Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch is a fantasy action adventure from the mind of Zach Snyder, revolving around a quintet of young women trying to escape from…well, that’s where it becomes a little murky. It’s as if the creative team met and said to themselves, “Ok, we have a huge budget for GCI effects, we have a lot of hot women, and we have a rocking sound track. Say…is anyone here a writer?” The answer to that question was no, apparently. The movie is ostensibly written and directed by Zach Snyder so I put the blame squarely on his shoulders for this mess. Sure, it was adapted from a comic book, but if you plan on putting something on the screen and you have the writing and directing credits it’s your fault when something like this happens.

The problems with this film are legion. First, its plot is confusing and convoluted. I understand it’s supposed to have a bit of a surprise ending, but that is no excuse. It’s so bizarrely shot that I’m not even that sure it’s a surprise ending or just a bad one. Unless you are as mesmerized by the flashing on the screen as the men in the movie are by Babydoll’s dancing, are having an epileptic seizure because of them, or you have had a lobotomy yourself, you are going to wonder just what the hell is going on from one scene to another. Unfortunately, there is no good guide for this as there are dream sequences within dream sequences and none of the dreams make any sense.

Another problem is that the movie is saturated with anachronisms. From the way the people talk, to the technology in the dreams, to the music, it doesn’t match the presumed setting at all. The action sequences, which are supposed to be the heart of the movie, don’t make sense either. The reasons given for the various missions the girls have to accomplish are as flimsy as the women’s outfits. The title doesn’t even seem to have anything to do with the movie. The people who paid to watch this movie are the ones being sucker punched.


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12 | Chapter 13 | Chapter 14 | Chapter 15 |Chapter 16| Chapter 17 | Chapter 18 | Comments


Chapter 1: 0:01 – 5:26

A woman’s voice speaks about how each person is watched over by angels, and the angels take different forms, as a cover of Sweet Dreams plays. A blonde girl, Babydoll, is sitting on a bed and a doctor shakes his head at her. She runs in to a room and finds that her mother is dead. Her stepfather appears pleased by this, and when the scene shifts to the funeral he appears even happier. Back at the house, the stepfather opens the will of his deceased wife and finds that she has left all her money to her daughters. He drinks, sets a fire, and tries to force his way into Babydoll’s room. She scratches him and he locks her into her room, and then goes after Babydoll’s sister.

The sister runs past her step father, grabbing the keys, while Babydoll climbs out the window of her room into the rain, and climbs down a drain. The sister hides in a closet and the step father kicks the door down. As he approaches the sister, Babydoll appears from behind him with the gun he keeps in his drawer. He smiles at her and she fires a shot over his shoulder that breaks the light in the closet and hits a steam pipe. She runs in to check on her sister who is bleeding on the ground. The step father is in the hall on the phone and Babydoll points the gun at him. Instead of shooting him, she drops the gun and runs out.

The police find Babydoll at the grave of her mother and they give her a shot from a syringe in the arm. Her stepfather takes her in a car to Lennox House, a mental hospital.

Analysis

The movie starts out with a cryptic narration that I suspect no one listens to when they first watch the movie. It’s some babble about angels and really could be left out. The motivations of the characters on the screen are hard to determine since they are acting in slow motion and there is no dialogue. I can’t tell if the step father killed the mother or he’s just happy she died. What I am sure of is that he’s an imbecile if he thinks she left all her money to him. Why would she do that when she has 2 daughters? What did he expect? Didn’t they discuss it? If he was after her for her money, why didn’t he know the status of her will?

I can’t figure out what the stepfather plans on doing to the daughters either. He drinks a lot and then starts a fire so that’s not much of a clue to his motivations. He barges into Babydoll’s room but relents once he’s scratched, and then goes after the younger sister, whom he just lets run by him and steal his keys. The timing is way off also. Babydoll climbs out the window, down the drain, gets back into the house (I guess they leave the doors open), goes to stepdad’s desk, pulls his gun out and sneaks up on him. In the same amount of time, the stepdad is only able to walk across the hall and kick down a door. I guess he’s just slow.

Babydoll is considerably shorter than her stepdad, I’d say about a foot shorter. She aims at his upper body and head, and shoots over his shoulder, striking a light bulb hanging from an 8 foot ceiling and then hitting a pipe. This would make her angle of fire an upward one, pointing the barrel at the ceiling. What kind of Lee Harvey Oswald magic bullet did she fire that hit her sister sitting on the floor? Also, what kind of closet has a steam pipe in it? For that matter, what kind of house has a steam pipe in it?

Babydoll runs and somehow ends up at the grave of her mother. I assume her mother is buried close to the house as Babydoll makes it there in the rain, on foot, with no shoes. If she’s so concerned for the well-being of her sister, why didn’t she call a doctor? Maybe she’s a trained physician, knew that her sister was dead, and she just decided to leave the corpse there. Either way, the police show up and apparently don’t ask her any questions. There has been a murder of a little girl and instead of holding the prime suspect for questioning, they sedate her and leave her in the custody of the other prime suspect. Why did they sedate her? She wasn’t violent; she was just sitting there stupefied. They don’t ask about the ripped button on her shirt, or the claw marks on stepdad’s face, why he smells of alcohol, whose gun it was, or who set the fire in the house. The Vermont Police are not well represented in this movie.

Stepdad doesn’t even bother to take her out of her old clothes; he just drives her directly to the insane asylum. I’m sure the police will have more questions for him. This wouldn’t make any sense to them.

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Chapter 2: 05:47-10:45

Babydoll is admitted into the mental institution Lennox House. Babydoll notices people in the institution and certain objects. Her stepfather fills out a form about her and the orderly takes them into the “theater”. It’s a large, open space where the girls can act out the traumatic events of their past on a stage while the other inmates watch. The therapy is run by Dr. Gorsky.

The stepfather and the orderly have a conversation about how much money the stepfather owes the orderly for arranging to have Babydoll lobotomized. The orderly ups the price, and the stepfather initially balks but when he is reminded that the police would want to talk to Babydoll, he relents and pays the money. Babydoll is to be lobotomized in five days. Babydoll overhears all of this while watching a girl go through “therapy” on stage where Dr. Gorsky tells her she is safe and the world she creates can be as real as she wants it to be.

Analysis

This is where the movie sets up the problem Babydoll has to overcome. She needs to escape the mental institution before she is lobotomized, or so it seems. There are all manner of inconsistencies with this premise. First, how did the father manage to get her institutionalized? She was just material witness in a murder, and as the orderly said, the police would be looking to get her side of the story. Of course, the police had just that opportunity in the last chapter, but rather than investigate they chose to sedate her and just let her stepfather drag her to a mental institution. The lobotomy is supposed to take place in five days. How slow are these police? Are there so many murders in Brattleboro, Vermont that they just can’t get around to interviewing witnesses or suspects?

Second, no one bothers to give Babydoll a cursory examination before she’s admitted. It’s just her dad filling out a form that has a checklist. What kind of mental institution just takes the word of a relative that someone is crazy? Is there no referral process in Vermont? Also, according to the form, Babydoll is 20. She’s not a minor, so how does this stepdad have so much control over what she does and where she goes? The Vermont psychiatric system doesn’t make any sense. This is important. She is being involuntarily forced to stay in a mental institution by her stepfather, even though she’s an adult, and the suspect in a murder.

Third, Babydoll doesn’t do anything to help herself when she could end this threat to her brain health immediately. Third, Babydoll doesn’t do anything to help herself when she could end this threat to her brain health immediately. She seems to be somewhat concerned with being sent to Lennox but she doesn’t actually vocalize it. She just simpers and moans, like some wide-eyed, bleached-blonde puppy. You would think she would tell someone “I didn’t kill my sister, it was an accident and I’m not crazy.” Nope. Apparently she has been struck dumb by the trauma. Her stepfather and the evil orderly are discussing how they’re going to have her memory wiped by a lobotomist in five days and all she can do is stare at everything around her like she’s already been lobotomized. (And why are those two having that discussion right in front of her?)

