'Sucker Punch' Takes Critical Beating: 'Grim,' 'Seedy,' 'Desaturated'

9:21 AM PST 03/25/2011 by Mark Cina
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The reviews are in — and it doesn't look good for Zack Snyder's latest action-fantasy flick.

Critics don’t have a lot of nice things to say about Sucker Punch, Zack Snyder's epic-fantasy flick.

THR’s Todd McCarthy calls the movie, which hits screens Friday, “a largely grim and unpleasant display of technical wizardry wrapped around a story that purports to be inspirational.”
 
In a review for CNN.com, Tom Charity describes it as "a seedy, desaturated, overstimulated simulation of a real movie"
 
As for the plot —  the movie follows five ladies as they face off against demon armies and struggle to escape a mental asylum — Rolling Stone's Peter Travers says, "Only a sucker would buy into it."
 
The New York Times' A.O. Scott had a suggestion for movie goers: "You could go to see “Sucker Punch” this weekend — a lot of people probably will, and a few may even admit as much back at the office on Monday — or you could try to make it yourself, which might be more fun, though not necessarily cheaper. Here’s what you will need: a bunch of video-game platforms; DVDs of “Shutter Island,” “Kill Bill,” “Burlesque” and “Shrek”; some back issues of Maxim; a large bag of crystal meth; and around $100 million. Your imagination will take care of the rest."
 
Writes USA Today's Scott Bowles: "The secret to watching Sucker Punch, like most of Snyder's films, is to stop looking for reason. Punch is more interested in explosions than exposition."
 
Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times says that "some will see the worst sort of objectification in its Victoria’s Secret-esque femme front line," while "others will argue that“Sucker Punch's sexy guerrillas represent female empowerment … I’d suggest the film is a wonderfully wild provocation - an imperfect, overlong, intemperate and utterly absorbing romp through the id that I wouldn’t have missed for the world."
 
The Chicago Tribune's takeViewers "will be unprepared for a film packing this much confusing crud into a little less than two hours of solitary confinement, which feels more like dog hours, i.e., 14," says critic Michael Phillips.
 
Fans don't seem to mind. 
 
The movie, which stars Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone and Vanessa Hudgens, received a 76% "like" rating on rottentomatoes.com.
 
Still, the site describes the film as "technically impressive and loaded with eye-catching images, but without characters or a plot to support them, all of Sucker Punch's visual thrills are for naught."
 
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