03/24/2011 09:14 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Movie Review: Sucker Punch

If you're looking for Sucker Punch to make sense - or do anything else that seems conventional or that you've seen before - see another film.

Zack Snyder isn't making that movie.

There is something so unique about Snyder's vision - right down to the most miniscule bit of background shmutz in any single frame of film - that he has, in the space of his last three films, become the most distinctive visual storyteller since Brian DePalma.

Sucker Punch, for all its flaws (and there are some), may be the most fully realized dystopian fantasy since Terry Gilliam's Brazil, with elements of The Incident at Owl Creek Bridge thrown in. It deftly mixes eye-popping imagery, an insistently beat-laden and droney soundtrack and a blend of dread and catharsis.

Snyder is a love him/hate him filmmaker who never goes less than full-throttle in making a movie. A fantasist of exquisite imagination, he has created a pair of modern cinematic works of sweeping adventurousness: 300 and Watchmen.

The hate-him faction will have you believe that Snyder's films are all about the style: the endless slow-motion violence; the over-the-top action sequences lightly tethered to the realm of the possible - or even the conceivable; story-telling that relies heavily on the mythic and the myth-making, leaning to cliche.

Guilty as charged. And yet there is something more at work in Sucker Punch, his newest film, just as there was in his previous work. It's a sensibility that blends comic books and video games - then invests it with an operatic grandeur and a seriousness that gives it surprising emotional weight.

Click here: This review continues on my website.

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