Sucker Punch: movie review

( PG-13 ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

'Sucker Punch' is like a videogame with scantily clad young women doing the heroics, but it lacks life or a coherent story line.

Clay Enos/Warner Bros./AP
In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Emily Browning portrays Babydoll in a scene from "Sucker Punch."

For his fifth feature, director Zack Snyder ("300," "Watchmen") finally eschews adaptation and creates his own story. "The idea evolved and expanded," he says, "and took on a life of its own." Unfortunately, all of that life must have dribbled away as the project developed, because the resulting nonsense has none.

The plot involves a young woman (Emily Browning) in a mental hospital, who fantasizes she's in some sort of dance school/bordello/gulag, wherein she further fantasizes she's fighting videogame battles in a trance state ... I think. The retelling makes me wonder whether this film exists or I fantasized the entire thing. Mostly I remember a bunch of young women performing seemingly impossible physical feats in scanty outfits, but then that would describe roughly 80 percent of what's available online.

Snyder's accomplishment is to drain that of any erotic heat; he generated a lot more with the glistening-with-sweat abs in "300" than he manages here. He may want to recreate the videogame experience onscreen, but "Sucker Punch" is less like playing a game than watching someone else do it. Grade: D (Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence, and combat sequences, and for language.)

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