PLOT: Set in the 1950s, a young girl (Browning) is institutionalized by her wicked stepfather. Retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, she envisions a plan which will help her escape from the facility with her inmate friends before her lobotomy.
DIRECTOR: Zack Snyder (Watchmen & 300)
CAST: Emily Browning (Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Uninvited), Abbie Cornish (Bright Star), Jena Malone (Saved!) Vanessa Hudgens (High School Musical), Jamie Chung (Grown Ups), Carla Gugino (Watchmen), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men" and The Town).
VERDICT: There are two factors that have already screwed this film before it's even premiered. First up is the most obvious, which is that the last comic book adaptation Snyder directed, Watchmen, failed to live up to expectations. That wasn't necessarily his fault. It looked amazing, but the plot was a little too dark and dreary for a superhero tale: "Let's create an enemy and decimate a few cities, so that the world realizes that they need us." Not exactly a bumper sticker. The second negative factor is that two other adaptions of little-known comics, Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, that came out this year only made between $30-50 mil in the U.S., despite their stellar reviews. It's a crapshoot when it comes to these types of films. Sin City and 300 weren't well-known comics either, but they made between $75-200 mil in the U.S. The only real pattern I see is that both of this year's films focused on teenagers, which this film does as well. Hence, my concern.
However, it looks awesome! And unlike Kick-Ass and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, this film has scantily clad heroines. That should bring in a certain clientele with wads of cash. I look forward to seeing all the amazing graphics and to once again give Hudgens the benefit of the doubt.
Release Date: March 25