Honest to Pete, for the life of me I don’t quite understand the popular fan backlash against Zack Snyder. He’s one of the most dynamic visual directors currently occupying Hollywood’s big budget heavy-hitter ranks, reliably populating each of his dazzling works with iconic, mind-imprinting imagery, and seems to be feverishly driven by the same geeky-cool concepts and source material that stimulates the enthusiastic imagination of your average Comic-Con attendee. Whether you appreciate his adaptations of Frank Miller’s “300” or Alan Moore’s “Watchmen,” or not, I can think of few directors who would have even attempted to tackle them with such reverence, attention to detail and zeal.
This March, he’ll be returning to cineplexes with his latest – and first wholly original – effort, “Sucker Punch,” a girl-power action odyssey headlined by Emily Browning (Formerly of “Lemony Snicket” and “The Uninvited” fame) as Babydoll, a doe-eyed asylum inmate who disappears into a vivid alternate dream-world reality in order to escape her impending lobotomy. Co-starring Vanessa Hudgens (“High School Musical”), Jena Malone (“Donnie Darko,” “The Ruins”), Jamie Chung (“Grown Ups”), Abbie Cornish (“Bright Star”), Carla Gugino (“Watchmen”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Scott Glenn (“Backdraft,” “The Bourne Ultimatum”), the film made its first public showing at last week’s Comic-Con to rapturous reception.
Now, thanks to the folks at Trailer Addict, you can get a peak at an exclusive Comic-Con trailer for “Sucker Punch” which, while a mite shorter than the one played at the panel presentation, still kicks all kinds of ass. But then again, it’s pretty hard to fail when you’ve got high-kicking babes, exploding disco balls, fire-breathing dragons and machine-gun toting trolls on display. And that’s only a small fraction of the plethora of insane images contained within the trailer’s bursting-at-the-seams one-and-a-half minutes.
Having watched this clip, oh, close to a dozen times, I’m sort of in awe at how unabashedly Snyder appears to have let his more inspired lunatic impulses off the leash, conceiving a gorgeous picture that looks to not only elevate his already virtuoso stylistic abilities to breathtaking new levels (check out that crashing zeppelin and try not to get chills), but also promises an entirely novel cinematic experience. Although Snyder is quite a different breed of filmmaker than Christopher Nolan (who is a far more grounded and reserved artist), it’s evident that, like the “Inception” director, he also hungers to create ambitious, jaw-droppingly beautiful spectacle that dares to break free of the standard cookie-cutter blockbuster mould. And coming off of one of the most unimpressive summer movie seasons in recent memory, where countless talented filmmakers confused tedious noise and flash with genuine invention and entertainment, I just pray there’s more like them out there.
So how do you IJMers feel about this teaser for “Sucker Punch?” Will it match or top Snyder’s daring work in “Watchmen” and “300?” Ninja flip on over to our comments section and let us know!
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Follow Cam Smith on Twitter at http://twitter.com/camspcepisodes.