Comic-Con: ‘Sucker Punch’ Delivers a Surprise TKO

“Harry Potter” brings the darkness, but Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” packs a fresh wallop

 

First of all, “Harry Potter and the Deadly Hollows” has massive hit tattooed all over it – parts I and II — but who doesn’t think that?

Well, you think it even more after the preview shown at Comic-con Saturday afternoon.

Billing itself as “the Movie event of a generation,” the quick glimpse, not in 3D as the final film will be, of the star studded “Deadly Hollows” is darker, more urban and more adult that any film before in the billion dollar franchise.

“These last two films are what we’ve been building up to,” long time Potter actor Tm Felton told the cheering crowd in Hall H of the San Diego Convention Center. The two-part finale to one of the most successful movie franchises in film history comes out Nov 19, 2010, with the second part coming on July 15, 2011.

If “Deadly Hollows” is a guaranteed championship box office TKO, Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” is no lightweight.

The female ensemble action flick, based on an original idea by Snyder and Steve Shibuya, takes itself out of a 1950s insane asylum and offers a seething fantasy world of guns, leather, lace, swords and a whole lot of skin.

“It’s an amazing journey I wanted to torture these girls with,” Snyder joked the crowd.

A lot of those girls, including lead Emily Browning (with a very short real-life haircut), Vanessa Hudgens, Carla Gugino, Jena Malone and Jamie Chung who walked on stage to whistles and mild catcalls, showed up on the panel with Snyder.

On another note, Snyder confirmed, to happy Spartan-like battle cries from the hall, that he’s writing a “300” Xerxes prequel, based on an upcoming graphic novel from Frank Miller.

If that news and the “Sucker Punch” girls excited the fans, the movie’s highly imaginative preview clip, which features Snyder’s heavily stylized unworldly action sequences well known from “300” and the not all together successful “Watchmen,” seemed to stun the Comic-con crowd … even with a Led Zeppelin-fuelled soundtrack.

Perhaps, in an environment of adaptations and sequels, that was partially because, as Snyder said, the movie “is something original not based on a breakfast cereal or superglue” or a comic.

Maybe it was because, in addition to all the action and explosions of “Sucker Punch, a surprising amount of burlesque was shown on the big screen – noticeably raising the testosterone level in the male-heavy room.

Actor Jon Hamm, who appears in “Sucker Punch," might have said what all the boys wished when he said of Emily Browning’s Baby Doll – “did you see the way she looked at me?”

“Zack writes really awesome characters for us to play,” Carla Gugino said Saturday “strong, cooler and more kick-ass.”

Her co-star Jena Malone added, “in this genre, we get to do kick-ass things, but also play with three-dimensional characters.”

The cheers that Browning and the entire female cast repeatedly received, made it pretty clear the boys sure hoped so.

Will that desire translate into ticket sales when the as yet unrated “Sucker Punch,” which does look as good as its cast, comes out on March 25, 2011?  Hard to tell…hard to tell.