The institution is a marvel of efficiency. It apparently has one physician on staff, Dr. Gorksy, who sounds like she is taking a break from trying to catch Rocky and Bullwinkle.

The stepfather is prepared, though. The orderly ups the price by 43% but the he happens to have that amount in his wallet.

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Chapter 3: 10:46-12:24

Scenes from the asylum are shown while a somber song plays over the footage. Babydoll is moved into her quarters and notices a sign saying “All doors open in case of fire” and notices an overweight orderly with a lighter. She also notices a map behind the orderly who accepted her stepfather’s bribe. While on kitchen duty, she notices a knife and while cleaning a toilet, the orderly comes from behind her and she notices he has a key around his neck. She is shown crying on the couch while Dr. Gorki shakes her head. Then she is strapped into the chair for the lobotomy and just before the needle strikes her eye someone says “stop”.

Analysis

This is a short chapter but I need to stop here to explain a few things. First, this is where we leave reality and the rest of the movie takes place in Babydoll’s mind, I think. It’s not really clear but that’s the best I can make out

Second, what happens next in the movie is some dreamed up world created by one of the women. I’m not certain it’s Babydoll or not, but it’s not real. As such you might think I’m going to give it a pass. Nope. I am going to make fun of the girl’s imagination. To answer your question, it’s because I’m a dick.

Back to the “real life” portion of the movie, I wonder again what kind of institution this is. The inmates are forced to chop onions and clean the toilets? Babydoll has a therapy session with Dr. Gorksy and apparently just cries incoherently and doesn’t mention how her stepfather is trying to keep her from telling the police that he tried to kill her and her sister, and she acted in self-defense. She doesn’t bother to tell the good doctor that one of the orderlies is taking bribes, forging her signature, and maybe assaulting the girls. For her part, Dr. Gorsky seems entirely unaware that she has unknowingly scheduled a lobotomy for one of her patients – a patient who has been under her care for only five days. How does she have a license to practice medicine? I bet she doesn’t.

Also, the police still aren’t looking to interview Babydoll. Or maybe they have already arrested the stepfather and he isn’t telling them where Babydoll is.

What kind of lobotomy is performed without anesthetic? How does that doctor have a license? This regulatory system doesn’t make any sense.

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Chapter 4:12:25-19:11

Instead of Babydoll being lobotomized, it’s another woman briefly seen earlier, Sweet Pea, sitting in a chair. She complains to Gorsky (who is now Madam Gorsky) about having to act like she’s receiving a lobotomy because it isn’t attractive. Sweet Pea is on a stage with other young women, and the fake lobotomy is part of a show. After she complains to Gorsky, the orderly, who is now the owner of a club and is named Blue, calls Sweet Pea over. He introduces her to Babydoll. Babydoll has been brought to the club by a priest (formerly her stepfather) from an orphanage, and The High Roller will be there for her in five days. Blue wants Sweet Pea to show Babydoll around but Sweet Pea says she’s too busy and her sister Rocket should do it. Rocket shows Babydoll that the club is a front for Blue’s illegal business of guns, drugs, etc. and it’s really a brothel. The “girls” are there to entertain the clients.

The scene shifts to a dance room where the other women discuss Babydoll. Rocket brings Babydoll in and introduces her to Sweet Pea and two other girls, Amber and Blondie. Rocket explains to Babydoll that every girl has a dance she perfects, and they perform these dances for the men who come to visit. If the men like the dance, they choose the dancer, presumably for a sexual encounter. Babydoll cries in the bathroom at night, and is later shown scrubbing floors. Rocket is in the kitchen and she steals chocolate from the store room. The cook (formerly the overweight orderly) catches her and holds her down. Babydoll hears Rocket scream and she runs in, takes a knife from the cook, and holds it to his throat. The cook lets them go, they hear a bell, and have to go to rehearsal.

Analysis

This is the start of the alternate reality portion of the movie, and it’s where the movie really goes downhill. First, what kind of brothel has the women take time out of their schedules to practice dance routines? You would think that that time could be better spent actually entertaining clients. Second, why would the client bother coming in to watch a dance show when they could just select the woman and take her to the back room? Sure, she can dance, but does that mean she’ll be good at the things you want her to do in private? Third, what kind of brothel has the girls performing menial tasks? They’re cleaning the floors and helping cook? Why bother having a cook if the women do all the kitchen duty? Are they dancers, prostitutes, or slaves? Perhaps the biggest question is why is Rocket lugging sacks of potatoes and stealing chocolate in a leotard, with mesh leggings, high heels and make up? Is the cook one of her clients? Oh, she has an apron on, so that makes her outfit utile, I suppose.

If this is some alternate reality that Babydoll dreamed up, why is she is such dire straits? Why would she create a fantasy world where she’s sex slave and she is crying at night? Why is the girl with dark hair and dark eyes called Blondie? How does the High Roller know that there’s a new girl? Do they call him every time someone comes from the orphanage? If Babydoll is 20, why the hell is she still at an orphanage, and why did she let this priest take her to become a sex slave/burlesque dancer/scullery maid? Her second life fantasy doesn’t make any sense, and it’s as bad as or worse than her reality. I can only assume that the main difference is in her fantasy, her she didn’t kill her sister by putting a bullet through a steam pipe, then having it miraculously ricochet back to kill her. Then again, you’d think she would fantasize about her sister and mother being alive.

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Chapter 5: 19:12-30:12

Babydoll and Rocket go to the dance studio where Sweet Pea is practicing. Gorsky doesn’t like Sweet Pea’s performance and tells her to take a break. Gorsky has Babydoll go out on the dance floor and tells her to listen to the music and dance when she is ready. Blue and his goons come in to watch. Babydoll stands still and Gorsky stops the music telling her that if she doesn’t dance she has no purpose there, and that they don’t keep things that don’t have purpose. Gorsky tells her she is strong enough and has all the weapons she needs and to start fighting. She starts the music again and the people watching look on in amazement.

The camera zooms in on Babydoll’s eye, and when it pans back she is standing outside of a Japanese temple. She walks in to the temple and there is an older man sitting. He asks her what she’s looking for and she says a way out. He tells her he will help her to be free. He opens a case and gives her two weapons, a samurai sword and a semi-automatic pistol. He tells her she will need five other items to secure her freedom: a map, fire, a knife, and a key. The fifth is a mystery. It is a reason, a goal, a deep sacrifice, that only Babydoll can find and if she does it will set her free. He then tells her to defend herself and closes the door to the temple.

Out in the courtyard are three giant samurai style warriors. The first kicks Babydoll back through the door into the temple and attacks her with a pole arm. She fights the creature and eventually is able to wound it and then cut its throat. The second comes in with a rocket launcher and she dodges the rocket it fires. It then opens fire with a chain gun and she dodges those attacks until she can throw her sword and wound it. She then runs up on it and shoots it in the face. The third warrior she confronts in the courtyard as the temple collapses behind her. She kneels down and the snow swirls around her while the last warrior charges. She leaps up and cuts it in half before landing at the far side of the courtyard. She stands and is back in the dance room.

Analysis

Now, what I can’t figure out is do the women perform solo or in a group? We see them working on some bizarre skit where Sweet Pea is in a chair being lobotomized by the other women but then she’s practicing her dance solo. Also, if she’s the star of the show wouldn’t she already know her dance by heart? Why is Gorsky being such a bitch about it? Where did Gorsky learn to teach dance? Her classroom management is awful. She just has fifteen girls standing around watching her berate one? There has to be a better use of time. They aren’t even stretching.

Gorsky tells Babydoll to just dance, and then puts on some techno music on a reel to reel. I don’t know what the time frame is for this movie; lobotomies were popular for about 20 years between 1935-1955. A later scene has Germans from the First World War so I assume it’s prior to 1942. That would leave it somewhere in the late 1930’s and I didn’t know Bjork was popular back then.

