Among the many questions aimed at the newest visual and aural extravaganza from Zack Snyder (“Watchmen,” “300”), a major one will be about its coherency –– or the lack of it –– but that’s going to be up to each individual viewer.

Among the many questions aimed at the newest visual and aural extravaganza from Zack Snyder (“Watchmen,” “300”), a major one will be about its coherency –– or the lack of it –– but that’s going to be up to each individual viewer.


So let’s go with two others: Is “Sucker Punch” an exploitation film with scantily clad women being used and abused by evil men, or is it a celebration of feminism with said young women taking control and fighting back?


If you look at it from the viewpoint of the 18-year-old male audience, which it seems to be aimed at, it’s probably a combination of both. More mature viewers, both male and female, will likely lean toward the latter.


I can say with certainty that it’s big and flashy and ambitious and exhilarating. With its heavily armed and physically fit female warriors mowing down hordes of German storm troopers –– or steam-powered robots that look like Germans –– and with a B-52 bomber going up against a gigantic and very angry fire-breathing dragon, this looks and feels like being inside of a colossal video game.


There’s a grain of a down-to-earth story that starts the film rolling. A couple of family tragedies lead an evil step-father to institutionalize his young step-daughter Baby Doll (Emily Browning) and sign an order to have her lobotomized before she can tell authorities what really happened at home.


But the one doctor –– nicknamed the High Roller (Jon Hamm in a minuscule part) –– who can perform the ghastly operation won’t arrive for five days. It’s Baby Doll’s plan to escape before he gets there, taking with her some new friends who are also trapped in the asylum (Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chen).


Got time for another question? Is it really just an asylum, or is it a brothel from which the girls are trying to escape? This film is bonkers. It’s hard to tell where the fantasy aspect begins, but before long there are two additional layers of it, much in the way “Inception” featured multi-tiered levels of dreams. But then “Sucker Punch” somehow turns into a showcase of musical numbers that are triggered every time Baby Doll begins a dance routine.


A dance routine? What? OK, hold on, this isn’t about giving the plot away, though explaining the dizzying vortex of this film’s plot would be quite a challenge.


Just know this: In order to escape –– if indeed anyone is really planning to escape –– the five women must obtain certain “objects” from people at the asylum who would never part with them. To accomplish this, Baby Doll performs a series of interpretive dances –– dances that are so awesome, so unbelievably mind-boggling, anyone watching them is put into a trance. Then her cohorts can go around stealing those objects.


Note: We, the viewers, never get to see the dances; we just catch the visions that are going on in others’ minds.


What results here are astounding visuals and set pieces revolving around the women, now transformed into sleek, sexy warriors, going up against impossible odds –– those Germans and that dragon are only the beginning of it –– accompanied by a head-bangingly loud soundtrack comprised of throbbing covers of popular (“White Rabbit,” “We Will Rock You”) and somewhat obscure (“Tomorrow Never Knows”) songs that have been all chooched-up, stretched-up and over-arranged to complement the outrageous action.


Things calm down but retain an insidious air every time the story returns to the asylum/brothel, due mostly to the fevered performance of Oscar Isaac, as the malevolent Blue, who might run the place. But those segments are only there for viewers to be able to catch their breath.


Besides, there are so many other things to think about: How many characters are having their own fantasies? In what decade does this take place? Are the filmmakers fans of Ambrose Bierce’s “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge?”


An off-screen narrator keeps telling us that we control the world we imagine. Zack Snyder is in complete control of the world of “Sucker Punch.” And he’s very imaginative.


SUCKER PUNCH(PG-13 for sexuality, violence and combat sequences) Cast includes Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Carla Gugino, Scott Glenn, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm. 3 stars out of 4.