So the basic premise is the heroine, Babydoll, is locked in an insane asylum after trying to fight her abusive stepfather, which ended...very badly. Her stepfather wants her lobotomized before the week is up so no cops will come around to get her side of the story. Given the nature of the orderlies in the insane asylum, Babydoll escapes to the "brothel world" in order to cope. Just to clarify, everything that happens in the brothel world is, for lack of a better word, real. It's just viewed in a glammed up way. The next level is the high action fantasy where she's the ass kicking samurai chick in a sailor suit. These fantasies happen when she is "dancing" in the brothel world, and acting out her situation in group therapy in the real world. She leads her four friends in her escape attempt, each one getting a specific item that will help them to be free.
(And you know, for all the bitching and moaning I hear about their outfits, it's really not that big of a deal in the actual film. It's just what they happen to be wearing; sorta like their own superhero costumes. Besides, they... don't even really show that much skin. And when you get knee deep into the action you kind of don't care anyway.)
The plot is pretty simple to follow, and most people will probably be able to see the ending coming, but how Babydoll finally beats her captors in the end is really satisfying, if not bittersweet. If you're looking just for a good popcorn flick where girls kick ass in impossible situations yeah, you're gonna get what you paid for, but there's also a pretty good message in there you can take away as well.
I just love this movie so hard. :C The soundtrack is also excellent! Emily Browning has the voice of an angel -- her covers (Where is My Mind, Asleep, Sweet Dreams) are all amazing. The whole thing is amazing.