It’s fine to have that music as the background for a ridiculous fight scene (see next paragraphs) but to have the characters in the movie hear it? Where is the big band music? And what kind of pep talk is Gorsky giving her? If she can’t dance she can’t stay? She doesn’t want to be there in the first place! Do they just kill women who can’t dance? Is the supply of prostitutes who can dance so high in Vermont that they can just discard the ones who can’t dance the first time they’re told to do so?

What happens next is essentially the rest of the movie. In order for the imaginary Babydoll to dance, she has to imaginer herself as some sort of superhero. Instead of the movie showing us her dance moves that so enthrall everyone, we instead are subjected to some terrible fight scenes that are full of CGI but thin on anything else. For example:

Babydoll imagines herself scantily clad in a courtyard where it’s snowing. Babydoll must be a learned young lady to know about Japanese history as a girl growing in up on 1930’s Vermont. She tells the old man that she wants freedom. Does this mean freedom from the brothel or the mental institute? It can’t mean the institute because she could have just told Dr. Gorsky about her step father during the five days prior to her lobotomy. She didn’t, so it must mean freedom from the brothel, which isn’t real, and which she made up. Also, she could just not dance and she’ll have no purpose and they won’t keep her around. The Old Man gives her a sword and gun and then tells her that one of the things she needs is a knife, which makes you wonder why he didn’t just give her a knife to start. I’m also curious as to why he is worried about her tracking snow on his floor when the three giant samurai are about to destroy his temple. He says the 5th thing is the reason, but he asked her that already, she wants freedom. Is it the reason for the freedom?

Well, who cares because it’s time to fight giant samurai. The samurai fight her one at a time, because they’re stupid. The first one knocks her about until she decides to start blocking. I don’t know why she bothers; she appears to be immune to damage as she is pummeled through the door and her body rips up the floor. She is knocked 100 feet back when kicked or hit with the spear but when she blocks it with her sword, somehow she only goes back 6 or 8 feet. That sword must somehow absorb kinetic energy or increase her mass or the friction coefficient, or all three, when she uses it to block.

The second warrior shows why it’s such a travesty for Babydoll to be lobotomized. She’s a weapons inventing genius. She is in 1930’s Vermont and she already can imagine weapons that haven’t been invented yet! She envisions a rocket propelled grenade, not a bazooka, mind you, but an honest to goodness RPG. Then she imagines a chain gun! Wow, keep this girl alive and get her to the Pentagon! Of course, to defeat this creature she has to flip around a bunch, at one point moving faster than the bullets its firing. She is even able to fall faster than gravity would pull her to the ground. The best part of this fight is that she throws the sword from a distance and used the gun when she’s up close. Hmm, maybe she isn’t such a weapons genius. When did RPG’s and chain guns become Samurai armaments? The weapons the samurai use don’t make any sense. Maybe she isn’t as well versed in Samurai as I thought. Here is a list of the weapons used, almost all of which were invented post WWII.

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Chapter 6: 30:13-36:37

All the girls are amazed at the dance Babydoll just performed. Rocket says Gorksy is never impressed but Sweet Pea says Babydoll’s dance has nothing to say about Babydoll. Babydoll says her dance says she’s going to escape. Rocket and Amber ask if they can come with her. Sweet Pea says Rocket can’t go and that no one escapes from the club. Blondie says the last three girls that tried died. Babydoll asks them to listen to her plan, but Sweet Pea says no.

Later, Sweet Pea and Rocket are preparing to dance and Rocket wonders about Babydoll’s plan. Sweet Pea reminds Rocket she has kept her safe and if she wants to go with Babydoll she will be on her own. Rocket tells Sweet Pea how Babydoll saved her from the cook and Babydoll enters the dressing room. Babydoll writes on a blackboard the four things they’ll need to escape (map, fire, knife, and key). She says the high roller comes for her in three days but she’s escaping before then. In order to get the four items, the girls have to get whoever possesses the particular item to watch Babydoll dance while the other girls pilfer the item from that person.

The map is in Blue’s office, behind his desk. It will show them where all the exits are. The fire, in the form of lighter, they use to create a larger fire as a distraction while they escape, and to disable the checkpoints. The knife is in case they run into any trouble. The key opens all the doors; Blue keeps it around his neck. Sweet Pea says the plan is crazy but agrees to help when Rocket, Amber, and Blondie decide to try it. Sweet Pea agrees to get the map.

Analysis

So apparently, while Babydoll lapses into a fantasy world in which she fights giant samurai warriors, she is gyrating and moaning in such a manner than no one can take their eyes off her and they lose track of what is going on around them. The other women, Rocket especially, are thrilled for her. Yay! You are a great dancer, now you’re going to be forced to have sex with strange men! You’ve come a long way, Babydoll. Babydoll wants to escape but the other women are scared because the last three have died. So, that means if you can’t dance, they kill you and if you try to escape they kill you. Where do they put all the bodies? Do they just have a glut of pretty young dancers and they can just kill them, when they try to escape? What happens when someone who likes a girl in particular asks about his favorite girl? “I’m terribly sorry, Mr. Smith, but Roxie tried to escape and we had to kill her, could I interest you in Blondie?” Are all the customers aware of the draconian conditions of this place? You’d think that in a private moment one of the women might say “Help, we’re being held prisoner here. If you free me, I’ll be yours forever.” You would think that that someone would care a bit for the dancers as opposed to Blue, but I guess not. What, if anything, is this supposed to say about the real Babydoll’s psyche?

So, Babydoll has a plan to escape. Sweet Pea is right – the plan is crazy. Babydoll doesn’t even explain how they are going to pull this off, step by step. Babydoll has danced once and yet she’s positive that no one can resist watching her. That’s a big assumption. How can the women not know how to get out? Babydoll was brought in while she was conscious. How big is this club? Just go out the way you came in. No, they need a map, which they assume Blue won’t notice is missing from his office. This building is obviously not up to code since there are no fire escape routes labeled anywhere. Also, in case of a fire, are all the girls left inside the building? Do they just drag them out and hold them under armed guard? How about you just pull the fire alarm and when they take you out to safety you make a break for it? They can’t catch all of them and whoever is free contacts the police? Easy plan and it just needs fire. Also, if there’s a big fire, they would have to call the fire department right? The women could just ask the fire fighters for help. Or, is the fire department in on the scam also? How many palms is Blue greasing?

If the fire disables the doors, why do they need a key? Also, if the guards are all armed why bother getting a knife from the cook? It would make more sense to have Babydoll dance for a bunch of guards and just take their guns. Then you could just shoot your way out. Nope, they’re going with a simple knife.

The strangest part of this is that Babydoll’s memory flashbacks of the items are from the Asylum, not the fantasy brothel. Is this to imply that she’s aware of the real world? Isn’t she already in the lobotomist’s chair? Although, it would explain the knife vs gun part. But it wouldn’t explain her needing a map (she was brought in by her stepfather while awake), and it wouldn’t explain why they couldn’t start a fire and ask the fire department for help. In the fantasy, Blue is paying people off. In real life, he’s an orderly taking bribes from people. So, if Babydoll remembers the asylum, her plan should just be to start a fire and make a run for it, or ask for help. This really doesn’t make any sense.

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Chapter 7: 36:37-50:32

Sweet Pea goes to Blue’s office and informs him that Babydoll is dancing. When he and his lieutenants leave, she sneaks into the room. Blue and his two henchmen go to watch Babydoll dance. As she dances she imagines herself in a WWI era war zone with her friends.

The old man from the last fantasy tells the girls that the Germans are preparing a map for the Kaiser and the girls have to cross the battlefield and take the map from the enemy commander before the courier arrives. The girls walk past their fellow soldiers and Blondie and Sweet Pea look at on particular wounded soldier. Amber enters a giant power armor/robot and the old man tells the girls that the German doctors and engineers have reanimated their soldiers with “steam power and clockworks”.

