Story- Babydoll's step-dad is a gold digger. Her mother dies and leaves everything to her daughters. This of course leads the step father to get mad and to take actions that will end up with Babydoll in an insane asylum. Once in the asylum, Babydoll imagines herself in a brothel. When music is played in the brothel, Babydoll imagines herself in a series of fantasy worlds armed with a handgun with stylish cell phone charms and a katana. An escape plan is hatched and it in the fantasy world that the items needed for escape are gathered. The one weakness is that once we enter the world of the brothel, the viewer is forced to imagine the corresponding sequences that are happening in the real world of the asylum. This is where the negative reviews come from.
Characters- You meet virtually all of the girls in the fantasy worlds. Because of this they are all playing roles. You get snippets of their asylum personalities and stories, but what you mainly get is Babydoll's image of them. As such, they are not developed much.
Martial Arts- Although this movie is full of sword play and fighting it is all fantasy based. Some of the moves may be real, but the are so stylized and over the top that any authenticity is lost. The fight scenes are definitely something to see though. Mind blowing, which leads to our next category.
Visuals- Lets be honest, this is the real reason to go see this movie. The action is over the top. The fantasy world is beautifully rendered and flawless. There are clockwork-zombie-nazis, orcs, dragons, stone samurai, and robots and they all look real and move the way you would expect. Sometimes the effects can pull you out of the movie as they just don't blend well, but Sucker Punches graphics pull you in completely.
Overall- This is a movie about empowerment. That is what the fantasy worlds are all about. The movie has a message and if you think about what is happening in the real world to not only inspire the brothel world, but also to regress baby into a deeper fantasy world, the movie is much more potent. Although the theater was full of teen boys, the only thing they are going to get out of it is the pretty. This movie was made for a more thoughtful audience, but it looks like they don't get it. The movie was designed with PG-13 in mind, but could have been a lot better had they gone for R.
I will recommend this one for 16 plus age group. You know from watching the previews if you want to see it or not. While there is a story and it is deeper than most give it credit for, if you watched the trailer and it didn't appeal to you, the story isn't going to salvage anything. I can only think of one thing that the movie was missing; motorcycles! Come on Zach Snyder.
*Originally posted at Practical Black Belt.