonsense about a blonde girl that dresses like a Japanese XXX version of a school girl. The only reason i endured the whole thing was because u gave it three stars and i was hoping maybe it will get better but nope.. it sucks from beginning till end.

    Comment by amit — March 29, 2011 @ 2:49 am

  5. After watching 127hrs review and sucker puch review… i really find Rajeev’s review scary after watching movies.I knew rediff’s raja sen and i dont want Rajeev to transform to Raja….Please take care next time before it gets worst..

    Comment by Majied — April 5, 2011 @ 3:57 pm

  6. okk this message is to Majied…

    If u think 127 hours is a bad film, dont watch movies from tomorow…

    Comment by aritra — April 9, 2011 @ 12:37 am

  7. Liked the review and the line :

    it’s a kind of Charlie’s Angels for the Inception generation.

    Comment by Shubham — May 30, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

  8. Waiting for Zack next flick :

    Man Of Steel

    Comment by Shubham — May 30, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

  9. Waiting for Zack’s next flick :

    Man Of Steel

    Comment by Shubham — May 30, 2013 @ 1:19 pm

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