The best way to describe Sucker Punch is to call it Inception and Muppet Babies love child. Moulin Rougewould act as OB/GYN and Charlie’s Angels would play the role as midwife. Sucker Punch is a fast paced action fantasy with mind blowing visual effects and features steampunk, zombies, cyborg and Nazis.
The plot follows Baby Doll (Emily Browning, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events), who is left with her little sister and evil stepfather after the death of her mother. The stepfather tries to get grabby with the little sister and Browning pulls a gun on him. Sadly though she misses and kills her little sister. She is then thrown into a crooked girl’s mental institution where her stepfather bribes an orderly to get her a rushed lobotomy. She then has five days to escape the institution before she takes an ice pick up the eye socket.
During her time in the institution, Browning imagines that she’s actually part of some sort of mafia owned slave bordello where her and the other girls in the institution are actually some kind of dancing hookers. The plot starts going existential when every time she dances she goes into another imaginary world of fantasy where she is a sword wielding ninja that looks like Sailor Moon.
While there, a mysterious monk gives her a quest to help her escape. Browning and her friends from the institution/bordello/”crazy ninja girl land” have to find a map, a source of fire, a knife, a key and “something secret” in order to escape.
It’s hard to describe the plot after this point, since the story keeps jumping between the evil bordello and the crazy ninja fights. Every once in a while the film even switches to a quasi-reality in the institution, but they’re few and far between.
This is not the kind of action film that’s just death from beginning to end, nor is it the kind of existential film that gets boring from lack of stuff happening. The visual effects alone are mind blowing, switching seamlessly from the steampunk-zombie-Nazis to massive battles with dragons, knights and orcs.
The best thing to do is to just be enveloped by the spectacle of it all, and not worry too much about little things like the boundary between real and imaginary. Get sucked into it and it’s an existential roller coaster like nothing else.
Sucker Punch is rated PG-13 for the intense action, heavy plot and hot women running around with swords.