Sucker Punch - An Alternative Review
Samuel Goldwyn is once alleged to have said “Pictures are for entertainment, messages should be delivered by Western Union” - referring to Western Union's Telegram Service running as it was in those days.
Therein lies the heart of the enigma that is Sucker Punch. For a start we don't use telegram services (except the Queen, bless her, she's still catching up). Secondly, we want messages from our films now. We want them to make sense and we want them to mean something - to evoke that sense of wonder and introspection us that everyday life (and TV) doesn't. Thirdly, and most importantly, we are losing our creative expression through social change, techno-absorption and general lack of depth in our new generation's (virtually non-existent) cultural education. This is observable in the spoon-fed junk that Hollywood produces on a regular basis - i.e. we are losing value and insight in our entertainment - especially from films. They are being dumbed down beyond belief.
Enter Zack Snyder. What he has created in sucker punch is a layered piece of cinema for a new generation:
Layer 1 - A girl, abused by her step dad is sold to a mental asylum that is a front for a full service female services operation. This by itself would have been a terribly depression and dark story.
Layer 2 - The girl's imagination is projected into her conscious reality and we see her transpose events from her real world into action adventures in an alternate reality.
Layer 3 - The alternate realities are are extractions from pop culture and science fiction, full of zombified nazi's, samurai demons, dragons and other science fiction and fantasy themes that speak to the minds of a generations brought up on Lord of the Rings, Anime and Manga, Star Wars and more.
Layer 4 - The film itself is a double allegory with the dreams representing the film's real world and the decisions and actions representing decisions and actions in our world.
Although in execution there has been a simplification of these layers, Snyder's cinematic poetry still shines as a remarkably original piece of digital expression, fast, frantic and accessible to the net generation with no extra concentration required.
Alternatively, if you just want to see a gorgeous teenage blonde with a sword, and a gun, and a school uniform, hack-up everything in sight for about an hour and and a half, you will also enjoy this film - Let's call that Layer 0.