Amber, in her robot, destroys several enemy planes while the rest of the girls enter the trenches on the other side of the battlefield. They fight through several German steam soldiers, shooting them and defeating them in hand to hand combat. They narrowly avoid being killed while saving each other. Babydoll is trapped inside the commander’s bunker and has to fight the commander and his guards while the courier takes the map. The commander punches her against a post, which breaks under the impact and the bunker falls in on top of him/it. The courier, a human, runs off with the map while Babydoll is recovering. She chases him through the trenches but is unable to catch up with him as he grabs onto a rope ladder that is hanging from a zeppelin.

Two Germans catch up to Babydoll and set up a machine gun with. Babydoll kills them and fires the machine gun at the zeppelin, destroying an engine and setting the blimp on fire. The blimp crashes and the courier is thrown back into the trench in front of Babydoll. He tries to shoot her but she deflects the bullets with her sword. The courier surrenders the map but the commander reappears behind Babydoll with more steam soldiers. She throws the map in the air, and when the commander tries to kill her Amber reappears in her robot with the other girls, landing on the commander. They shoot all the soldiers and hang on to the robot as it flies up into the air. Babydoll catches the map as it falls and then Babydoll’s dance ends and she’s back in the dance room.

Analysis

If Sweet Pea knows where everything is, like Blue’s office, and knows that there are guards posted everywhere, then why does she need the map? She clearly has a good understanding of the lay out and positioning of the guards to begin with. If Blue is such a security freak why does he leave his door unlocked with Sweet Pea just lingering in the hallway? If the women in the “brothel” are so miserable and in a hurry to get out, why don’t they just jump Blue and his two flunkies while the men are watching Babydoll dance? There are like 15 of them in there against three dudes who are not even paying attention to them.

Ah, on to Babydoll’s dance fantasy. Anachronisms abound! All the women are outfitted with modern day automatic weapons – again showing Babydoll’s ability to accurately predict the future of small arms technology. Not only that, but she is able to imagine a giant robot with a Holographic Heads Up Display inside. Wow, what a loss to science this lobotomy is turning out to be!

The German soldiers are powered by steam and clockworks. How is that possible? Steam power requires water, a powerful heat source to turn the water to steam, and a turbine that is turning the pressure created by steam into another sort of power. Did these German scientists remove all the organs, muscles, and skeletal structures in order to put in some sort of mini furnace along with a water supply that can be turned into steam, then cooled back into water, then turned back into steam in an endless loop to create power? Maybe Babydoll’s imagination isn’t that good with science after all. Or, she created a closed loop power system which would be ground breaking.

The combat scenes are both spectacular and par for the course. The soldiers shoot and miss, they attack one at a time in melee combat, and the engage in melee combat even though they have guns and their opponent is facing away from them. I wonder why they even had to cross the battle field the way they did. Clearly Amber’s robot is the most devastating thing on the field of battle. It can fl, and is immune to the puny WWI bullets the Germans are using. Why not just fly to the bunker, and obliterate all the steam soldiers? I guess it was more important for Amber to take off after the planes like some robot King Kong because they made her drop her lollipop.

Is the German commander also a steam powered zombie, or a burn victim? Did they find some way to salvage brain functions after death and then restart the brain after all the organs had been replaced by a furnace and water? The clockwork zombies are terrible with tactics, so why put one of them in charge? Here are some examples:

  • The commander throws his sword at Babydoll instead of using it like a sword.
  • Rocket whips out a flintlock pistol and instead of firing it at a German, turns it upside down and uses it as a club. (If she has a 21st century assault rifle, why is she carrying a fucking black powder pistol in the first place?)
  • When the soldiers have Rocket and Sweet Pea trapped, they run into the path of the women’s weapons instead of stabbing them to death from behind.
  • When the two Germans somehow sneak up on Babydoll , they stop and assemble a machine gun instead of just shooting her in the back with one of the dozens of rifles or hand guns lying around the leaking bodies of the zombies she just stabbed or shot.
  • The commander he has an entire squad of soldiers behind Babydoll and he asks her for the map. Fuck that, just shoot her and take it from her dead body.

Here’s some crappy editing for you, to boot. When Babydoll is trapped in the bunker alone, the other women can’t open the door from the outside. When she starts fighting, the door is clearly wide open behind her the entire time. Well done, editors, now the entire fight scene doesn’t make any sense.

With all of that said, the action sequences here are spectacular. The actresses do a very good job handling the weapons and performing the maneuvers. The stunt work is top notch and seamless. This could be an empowering scene, depicting women as formidable and not being meek and defenseless. If only they weren’t dressed as sex objects. I mean, they’re in a war zone among a bunch of young men and they’re all wearing burlesque outfits with heels and lots of skin showing. They look like a sorority going out to get drunk on Halloween.

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Chapter8: 50:33-57:30

Babydoll finishes her dance and everyone applauds. Blue and Madam Gorsky talk in a side office and Blue says he wants Babydoll to perform a private dance for the Mayor. Gorsky says Babydoll is not ready, she doesn’t have a costume and there is no set. Blue feels she doesn’t need any of that and reminds Gorsky that he owns the girls and her. She agrees to let Babydoll dance for the mayor. Rocket thanks Babydoll for her help with the cook and they talk about themselves. Rocket says she ran away from home and Sweet Pea followed even though she had no issues at home. Rocket asks if Babydoll ever wishes she could take something back and Babydoll says all the time.

Blue enters his office and notices that something is wrong. He looks at the map and sees that there are two holes for a tack in the corner, realizing someone had taken it down and replaced it. The girls talk Amber into stealing the Mayor’s lighter, which he keeps in his breast pocket, and which he uses to light cigars. The Mayor is Amber’s client and she can steal the lighter while he’s distracted by Babydoll dancing. The Mayor takes a seat and Amber sits in his lap while Gorksy introduces Babydoll. The curtain opens on the stage, the music plays and Babydoll begins to dance.

Analysis

So, Gorsky is not really Blue’s partner, she’s also some sort of slave. Why does she continue to subject these women to prostitution? If she’s afraid of Blue, why not just contact the authorities? Or is she also forced to stay in the facility the entire time? Is this supposed to mirror the institute world? Does the orderly command Dr. Gorsky?

Who cares about Rocket and Sweet Pea’s parents other than to wonder why they aren’t looking for their two daughter. How did they end up in Blue’s clutches? That’s a better question and one that this insipid movie will not answer. I assume this is because we’re seeing Babydoll’s dreams and she doesn’t know.

The plan for the fire is to steal the Mayor’s lighter. Amber is hesitant for good reason. She is afraid she will mess up but what she should have said is “Why do I have to steal a lighter in front of everyone when there is a kitchen full of flammable stuff?” Was the Mayor already supposed to be there that night or did Blue just summon him? While I’m on the topic of the Mayor, why does he have two security guards with him? At that time in US history the President didn’t have much security, why does the Mayor of Brattleboro, VT merit a security detail? Are these private goons?

Blue is a master of observation. He’s elated because the Mayor is going to watch Babydoll dance and that will loosen him up a bit to make him and his boys spend money. I’m not sure how much because the Mayor only has two security guys with them and the Mayor already has Amber paid for, so what else is he going to do? Anyway, he’s excited and he puts his hand down on a table and somehow that leads him to notice that there is an extra hole in the map, even though that hole was covered by the tack. That leads to the question of what did Sweet Pea do with the map? Did she take it down and photocopy it with non-existing technology or, did she do a rubbing, or just memorize it? Why did she need to remove it from the wall? This map situation doesn’t make any sense.

And can you believe they filmed the below scene and didn’t put it in the movie? I’d be livid if I were Oscar Isaacs. Look at that split!

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Chapter 9: 57:31-1:06:53

In Babydoll’s dance dream she and the other women are in a plane flying over a castle. The old man tells them that Amber will fly the plane while Blondie operates the machine gun. The other three women need to drop into the courtyard, kill the creatures in their way, and make it to the nest. In the nest, they have to kill the baby dragon and take crystals from its belly. When the crystals are struck together they make fire. The old man drops a gas tank with a flare attached to it and it explodes in the courtyard. He tells the girls not to wake the mother.

