Its special effects are eye catching and the soundtrack is cool, but with vapor thin characters and an empty story, you’re better off playing with an equally violent anime video game.
Baby Doll (Emily Browning) is thrown in an asylum by her abusive stepfather against her will. Through her imagination, she is transported into a world not far from her reality, a brothel owned by Blue. Together with three other girls she must find the keys that will enable her to escape both her dark fantasy and reality.
There’s plenty of visual thrills in the movie, which is pretty obvious when you see the trailer. The action scenes are impressive and it does have some eye-catching images. If you like fantastical battle scenes then this movie is for you.
However the action is the only thing this movie has to offer. It’s manufactured to entertain adolescent boys and old guys with a fetish for girls in school uniforms.
The movie does start with a premise, but since the “dance” that takes the audience into the Baby Doll’s imagination that somehow serves as a way for her to escape is not explained or shown, it isn’t convincing. This results into meaningless battle scenes stringed together to form a plot, made to entertain the audience using girls in skimpy clothing fighting bad guys and their bosses. They also get very repetitive, perpetually rendered in gray with slow motion shots that become predictable after seeing it the first time.
The soundtrack is amusing enough to coast you through, but don’t bother listening to dialogue, Scott Glenn’s lines are so cliched you can finish them. The cast are made up of one note characters. Jenna Malone and Abbie Cornish had a back story that added a humane layer to a purely technical movie, but they’re pretty much puppets on a string. Just like Carla Gugino who ends up underutilized with a funny Russian accent. Oscar Isaac does prove to be a worthy villain though.
Shallow and empty, you’ll just end up getting sucker punched into boredom.
My Rating: 4/10
Alternative Movie Poster by Ken Taylor