I'll start off by saying that I actually like Zack Snyder. I've enjoyed most of movies, like 300, I loved Watchmen, and I even liked Legend of the Guardians. Like him or not, he has a distinctive style. I was really looking forward to this movie. It looked just insane to me from the previews and I was looking forward to seeing what this was all about. Then, I starting hearing all the bad reviews and was like, uh oh. I still went into this with an open mind.
I just got out of seeing this movie a few hours ago and I was kind of speechless. Not because it was so good that I couldn't put into words how much I loved it, but more like that I couldn't tell you what this movie was supposed to be about. The best way I can describe this movie is that it's a beautiful movie about nonsense. The effects are great, the fantasy sequences are really beautiful and there are some gorgeous women in this movie. The story, however, is just nonsense.
To sum it up, Emily Browning plays a girl, simply named Baby Doll, that is put in a mental institution. Except that in this mental institution, they are made to perform and dance for people. You know, because that's what they normally do in mental institutions with the patients, make them put on shows to entertain people. Makes perfect sense. So, they make Baby Doll dance, and when she dances, her mind goes into this fantasy world where all this weird shit happens. During her first dance, she gets the idea to escape from the mental institute and enlists some of the other patients to help her and escape with her. They need to steal a few items from several people and Baby Doll will dance to distract them while her friends steal the item.
It's kind of established in the movie that Baby Doll doesn't know how she's doing this and she just goes into a trance. However, she states as they are coming up with the plan to escape that when she does her dance, the target will be distracted and they can do their thing. Huh? If you don't know how you're doing it and you're in a trance yourself while you do it, then how the hell do you know how it affects other people? It's only a single line, but it's just of those things that when you're trying to make sense of a movie it takes you out of it a bit because you realize the writing is weak.
Don't take this to mean that I found that movie confusing, it's just not a very good story or screenplay. It felt like this movie was trying to be smart and have multiple layers, like Inception, but it's just nowhere near as good.
The fantasy sequences seemed just kind of random to me. It felt like this was written by a kid that wanted to make a movie and decided to throw every fantasy element he could think of into it.
Synder overused the slo-mo in the movie to the point where it became annoying. I understand it's his style, but it's just way overdone here. However, if you watched some of these action sequences at regular speed, you probably wouldn't have been able to tell what was going on at all. This is a movie that's probably much better to watch on a nice HDTV where you can rewind and watch some of the action sequences to see that is going on.
With that said, this is a rental and even then I would tell you not to expect much.