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Things You Only Notice The Second Time You Watch Sucker Punch

Sure, these days most audiences will be more focused on the divisive release of Zack Snyder's Justice League, but some of the director's previous work actually has more depth to it than you might realize on a first watch. His 2011 film Sucker Punch followed Emily Browning's Babydoll as she tries to escape the reality of being locked up in a mental institution by jumping into her own genre-inspired fantasies of chaotic adventure — which includes everything from battling undead cyborg nazis, gunning down dragons and orcs, and facing off against towering samurai warriors. Eventually, Babydoll, Sweet Pea, Rocket, Blondie and Amber leave the walls of the asylum behind to find an escape through their dreams.

And although many critics initially dismissed the film for its misogynistic view of women, Snyder argued that it was actually a commentary on sexualisation and geek culture, noting that he was surprised that it was misunderstood. But we'll leave you to make your mind up on that one — though there's definitely more beneath the surface, regardless of how Snyder depicted the impressive cast.

According to one Reddit user, the key to understanding the movie on a deeper level might come from the Sucker Punch soundtrack, which is actually a great collection of tunes. The songs all add a subtle, unhindered tone that alludes to the feeling of oneself losing a grip on reality and control. It includes the likes of Bjork and Queen alongside covers of classic tracks like The Beatles' Tomorrow Never Knows and The Smiths' Asleep. Emily Browning's rendition of the Pixies' Where is My Mind? is hauntingly beautiful too, while her cover of Eurythmics' Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) also wowed audiences.

The key to understanding it lies with Christopher Nolan's Inception

The Reddit post explains that if you watch Sucker Punch through the lens of Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller, Inception, it actually starts to feel a little more coherent. Essentially, imagine Babydoll as the dreamer in Inception, who's shaping reality as she sees fit when in the real world she's doing something completely different.

During the dream sequences in Inception, Leonardo DiCaprio's team is in an induced-sleep state, but in Sucker Punch, Babydoll pictures her life in the asylum as if she was working in a brothel. Much like the Nolan film, she adds a further level to her dream as she explores bizarre new realms through her dancing. It's also recommended to revisit the film using the director's cut which adds more context to the story. With more footage of a slightly bizarre sub-plot involving Jon Hamm's millionaire doctor taking Babydoll's virginity, it makes the overall film flow easier. But whether it makes the film a better watch is entirely up to the audience. Zack Snyder? Alternate cuts? Surely not...

And although the tragic and slightly confusing ending sees Babydoll sacrifice herself so Abby Cornish's Sweet Pea can escape, it actually means Emily Browning's heroine has managed to scrape back some control over what happens to her in the institution. Her choice to let herself be lobotomized for a greater good is at least a decision of her own making after plenty of time being under the control of others.

But this definitely requires a lot of extra legwork on the audience's behalf for a film with skimpy outfits, guns, and monsters.