Australian actress Emily Browning stars as the blond lead character Baby Doll, who inspires four other girls within the Lennox House. The special layered techniques shield audiences from any scenes with her commiting any violence while she controls herself during a harrowing sequence involving her stepfather. Baby Doll takes necessary risks while fighting for her life and others.
Sisters Sweet Pea, played by Australian Abbie Cornish, and Rocket, played by Jena Malone, start some storyline sparks, but without a flashback they quickly flame out in a missed opportunity to bolster the unpredictable ending even more. “Look where that got us,” Sweet Pea says to Rocket. Cornish has a great screen presence and even resembles a younger Sharon Stone. Malone displays some of the strong acting talents thanks to her prominent childhood roles in dramas like Stepmom, Contact and Donnie Darko.
High School Musical star Vanessa Hudgens stars as Blondie and puts her physical/dance skills to good use especially in a World War I sequence in the trenches — the film’s most prominent non-CGI experience. Jamie Chung also stars as Amber as the quintet launches into fantasy worlds teeming with dragons, mech robots, orcs, knights, and modified soldiers. “Don’t feel bad, they’re already dead,” says The Wise Man.
Juliard graduate Oscar Isaac stars as Blue Jones, the Lennox House “kingpin” who exploits the girls for his own means. Blue spurts menace and threats calmly often without any background music as the memorable antagonist.
Gerard Plunkett also has a memorably nasty role as Baby Doll’s Stepfather including a fantasy scene where his appearance as a priest will likely cause controversy. Malcolm Scott also stars as The Cook and Alan C. Peterson who looks like and played Winston Churchill, plays The Mayor.
The amazing sound produces an even greater effect and allows filmmakers achieve a PG-13 rating by keeping the most brutal violence just off screen.