While armored knights try to break down the front portcullis, the girls drop from the plane and land in the courtyard. Every creature in the courtyard starts to attack the trio and the trio kills them all. They then descend a spiral staircase while killing everything in their path. The creatures catapult two of their members onto the plane but Amber and Blondie kill them. Babydoll, Rocket, and Sweet Pea find the baby dragon, kill it and take the crystals. Babydoll strikes the crystals against each other and a flame appears in the air.

A much larger dragon climbs up to the ledge where the baby was and breathes fire at the girls as they run. It then climbs up to the top of the castle as knights break through the door to the castle courtyard. Amber flies her plane near the dragon and it chases after the plane breathing fire. Amber and Blondie lose track of the dragon and it sneaks up behind and bites off the tail of the plane. The girls in the courtyard kill the knights as the dragon follows the plane towards them. The dragon sees Babydoll and chases her through the main entrance head first. Babydoll jumps in the air and lands on the dragon’s head, plunging her sword into its skull.

Analysis

Another dream dance, and more anachronisms. Babydoll continues her ability to see the future of technology by dreaming up wireless headsets for radios. Perhaps when action hero Babydoll isn’t fighting dragons, she does a little telemarketing on the side. She also has made the leap forward in plane technology, going from WWI era planes to WWII era technology. Of course, Amber’s plane can’t just be a normal Prop powered plane, it has to have an LED display panel. And why are the blonde women sent in, while the non-white women are left on the plane?

The old man’s plan seems straightforward on the surface. The girls have to break in, kill some bad guys, kill a baby dragon, take some crystals out of it, and not wake the mother. Although, he does drop a barrel bomb on top of the dragon’s nest right after telling the women not to wake the mother.

Also, what kind of barrel bomb is that? He has a propane tank or something with a flare strapped to it. Why does that explode? For an explosion to take place the gas would need to be in a gaseous vapor but it’s contained in the tank. I guess it drops and the tank shatters and the flare ignites all the pressurized gas at once but then why is there a shock wave since it’s just a simple burning of gas and not a high explosive? Maybe Babydoll doesn’t know much about explosives and really isn’t such a weapons genius after all.

The women jump out of a plane and drop straight down, an amazing feat since they would still have the angular momentum of the plane. They land and immediately join in the Battle of Helm’s Deep. Has Peter Jackson seen this movie? How did he not sue? Nice touch by Blondie to shoot the hapless orc who was falling to his death. Rather than let him die upon impact, she opens up with the .50 caliber machine gun and shoots him into little bits.

The other women get to the dragon and murder it in its sleep with ease. This is where the old man’s plan goes awry, or Babydoll is an idiot. Why does she smash the crystals into each other right there in the bowels of the castle, over the baby dragon’s corpse? What was the point of getting them if all she was going to do was look at a few seconds of fire? Why get in between these knights and orcs and slaughter a helpless baby dragon and incur the wrath of the mother just to make a little fire in the air?

Yet Babydoll does it and up comes the mother. It chases Amber around, somehow a worse flier as a creature that can naturally fly than Amber using controls and her on board computer to navigate a giant mechanical construct. It tries, wisely, to burn the plane but when it finally sneaks up from behind (how did they not see it?) it instead chooses to bite. It has its mouth wide open with the plane right in front. It could have roasted Blondie and the plane but no, it just goes all McGruff the Crime Dog. Then it chases the plane into the courtyard.

Why are the blonde women killing the knights? Weren’t they helping them? What is the relationship between these orc-like creatures, these knights, and the dragon? Who built that castle on top of the dragon’s den? Did the orcs do it or did they take the castle over? Did the dragon just make the den at the bottom of the castle? This doesn’t make any sense.

None of this is answered because the stupid dragon forgets to land when it sees Babydoll. I guess it knew she killed its baby, even though it didn’t witness the murder. Or maybe she was dancing and it is stupefied like all the slack jawed morons at Blue’s club. Either way, it seems to land head first and then chase Babydoll into an archway where only its head will fit. How did this thing make it to adulthood? Of course, it just pokes its head in and does nothing as Babydoll lands on its scalp and jabs her sword into its brain. I guess her sword has greater penetration powers than Blondie’s .50 caliber bullets that just bounced harmlessly off it. Also, the dragon is dead and so are all the knights and orcs, and the crystals from the baby dragon are now used up. WHAT WAS THE POINT OF ALL THAT? This doesn’t make any sense!

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Chapter 10: 1:06:54 –1:14:02

Babydoll finishes her dance and everyone who watched applauds. Blue is crying. In the dressing room, the girls are elated because Amber was able to take the lighter from the Mayor. Babydoll tapes the lighter underneath a drawer in a desk, next to the map. Blue enters and asks why the girls are so excited. He questions if they are excited about Babydoll’s dance, as Sweet Pea says, or if something else is going on. He mentions someone being in his office as well as the Mayor missing his lighter. He grabs Blondie by her hair and threatens to make an example out of someone.

When Blue leaves, Sweet Pea tells the girls that the escape attempt is over. Babydoll and Rocket try to convince her that the plan can still work. Sweet Pea says she and Rocket are out but Rocket says she will continue trying to escape. Sweet Pea is hurt that Rocket is choosing Babydoll over her after all Sweet Pea has done to help Rocket.

Alone in the practice room, Blondie is crying. Madam Gorsky comes in and sees her and asks her what is wrong. Blondie is about to tell Gorsky when Blue walks in.

Analysis

The women seem awfully excited about being able to steal a lighter. Hell, the room they’re in has all sorts of flammable materials and lots of heat. I mean, there are electrical outlets everywhere and all sorts of conductive materials that could create resistance and heat up. However, Babydoll can only imagine futuristic war machines. She can’t actually build a fire with heat. The (presumably) old school light bulbs that heat up rather quickly, and could set ablaze one of the many fire hazards in the room. Put one of those up against a curtain, and burn down the entire place. Yes, I said curtain, because there is a window in the dressing room. I don’t know where it leads, but you’d think it would maybe be used as a means of escape.

So, they have the map and the fire. For some reason, they still need a knife and a key. Even though a fire would dump the building (I am assuming it’s up to code) they need a key, and a knife to stab anyone they come across. Instead, they hide the lighter by taping it under a drawer. It’s right next to the map. Sweet Pea must be some sort of printing specialist because in the time Babydoll distracted Blue with her dance to one song, she was able to take the map down from the wall, make a copy, and put the old map back up. Only, she didn’t just make a copy as in a Xerox copy. She made what looks like an exact duplicate or another original. She is wasting away as a prostitute/dancer. She should be forging documents for Blue.

But Sweet Pea’s role is to be a sour puss and to tell the other women to just give up. Blue knows they’re up to something and Sweat Pea’s just fine with letting Babydoll get raped. By the way, how much is the High Roller paying for her? Blue says a small fortune. That seems like a lot for a girl who is cute but presumably has no skills in that department. Blondie panics and decides to tell Madam Gorsky. This is a terrible decision. If Gorsky wanted to help, she could have had the police there at any moment. Does Blondie think she’ll suddenly let them go? Idiot.

One last thing about Blue’s little club. If the women never leave, what happens when they get older? Is he going to keep them around in their 50’s? Do they all become dance instructors? Are destroyed like some sort of brothel Logan’s Run? Does he let them just walk out with a confidentiality agreement? Where does he put all these bodies? This makes less and less sense.

