Zack Synder is nothing but relentless... he tackled the regarded unfilmable "Watchmen" and did more for men in skirts with "300" than Scott and Crowe ever did in "Gladiator."
Now there seems to be balance to his work. You could say that "300" was an ode to masochism and male bonding... well then, "Sucker Punch" is his love story to feminism and and strong-willed females everywhere.
It plays out as a most unusual mixture of "Inception" and "Moulin Rouge" - two films that shouldn't go together and although nearly, "Sucker Punch" doesn't quite pull it off. But by heck it gives it a darn good try!
From it's red curtain opening (suggesting all you will see will be very theatrical) through to it's burlesque surroundings, it further cements it's "Moulin Rouge" connections with a heavy reliability on music - something Snyder's films have only done in their trailers, and not the actual films themselves. Not unlike "teen TV shows" the audience is helpfully told what to feel by the carefully selected music track - pain, suffering, hope etc. - but at times it does jar with the insane visuals that fill the screen and try to damage your retina's.
Holding true to the "picture tells a thousand words" mantra, Synder lets the steam punk, alternate WWI, orc and dragon existing, giant samurai chapters of the plot impose over dialogue and characterisation to the point where, when Emily Browning's Baby Doll starts yet another "Inception" dream-within-a-dream sequence to gain another important item to help their escape, you want to push the pause button to catch your breath, rub your eyes and cover your ears.
Indeed a spectacle, it is a sight worth seeing but you may exit the cinema feeling that it wasn't wholly a journey worth taking. Whether it stays with you may depend on how you view females - young men and women will remember it longer than older audience members, but for totally different reasons...
UK release date: 01.04.11