I know there are a lot of naysayers out there right now, coming down pretty hard on Suckerpunch. I’m just going to throw my two cents in there- I disagree! But maybe that’s because I wasn’t looking at it like a movie. I was looking at it the way I’m betting it was intended- as a piece of art. While Suckerpunch did contain the usual dazzling special effects, over-the-top action sequences and all-around badassery necessary for a movie with such a title, I believe the true star of this film is it’s style. Suckerpunch immediately draws you in, and paints a very grim picture in the process, with a noir-esque opening montage…
The heroine’s journey then takes an “Inception-esque” turn (and yes, Inception is standard now), as her forced stay in a mental institution leads her to an escape through a fantasy world made up of war and mayhem, that’s actually inside another fantasy world where she’s a “dancer” in an, a-hem, “Gentleman’s Club”, waiting to be taken for a spin by the “High Roller”. There are four distinct fantasy sequences that the film escapes to, each carrying a unique style and influence. To provide a bit of backstory for these sequences, the film’s creator Zack Snyder and animator Ben Hibon (the genius behind the animated “Three Brothers” sequence in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows) collaborated with Comflix Studios to create four animated shorts- each further exploring the fantasy worlds of Suckerpunch.
Now maybe it’s the animator in me, but I would have worked these in to the finished product somehow. Well done Snyder, Hibon and crew! Another distinction to note is the style behind the film’s five female protagonists. Here are some exceptional character posters from illustrator Alex Pardee: