As of Monday morning, Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch' is bathing in a sea of rotten reviews -- a 22 percent fresh score where even the 25 so-called fresh ratings aren't so stellar. The best of the reviews boast phrases like "glorious disaster," "idiotic," "doesn't quite cohere," "style over substance," "barely passes" ... You get the picture.

Men and women, young and old, aren't so thrilled about the story of a girl sinisterly thrust into an insane asylum and scheduled for a lobotomy, who somehow falls into a fantasy world of sex work before falling even deeper into a dreamy, scantily-clad whirlwind of guns and fighting.

The expensive, $82 million film couldn't even beat out 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2' at the box office this weekend, earning less than $20 million in its battle against critical derision.

Much of the moviegoer discontent seems to rest at the feet of director Zack Snyder's storytelling -- this is his first "original" story -- with even fans of the film noting the weakness of his cinematic pen. Complaints have been weighed against the story itself, the dialogue, the sexualization of its leads (stay tuned for Girls on Film tonight) and just about every other aspect of the piece. Without strong source material, Snyder's talents seem to dim.

'Sucker Punch' looks to be nothing more than a sucker punch to the director's slowly declining trajectory. Save for a brief rise under the fan fervor of 'Watchmen,' we've seen his projects fall from the respectable 76 percent fresh for 'Dawn of the Dead' to a barely halfway showing for 'Legend of the Guardians' and now a 22 percent for 'Sucker Punch.'

So it's time to play armchair critic: What worked in 'Sucker Punch'? What didn't? And ultimately, what could Snyder have done to make it better?
categories Movies, Columns, Cinematical