Bratz: The Movie
The derivative Bratz is a great big pink marshmallow of a movie, aimed at one demographic only: tween girls into fashion and lip gloss. Anyone else, enter at your own risk.
Think Mean Girls meets High School Musical meets whatever other high school teen scenario you can think of. Here, four teenage girls make up the Bratz contingency, each come from different ethnic and socio-economic backgroundsjust like the dolls they are based on. There's Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos), a quiet Latina beauty with a great voice; Sasha (Logan Browning), the outgoing black cheerleader who loves to dance; Jade (Janel Parrish), a lovely Asian fashionista who also a wiz in chemistry; and Cloe (Skyler Shayne), the tall Caucasian blonde, who, despite being a klutz, is a star on the soccer field. They've been best friends forever (or BFF, as they lovingly refer to it), but once they hit high school, they drift apart and into respective cliques, organized by the narcissistic class president Meredith (Cheslea Staub). Still, these BFF'swho live for clothes, make-up and hair productswon't be pushed down. They're gonna shake things up and prove it's always best to just be yourself and stick together.
You can't really blame the unknown girlseach very cute in their own wayfor wanting to bring the Bratz dolls to life. It's a big deal! They get to sing and dance and wear all these cool clothes! They get to throw food in a cafeteria lunch fight! They get to serve sweets at Meredith's Sweet 16 party dressed as clowns and still look fabulous! All the young girls in the audience will idolize them and wish they were a Brat, too (perhaps to their parents' chagrin). No, it's the adults in the movie you have to scratch your head about and ask, "Do they really need the money that bad?" Character actors such as Lainie Kazan, who plays Yasmin's wise grandmother, and Jon Voight, as the inept high school principal and Meredith's father, just embarrass themselves over and over againespecially Voight, who, along with his mediocre appearance in Transformers, has become the go-to guy to star in movies based on toys.
And what's with this latest trend to make live-action flicks based on toys? You can understand Transformers because they already had their own cartoon show, and you know the movie would at least be action-packed, full of cool visual effects. But a Bratz movie is a little too much. Even though it tries really hard to send positive messages, there's really nothing redeeming about turning little dollswho frankly dress a little on the trashy sideinto flesh-and-blood teenagers, obsessed with how they look and dealing with high school politics. Bratz really only distinguishes itself from other Mean Girls-type movies because of the toy franchise. It would have been easier to take had it aired on the Disney Channel.
Hollywood.com rated this film 1 1/2 stars.