Just how am I supposed to review a film like “Bratz?” Clearly, I’m not in the target demo, and, to be completely honest, I hold a personal belief that the toy line this film is based on is a vicious, destructive assault on the paper-thin psyche of adolescent girls, making Barbie look like Gloria Steinem’s life coach by comparison. But that’s me, and I feel “Bratz” the feature film is a momentous waste of time, money, and film stock.
There’s really no plot to describe in “Bratz,” just a scene after scene of teen girls spazzing out in front of a camera, with director Sean McNamara (a true filmmaking hack with a long history of repellent pre-teen entertainment) offering little in the way of fundamental dramatic construction. It’s a movie built for short attention spans, glitzed up with enough teen girl catnip to make one want to rise up and torch the nearest Club Libby Lu out of protest to this generation of media-obsessed, cell-phone-mutated, shrieking young ladies.
Confronted with characters labeled Yasmin, Sasha, Jade, Cloe (played by actresses named Nathalia, Janel, Logan, and Skyler), it should be apparent from the starter pistol that “Bratz” is here to grate on the nerves of anyone not accustomed to makeover parties and webcam fashion conferences. To the very temple-tightening degree that this film annoys is something of a shock: “Bratz” is relentless in its effort to shove this superficial world down the viewer’s throat, blaring tuneless pop music, staging stupefying slapstick (there’s even a food fight), and producing endless scenes of programmed BFF bonding to breathe some life into the Bratz world; to take something plastic and lifeless and make it even more plastic and lifeless.
“Bratz” is a lazy cash-in production, no doubt, and the pain is doubled by the way the picture insists on countless plugs for life-altering gifts to world culture such as MySpace and MTV’s demonic “My Super Sweet 16” program. Of course, the malarkey is served with a heaping side order of transparent screenwriting, which tries to will away the toxic fumes of the “Bratz” empire by front-loading the story with messages on self-expression and selflessness. You see, when these barely legal billboards walk down the street in short skirts and porn star makeup, they’re just expressing their creativity and livin’ life to the fullest. Holla!
Will an impressionable girl get a kick out of “Bratz?” Sure. With a parade of pretty boys, revenge scenarios unleashed on vile high school rivals, numerous dance numbers, and Jon Voight (as the stern principal) further flushing his career down the toilet, what kid wouldn’t want to see thisr The eternal question is: should theyr Tween girls already have enough noise shoved their way on a daily basis, why offer them this inexcusable piece of bottom-feeding garbage to compound their troublesrRating: F