Sucker Punch

School girls are doing it for themselves in this overactive fantasy world

Having found success directing a horror remake (Dawn of the Dead), a couple of high-profile comic book adaptations (300 and Watchmen) and a CG ‘toon based on a popular kids book (Legend of the Guardians), Zack Snyder has finally let his own imagination have free reign on the big screen and the results are… rather confusing.

If you believe Snyder, this big-budget flop about a young woman in a mental institute escaping into a series of fantasy worlds is really all about female empowerment. Which would be fine, except the entire thing looks like a 15-year old boy’s fever dream being entirely based around the concept of young ladies in tight-fitting leather and skimpy schoolgirl outfits wielding massive guns. However, while undoubtedly flawed, there are definitely a couple of interesting themes at work in the script, and the action scenes are some of the most spectacular you’ll see all year.

Picture: Like the director’s earlier hit 300, Sucker Punch doesn’t exactly opt for a natural look. Every single shot has been post-processed to the nth degree, sometimes resulting in a slight drop in detail levels as it pumps up the black levels and saturates each shot in rusty browns and sickly yellows. It may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but it’s definitely exactly how the film is supposed to look – and the clarity of the visuals combined with the technical proficiency of the two AVC 2.40:1 1080p encodes makes this a flawless hi-def experience.
Picture rating: 5/5

Audio: Whichever version of the film you opt to watch, the DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 is about as punchy as you could hope for. Matching the superb quality of the images blow-for-blow, the mix is a ferocious tour-de-force of high-impact surround effects, devastating bass, pin-perfect dialogue reproduction and astonishing musical tonality. Every single scene offers up yet another acoustic thrill – and while it’s the big action number that really wow, even the slowest scene bristles with wonderful atmospheric touches.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: This three-disc Triple Play release initially appears to offer a larger variety of presentations of the film itself than it does bonus features. The two Blu-ray discs are dedicated to two different cuts of the movie (110min Theatrical Cut and 128min Extended Cut), while the DVD disc houses both a regular standard-def version of the movie and a Digital Copy (both the shorter cut) for you to watch on the go.

While the lack of any traditional commentaries and featurettes seems a little odd, a few minutes with the Extended Cut disc’s Maximum Movie Mode shows why they weren’t necessary. Hosted by Snyder, it’s one of the best features of its type I’ve encountered and delivers a truly comprehensive and incisive look at every aspect of the production. The only extras on the Theatrical Cut Blu-ray are a quartet of short motion comics and a 3min soundtrack featurette. Both hi-def discs also feature a BD-live link.
Extras rating: 3/5

We say: While the film itself is a real Marmite movie, this Blu-ray platter’s AV performance is guaranteed to please.

Warner Home Video, All-region BD/R2 DVD, £25 approx, On sale now