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Chapter 11: 1:14:03-1:16:35

Babydoll, Rocket, and Amber are in the kitchen peeling potatoes and waiting for Sweet Pea. She is supposed to deliver Babydoll’s music. Sweet Pea comes in and tells Rocket she is there not to help, but rather to prevent them from being killed. Sweet Pea tells them they don’t have much time and tells Amber to get the radio. The girls clear the cutting table and place brooms in the handles of the doors to lock them. Babydoll hops up on the table while Rocket pushes the cook down into a chair. Amber looks out the door and nods and Sweet Pea tunes the radio to a music station. The water from an upturned pot of potatoes inches towards the drain and the exposed wires of the power cord leading to the radio. Rocket sits on the cook’s lap and tells him he is going to want to watch Babydoll. She dances and the scene shifts to another fantasy.

Analysis

What is the work schedule of this brothel? It seems to consist of cleaning floors, practicing dancing, a lot of kitchen duty, and the occasional dance/entertaining of guests. How do they make a profit? These women are supposed to be the star attractions and yet they never entertain anyone. In the five days the women have to escape, they only perform once – and that was just for the mayor. Otherwise, they peel potatoes all day. How many potatoes do they need? If these women, who are clearly slaves, are doing all the culinary work, why does Blue have a cook on staff? Also, why bother getting a knife from the cook when they could just poison the food?

There are three women in the kitchen and they’re waiting for Sweet Pea because Babydoll needs her music. Then Sweet Pea shows up and doesn’t have any music. All she does is tell Amber to bring her the radio so she can tune it to a song that is a remake of a tune that was written over 20 years in the future. I guess Sweet Pea is the only one who can tune the radio to the future and that’s why the other women had to wait for her. Really, they don’t need any more than two women – one to distract, the other to steal the knife. I guess that’s why no one questions Blondie’s absence.

The women have to drag the radio across the room so the cook and Babydoll can hear it. They couldn’t turn the volume up? If that were the case then they wouldn’t be able to place the one part of the cord that is worn thin in the path of the water from the potato pot. That’s a lot of water in that potato pot, by the way. Also, Rocket sits the cook down and tells him to watch Babydoll dance. If you want a man to watch a woman dance, it’s usually best not to have another woman, who isn’t wearing pants, sit in his lap. That’s sort of distracting. And not to be too crude here but if they really wanted to distract the cook, just have one of the women provide a sexual favor for him. Why bother with all the music and stuff? All these extra steps don’t make any sense.

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Chapter 12: 1:16:36-1:24:14

The girls are on an alien planet being briefed by the old man. The mission is to board a hi-jacked train, defeat mechanized gunmen, deactivate a bomb, and then steal it. The bomb is timed to go off when it reaches the city, so the girls have to hurry.

They take off in a helicopter and fly to the train. Amber, who is once again the pilot, fires a missile at the rear of the train, blasting open the last car. The girls jump on to the train and move to the next car where they destroy several shiny robots.

The girls fight their way to the bomb and start the deactivation sequence and blow the top of the train car off. Amber moves into position to bring the bomb from of the train. Amber tries to lift the bomb out with the helicopter, but Rocket and Sweet Pea missed detaching one of the bolts that held it down. Rocket pushes aside the body of a robot and begins to loosen the bolt. The robot torso comes back to life and knocks Rocket away. It then climbs on the bomb and reactivates it before Babydoll shoots it in the head. Rocket’s jet pack was damaged when she was hit by the robot. The bomb begins to count down slowly and the music stops.

Babydoll is on the table and the radio has shorted out because the water finally made it to the exposed wires in the extension cord.

Analysis

This time they’re on a planet, or moon, that appears to be near Saturn or some other gas giant with an asteroid belt. The planet dominates the sky, and it makes you wonder how the planet or moon they’re on isn’t drawn into the gas giant’s gravitational pull. On this planet, someone has hijacked a train. How the fuck does one hijack a train? Where are you going to take it? Plus, what kind of train is this? It’s just a series of cars that are empty except for homicidal robots and a blue energy bomb.

Regardless, Babydoll has imagined up several new inventions. She has conceived of a modern or at least Vietnam War era helicopter, complete with guided missile systems. She has also conceived of bullet trains and jet packs. She is really a forward thinker. Of course, she’s no tactical genius as the women have to jump on the train to stop the bomb instead of just blowing up the track and letting the train derail, then just picking up the bomb from the wreckage. It seems that protecting the city is of only minor interest to the old man, as that would quickly and easily save the city.

Instead of blowing up the tracks, Amber fires a missile that strikes the train parallel to the track and yet somehow only slices a perpendicular cross section of the train without doing any other damage. Or if you prefer a more mathematical explanation, the missile hit along the x axis and yet made a cut along the y and z axes. This is not how explosions work. They expand in all directions unless something blocks the blast. So, for that missile to cut the train the way it did, there would have to be a barrier in front of and behind where the missile hit.

Babydoll also has dreamed up an alien world where the laws of physics are different than on Earth. The women are on a helicopter that is travelling at the same velocity as the train. The girls jump out of the helicopter and somehow travel forward into the back of the train. This would require them to travel the horizontal distance, which appears to be about 20 feet faster than the gravity of this planet (which I admit is unknown, but appears to be about the same as Earth) pulled them towards the earth. They also would have to create propulsion towards the train that would move them in that horizontal direction quickly enough to avoid going splat on the tracks while overcoming the wind resistance. There has to be an atmosphere on this planet/moon, or else the girls would suffocate and the helicopter couldn’t fly. But all they do is step out of the helicopter and somehow fly forward. Why Amber didn’t just land on the top of the train or let them rappel down is a question that is perhaps best left unanswered. Also, the jet packs seem like they’d be good for that sort of thing.

Babydoll makes another mental leap in her dream world by imagining a futuristic bomb for them to disarm. Look at that thing! It has touch screens, alien writing, the works. She should be an author or perhaps a screenwriter for shitty movies. The women enter the code but forget to unbolt it all the way, and don’t notice the semi-functional robot. For shame, Rocket. Then again, Sweet Pea was right there, why doesn’t she do something about the robot rearming the bomb? She’s not even in the picture when the robot does the deed. Luckily, Babydoll is there to kill it and they are saved by the slowing down of the music. It doesn’t make any sense why Babydoll had to dance that long with the dream of the train robbery just so someone can grab a knife. How long does it take these women to simply grab a knife?

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Chapter 13: 1:24:15-1:27:22

The loss of the music stops Babydoll’s dance. The Chef comes to right as Sweet Pea is taking the knife from his belt. He sees this and throws Rocket off his lap and slaps Sweet Pea. The knife skitters across the floor and lands at Amber’s feet. When he stands, he moves the chair back and the chair moves the cord out of the water. He rears back to stab Sweet Pea and Rocket leaps in the way and the music starts up again, taking Babydoll back into her dream.

Back in the train dream, the train is still speeding towards the city and the bomb is active. Rocket tells Babydoll and Amber to leave, and when they hesitate, she pulls her musket and shoots the cable to the bomb. The helicopter veers away and pulls Babydoll with it. In the train car, Rocket tells Sweet Pea that her jet pack is broken and she can’t leave. Sweet Pea tells her they can go together but Rocket refuses. Rocket initiates Sweet Pea’s jet pack and Sweet Pea flies up in the air, and is caught by Babydoll, who is hanging from the helicopter. Rocket looks up at them as the train goes into the city and explodes, destroying it. Babydoll is comes back to the brothel world crying.

Analysis

OK, so is it the music that is entrancing the cook, or Babydoll’s dance, or both? Again, why did Sweet Pea take so long to try to remove the knife? When the cook came to, why didn’t she just hide it behind her back? Why didn’t Rocket try to distract him, I mean she’s sitting on his lap? How does water getting on a cord create fire? If the cord was burning, why does it suddenly start working again once it’s out of the water? It’s still wet, right? The water would still mess up the conduction of electricity. Sweet Pea has the knife, which is supposed to be for any trouble they encounter along the way, but doesn’t use it when trouble appears. And when the fight starts, why doesn’t Babydoll get her ass off that table and help?

Instead, once the music restarts, she goes back into her dance trance and finishedsup the asinine train robbery. This time, Rocket realizes that the bomb is going to go off and they won’t be able to steal it. For some unknown reason, she decided to stay and die with it. She could easily just jump up on to the top of the train and grab the rope like Babydoll and be taken to freedom, but instead she shoots the rope to “save” Babydoll. She also forces Sweet Pea to leave her by activating the jet pack. She doesn’t even try to run out of the back of the train where the last car had a cross section removed via magic missile.

That jet pack, by the way, is really crappy. It has like 3 seconds of burst. Was the women’s plan to just blast themselves up in the air while Amber was pulling the bomb up in the helicopter and somehow not fall back to the ground? Why not just climb into the helicopter and escape that way? They had to get into the helicopter either way to escape and it’s not like Amber was going to be able to easily scoop them out of the air. She would be hauling a big ass bomb and that might impair her ability to fly around. And how were they going to get aboard the chopper from the jet packs? Were they supposed to fly up, avoid the bomb dangling from the chopper, and then grab the runner or just land inside? That is risky. What if they went too high (slice and dice) or too low (splat)? That escape plan makes no sense.

Also, they didn’t seem too concerned about that city. Who lives there – giant samurai, dragon fighting knights, orcs, steam punk Germans?

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Chapter 14: 1:27:23-1:35:13

Babydoll ends her dance and comes back to the brothel reality. Rocket is lying on the ground bleeding, because the cook stabbed her instead of Sweat Pea. Rocket tells Sweet Pea to make it home and tell their mother that Rocket loves her. Blue breaks in and berates the cook first then tells Sweet Pea that Rocket’s death is her fault. He tells one of his goons, CJ, to take Sweet Pea to the closet and tells Amber she is taking Sweet Pea’s place in the show.

The main theater is full of people in dressy clothes. The High Roller )the lobotomist from the mental institute in real life) sits down with two women (the nurses who assist in the lobotomy). Blue looks at the crowd then goes back stage where the girls are preparing. Blue gathers the girls and tells them he tries to give them a good life but is upset at their betrayal, and he takes a gun from CJ. Madam Gorsky tries to calm him down saying he knows about the plot and has won, but Blue knocks her down. Blue yells at Gorsky, incredulous that she doesn’t know what is going on. Gorsky tells Blue she teaches the girls to survive him. Blue puts the gun at her throat.

Blondie admits that she told Blue about the escape plot. Blue turns over the chalkboard and asks Amber if she has anything to say. Amber cries and Blue shoots her in the back of the head. Blue thanks Blondie for what she has done but says they hate snitches and shoots her. He tells the girls to go and put on the show. Babydoll and Blue are left alone and Blue tells her that he feels like he is a kid and everyone gets to play with his toys. He tries to force himself on Babydoll, but she grabs the knife and stabs him in the shoulder and takes his key.

Analysis

Why did Babydoll go back to the train dream? The music was off, she wasn’t dancing, and no one was looking at her. It doesn’t make any sense. She just had to finish the vignette in her brain, I guess. Maybe she figured she had already saved Rocket from the cook once and that was enough. Instead of helping, she could just think about Rocket dying on a train. And if she didn’t need the music to go back into the trance, why the big deal about the radio?

Rocket died in almost 20 seconds from a knife wound to her abdomen. That is certainly a dangerous wound and it would require medical attention, but she’s barely even bleeding. Sweet Pea is apoplectic until Blue yells at her; somehow that calms her down. The kitchen knife they were in there to steal has vanished, but reappears later in the dressing room. I guess Amber picked it up and then didn’t use it when the cook was stabbing her friend. Maybe she was watching Babydoll dance. Rocket didn’t deserve to die, but she sure was stupid in sliding in front of the cook. How about you knock his arm or jump on his back so he doesn’t stab anyone?

I want to give some credit to Oscar Isaac, the actor who plays Blue. He’s really good in this scene. Of course, his character’s actions make no sense, but he’s good in the scene. He’s the one person in this cast who went on to bigger and better things. Well, him and John Hamm.

Why does Blue tell Amber to take Sweet Pea’s place in the show and then execute her, along with Blondie, in front of all the other women RIGHT BEFORE THE SHOW? Let her dance, and then kill her in front of everyone. Also, why not kill Sweet Pea as well? And why kill Blondie? She helped. All he did was show the other women that they should never rat on each other because Blue will kill everyone. That’s a terrible tactic for a prison, which is essentially what he’s running. He makes claims to be a protector and employer, but clearly he’s holding the women hostage. He also takes the gun from one goon (CJ) and then gives it to another who just jams it down the front of his pants. What a nimrod. Now his finger prints are all over the gun that just murdered two women.

Gorsky is no help. Finally, after watching young women be kidnapped, enslaved, and forced into prostitution she decides to try and stop Blue from doing something. Blue’s right, how dare she try to repent at the 11th hour? She’s teaching the women to survive him? I call bullshit. She could have helped them escape or called the police. She could have mentioned to any of the delivery people who bring all the make-up, wigs, fabric, and props for these dances that everyone is a prisoner and someone should contact the authroties. No, instead she forces them to learn to dance provocatively so they can be raped. I don’t think her halo is that shiny.

Blue fires two shots from a big ass revolver while he’s backstage right before a show. What are they going to tell the audience?

“Don’t worry, Folks, that was just an old car we keep backstage that we tried to start and it backfired twice. Also, ignore the screaming. And tonight, the role of Sweet Pea will be played by Amber’s corpse, enjoy the show!”

Blue has had a mental breakdown. If the High Roller is supposed to be paying a lot of money for Babydoll, why is he going to mess that up by suddenly and inexplicably forcing himself on her? Not to be too indelicate but he had five days to rape her. Why wait until just before she has to dance and after she finally has her costume.

As expected, the knife is used on Blue and Babydoll gets the key. I don’t know how Amber hid the knife in her skintight burlesque outfit, and was able to smuggle it to the dressing room from the kitchen, but kudos to her. I don’t know what kind of drawer has extra room on the bottom for a knife to be taped to it. None of this makes any sense at all.

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Chapter 15: 1:35:14-1:40:30

Babydoll takes the key from Blue and frees Sweet Pea from the Closet. Sweet Pea is still mourning the loss of her sister, but Babydoll convinces her to leave. Babydoll has the map, the key, and the lighter with her. They go to a supply closet and make a Molotov cocktail and light it with the lighter. They throw it into the closet, setting it ablaze. The girls work their way through the deserted building using the map as a guide and the key to open doors. Finally, they reach the front desk where a guard is listening to the radio. They don’t have the key for the door so they have to wait for the fire alarm. A guard walks up to the closet, sees, the fire, and pulls the fire alarm. The doors open, the girls sneak out while the guard at the door looks down the hall in the other direction.

Sweet Pea and Babydoll exit the building and find themselves in a courtyard where all the cars for the visitors are parked. They can’t see any way past the drivers, who are standing outside the cars talking. Babydoll realizes that she is the sacrifice that the old man said in the first dream and that she has to sacrifice herself for Sweet Pea, who has more for which to live. Sweet Pea tries to convince Babydoll otherwise, but Babydoll refuses to change her mind. Babydoll gives Sweet Pea the key and steps out of hiding and calls to the drivers. They all turn to look at Babydoll as Sweet Pea sneaks out the gate behind them. Babydoll kicks one of the drivers in the groin, who punches her in the face.

Analysis

Ok, so I know the show is going on and everyone is watching, but why doesn’t anyone (say the High Roller) seem to notice that both Blue and Babydoll are missing. Blue was stabbed once in the shoulder. Did he bleed out immediately and no one came to check? Babydoll just runs around to The Closet, not needing The Map to find it, without anyone stopping her. She frees Sweet Pea and they find a bottle of a flammable liquid unprotected and set the closet on fire. They use the map a grand total of once (Once!) to make one turn. Why are they checking the map as they go? Didn’t they bother to look at it before that night? They duck down to hide while opening a door that is just bars, even though anyone can see them crouching through the spaces between the bars. The inattentive guard is listening to a very early model iPod. Seriously, it’s bad enough that they have some guy listening to the radio on head phones in an era when radios didn’t have jacks for head phones but did they have to use iPod ear buds? Babydoll and Sweet Pea know they are going to have to make a run for it, but they remain in high heels.

