Basically I was interested in this movie because it’s a Zack Snyder movie and I loved 300 and Watchmen. Although there is tons of green-screening, I think Snyder does a good job of making his movies artistically and visually stimulating. The overarching plot is that Emily Browning’s character (Baby Doll) is put in a mental institution and she comes up with a plan to escape with 4 other imprisoned girls played by Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, and Jamie Chung. Each part of the plan involves stealing an item to aid in their escape. Baby Doll’s dancing puts people into a hypnotic-like trance that allows the girls to gather the needed items. For the viewer, these dances are interpreted by the director as a big battle scene where our 5 heroines fight though to get one step closer to freedom.
Honestly, the plot confused me a little bit because in reality, Baby Doll is in a mental institution. To cope with this place, she finds a place of empowerment where the mental institution is really a bordello where wealthy clients come to be pleasured by the girls. The dancing scenes provide one more “level” (re: Inception). It was very clever for Snyder to use the analogy of a bordello to imply some wrong-doings of the mental institution.
I cannot emphasize how visually stimulating this movie was. Snyder imagines some really creative “dance” scenes while the girls get their escape items. My favorite is the “map” dance, where the heroines are dropped into a steampunk world war II type of scenario. The enemies have learned they can revive their dead through use of steam power. Although there are tons of anachronisms in this movie, you don’t really mind it because it’s all in the imagination anyway. The girls look like they all have modern weaponry while the enemy appears to have more time-appropriate weapons. I liked the idea that dragons (in the “lighter” dance) have two crystals in their throats that create their fire-breath.
There is not a lot of blood or cursing in this movie. It seems Snyder wanted to keep the focus on the well-imagined scenes and costumes. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie if you liked Inception and 300.