Fans and detractors of director Zack Snyder have long been looking forward to seeing what the geeky auteur can do when he's not adapting other people's material. He successfully updated Dawn of the Dead, faithfully re-created the comic-book worlds of 300 and Watchmen, and even his upcoming animated owl picture Legend of the Guardians is based on a children's book, so the idea of an original Zack Snyder joint had fans salivating and haters waiting. Well, the wait is over, and the first trailer for Zack Snyder's self-penned Sucker Punch has been released, and while it certainly is eye-catching, it doesn't look terribly original. It looks like he took a dozen existing movies, put them in a blender and hit "Puree." Granted, it still looks pretty tasty to a movie freak like me, but the film's tag line, "You will be unprepared"? If you've seen any of these movies, you just might be prepared after all.
The film follows an inmate in a 1950s mental hospital, who escapes into a dream world in order to escape the horrible treatment she undergoes there -- similar to how Precious pretends she's an actress or a model whenever she's faced with abuse from her mother.
See Also: Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, where two troubled girls escape into a shared fantasy world, and Paperhouse, where a girl dreams what she draws.
Snyder's description of the story explains that the girls of the institution, who all inhabit the same imaginary world, have to find five objects and avoid a "vile man" before they can escape. The team-oriented treasure hunt nature of the dreamworld sounds an awful lot like Inception, which was also the brainchild of a successful superhero film director.
See Also: Pan's Labyrinth, in which a young girl retrieves items and avoids monsters in possibly imaginary scenarios.
Of all the fantasy worlds we see in the trailer, none stand out as much as the one where Emily Browning, in a sailor suit, holds a samurai sword and faces off against a bunch of giant samurai in a snowy Japanese courtyard. Put Uma Thurman in Gogo Yubari's schoolgirl outfit from Kill Bill (and make Lucy Liu 8 feet tall), and you've got a match.
See Also: X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in which a character also deflects bullets with Japanese swords.
All the leaping around in slow-motion is a Snyder staple, but when one of the things people are leaping over is a giant battlesuit with a picture of a bunny on it, one can't help but think about the AMP suits of James Cameron's sci-fi epic.
See Also: Cameron's Terminator, because at one point the girls face off against what looks like a group of Terminator endoskeletons in an underground complex.
Reign of Fire
Dragons chasing and doing battle with military aircraft? That was the best thing about the post-dragon-pocalyptic action film Reign of Fire, although in that movie it was a helicopter and not a WWII-era bomber.
See Also: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, because we're pretty sure that Harry makes the exact same dive though an arched bridge to lose the dragon following him that the plane does in Snyder's film.
We're not if the scenes of the girls dancing choreographed numbers on stage are pure fantasy, or a glamorized version of an uglier reality, but Paul Verhoeven's tale of the trials of a stripper-turned-legitimate Vegas dancer ends with a bout of showgirl vigilantism that would not seem out of place here.
See Also: Bitch Slap, which intercuts a B-movie tale of scantily clad female thieves on the run with action/sci-fi scenes showing how they got there.
Other movies have featured a team of young protagonists killing Nazis, but Basterds is the most recent example, as well as the most gratuitous.
See Also: Shutter Island, in which a character in an insane asylum imagines himself back at a Nazi prison camp, where he was involved with the execution of the entire staff.
Any other films you see chopped up and thrown in there? Think we're reading too much into it? Let us know what you think below, then see what we think of the new Tron Legacy trailer!
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