The guard finally pulls the fire alarm and all that happens is the doors open. NO ONE is evacuating the building. There is a legitimate fire in a closet and the observant guard pulls the fire alarm and no one does anything. Get the fuck out of the building! The guests should be hustled out the nearest door to protect their safety as well as the workers, goons, sex slaves, everyone. Instead, it’s just Sweet Pea and Babydoll walking through a quiet, desolate foyer. There is a loud, shrill bell ringing, and I would assume it’s ringing throughout the club. People should be flooding from that place like whores from a burning brothel.

And who’s going to put out the fire, anyway? Is there a bucket brigade that Blue has set up, because if the Fire Department shows up, they might ask a few questions. I suspect they’d be curious about all the women in provocative clothing, and the two women lying dead from gunshot wounds in the dressing room. Also, the proprietor seems to have been stabbed.

Then Babydoll and Sweat Pea make it outside and they picked a door that leads right to the car port. Brilliant, ladies. They had the map for days. They couldn’t find a better escape route? Is that the only way out of this place? The building looks huge from the inside. Isn’t there a loading dock or something? Nope, they go right to where the drivers are. These drivers, for some reason, are locked into the car port. Sweet Pea needs a key to open the gate, not just any key mind you but Blue’s master key.

If I were these drivers, I would object mightily to being locked in while the building is on fire. They’re guests, right? They’re paying to visit this club, so why are they locked in? Also, why are the drivers so dangerous? Babydoll feels she has to sacrifice herself, but she could just run up to them and say “There’s a fire, I’ll open the gate, get the cars ready!” Then she and Sweet Pea scamper to safety. No, instead, she walks out in front and all the drivers fixate on her and she kicks one in the balls. I don’t know why she felt she had to do that. If she were insistent on drawing them away from Sweat Pea, she could take off running to make them chase her. Or she could ask for help because there is a fire in the building. This isn’t even approaching making sense.

The repartee between Sweet Pea and Babydoll is particularly laughable. Sweet Pea laments that they did everything right. Really? If that’s the case, why is your sister dead? Also, you didn’t do ANYTHING right. You could have escaped in many ways, and when did Sweet Pea start believing that Babydoll’s dancing dreams meant anything other than she had access to some serious drugs? Babydoll tells Sweet Pea to “stay off the roads, and find a bus station”. Does she know how buses travel? That statement doesn’t make any sense.

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Chapter Chapter 16: 1:40:31 – End

When the driver punches Babydoll in the face, the scene shifts to the lobotomist hammering in the needle into Babydoll’s brain back in the mental institute. There is a flashback of events before Babydoll was in the institute. The Lobotomist talks to Dr. Gorsky and says there was something peculiar about Babydoll. Gorsky tells the Lobotomist that Babydoll was troubled and that she didn’t have much time with her. Gorsky says that Babydoll stabbed an orderly, set a fire, and helped a fellow inmate escape in the five days she was there. She also says she doesn’t agree with the lobotomy as a solution, and is surprised to see her signature on the order for the operation. The lobotomist says Babydoll looked at him as If she wanted him to do it and the orderlies take Babydoll out.

Babydoll is led through the institute, which looks just like parts of the brothel and we see the cook, who is missing a knife, as well as the man who was the the mayor in the brothel world, but he no longer has his lighter. Finally, Blue shows up and tells the orderlies to put Babydoll in a chair. They say they no longer want to hurt the girls, but put Babydoll in a chair and leave. Blue talks to her and kisses her but seems angry when she doesn’t respond. He is grabbing her throat when the police come in with Dr. Gorsky. Blue yells about the step father as he is being taken away. Babydoll stares into space and closes her eyes.

Sweet Pea is seen at a bus station in a dress, and she attempts to board a bus to Ft. Wayne. In front of her is the boy from the steam powered Germans fantasy. The state police stop her just before she boards the bus. The driver is the old man from the dance fantasies and he tells the police that Sweet Pea has been on the bus since Hartford and wouldn’t know anything about events in the local area. Sweet Pea tells the driver she doesn’t have a ticket and he says he knows but lets her on anyway.

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Analysis

Let me start with the actual things on the screen then finish with what I think the movie is implying.

On screen, Dr. High Roller the Lobotomist is obviously a sadist. He is concerned about how Babydoll looked at him, which would imply she was conscious during the procedure. Congratulations, Doctor, you have made lobotomies even more barbaric. He says he’s been doing it for some time, had he never encountered anesthesia? Also, he just jabs the needle in once and that’s it. I am not very familiar with lobotomies but I’m sure it’s a little more complicated than that. There is blood on the probe but none on Babydoll, which might explain why the nurses do not even offer first aid. I mean, come on ladies, she just had a silver pick driven into her brain through her orbital bone (breaking it in the process), and they don’t even dab her cheeks. They just turn her over to the orderlies.

Of course, that might be because the police are apparently already at the institute. They must have been, because they showed up minutes after Blue’s forgery was discovered. If they weren’t already there, that is some kind of quick response time record. Are these the same negligent cops who let Babydoll be committed in the first place? Maybe they wanted to make up for their mistake five days prior. Maybe they were just there to finally ask her about the death of Babydoll’s sister. Maybe they just always are on hand for a lobotomy. Who knows? Why bother making sense this late in the film? And what is the deal with that institute? It’s an absolute dump. Look at the shithole room Blue has Babydoll in. I’m surprised the police didn’t look around and just arrest everyone involved. Are there no building code regulations in Vermont at that time?

Babydoll’s walk through the institute shows what is really going on in the film, sort of. Everyone in her brothel dream is someone who is already in the mental institute. All of the items she stole in the brothel dream she took in the real institute. She actually stabbed Blue the orderly with a knife she actually stole from the cook. Sweet Pea actually escaped because they did make a fire in a closet. This explains a little but it does create a lot of questions about what really happened:

  1. When did all the brothel dream stuff happen? We see it right as Babydoll is in the chair and Dr. High Roller is about to drive the spike into her face.  Was she remembering it through the filter of fantasizing about being a sex slave?
  2. What was the deal with the dancing dreams? If she was imagining herself in a brothel while raising hell in the institute, why were we subjected to those inane action scenes?  It made some sense in the realm of the brothel but with that being just Babydoll’s imagination it’s just stupid.  She was imagining herself imagining stuff while dancing?  Are you shitting me?  That makes absolutely zero, zip, zilch sense.
  3. What happened to Amber, Blondie, and Rocket? We see them when Babydoll first shows up with her stepfather, but if the things in the brothel dream happened in the real, institute world, did Blue and his goons kill 3 women and cover it up?  When did that happen, and how did it go unnoticed?  What the fuck is Dr. Gorsky doing?  Maybe that’s why the police were there.
  4. Did Babydoll stab Blue while he was trying rape or sexually assault her? If so, why didn’t she say something about it before being lobotomized?  Someone in that facility must have asked her why she stabbed Blue.  If she was trying to save the other women, at least the ones who were still alive, from this guy why not rat him out to Dr. Gorsky?
  5. Was the punch in the face, which she did in the brothel world to let Sweet Pea go, supposed to be the same as the lobotomy? If so, why bother?  Sweet Pea was already gone so she didn’t need to make a distraction for Sweet Pea.
  6. Where did Sweet Pea get that dress and how did she find a bus station (in a deleted scene she steals it from a clothesline)?
  7. Why doesn’t Sweet Pea tell the police about all the rape and murder of her sister? And if her family lives in some other state, how did the two sisters get committed together in Vermont?
  8. Who called the police, and for what reason?
  9. Was this movie really a movie? Are you sure it wasn’t just a bunch of violent music videos?
  10. Does this make ANY sense at all?

 

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