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Sucker Punch: movie review

'Sucker Punch' is like a videogame with scantily clad young women doing the heroics, but it lacks life or a coherent story line.

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In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros. Pictures, Emily Browning portrays Babydoll in a scene from "Sucker Punch."

Clay Enos/Warner Bros./AP

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For his fifth feature, director Zack Snyder ("300," "Watchmen") finally eschews adaptation and creates his own story. "The idea evolved and expanded," he says, "and took on a life of its own." Unfortunately, all of that life must have dribbled away as the project developed, because the resulting nonsense has none.

The plot involves a young woman (Emily Browning) in a mental hospital, who fantasizes she's in some sort of dance school/bordello/gulag, wherein she further fantasizes she's fighting videogame battles in a trance state ... I think. The retelling makes me wonder whether this film exists or I fantasized the entire thing. Mostly I remember a bunch of young women performing seemingly impossible physical feats in scanty outfits, but then that would describe roughly 80 percent of what's available online.

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Snyder's accomplishment is to drain that of any erotic heat; he generated a lot more with the glistening-with-sweat abs in "300" than he manages here. He may want to recreate the videogame experience onscreen, but "Sucker Punch" is less like playing a game than watching someone else do it. Grade: D (Rated PG-13 for thematic material involving sexuality, violence, and combat sequences, and for language.)