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A Cruel And Unusual Production

So, I went out to see Sucker Punch at the AMC Hoffman tonight.
Howard Tayler's review at Schlock Mercenary gave me a heads-up on what to expect, but still...

Holy crap. I don't think I've experienced anything with quite this kind of emotional impact since reading Keith Laumer's "Thunderhead" for the first time as a teenager1. Stripped down to basics, this is a movie about five young women determined to break out of an insane asylum, spurred on by the protagonist who is going to be lobotomized in five days if she doesn't get out. What makes it different is the dance therapy the girls participate in, which makes the movie seem like a bizarre cross of Moulin Rouge and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest with contemporary music and fantasy scenes that rank right up there with any first-person shooter. This could have been a horrible mish-mash, and clearly a lot of critics thought so, but in my opinion Zack Snyder managed to make it work. The battle scenes are clearly fantasies of an ultra-violent sort, the interior version of the rawly erotic dances Baby Doll does to distract her audience from the fact that the girls are stealing the things they need to pull off the escape.

Things don't go smoothly for our heroines, though, and that's where things get more than a little disturbing. That having been said, I feel like I got my $10 worth out of the movie, mostly on account of the action scenes but also because contrary to the bitching of certain critics, the main plot doesn't drag. Not sure if I'd see it again for full price.


1</font> And that all by itself is going to ruin the ending for you if you're familiar with Laumer's serious (i.e. non-Retief) SF.

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