CATEGORIES Comedy, Foreign Language, Lionsgate Films, Theatrical Reviews, Comic/Superhero/Geek, Games and Game Movies, Reviews, Cinematical
Today I uttered a sentence that felt as alien to me as anything that will ever flop out from between my lips. To a total stranger I said "One ticket for Bratz: The Movie, please," completely within ear-shot of all the random 12-year-olds (who stared at me blankly) and all the soccer moms who were now corralling their offspring away from the creepy bald single man who just bought a ticket for a movie aimed squarely at 10-year-old girls. And nobody else.
It was a singularly humiliating experience, but even though I have the world's most entertaining job, I don't mind admitting that once in a great while -- that this awesome job ... really ... sucks. Case in point: Not only did I have to withstand the agony of paying money to see a feature-length TV commercial, but I had to do it in full view of the people I desperately wanted to scream at. And here's what I wanted to scream: "Jamming your ten dollar bills into a poop-filled blender would be better than supporting this movie!" But I'm sure the intended demographic would just dismiss me as a security guard or a lunatic, so I opted to keep my mouth shut. And I made extra-careful not to make any eye contact with the pre-teen girls in the audience. I watch 20/20, you know.
To the point: This is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. I'll go as far as to call it one of the worst movies anyone's ever seen. Bratz is one the worst movies a stillborn chicken in Peru has ever seen. All those adjectives the movie critics love to throw around in an effort to make one simple point ("stay away!") are applicable here: Bratz is grating, puerile, limp and lethargic. Flat, listless, amateurish and ten flavors of horrifically inept. It's shallow and formless, confused and obtuse. Pitiful, execrable, wretched, abysmal ... man, adjectives are great. This flimsy excuse for entertainment is so plainly worthless that the only thing a halfway-intelligent ape could possibly think as it unspools is ... dang, people really will do anything for money. Movies based on toys are nothing new. Movies based on toys are also nothing good.
For those who missed Mean Girls or any one of the 27 trillion teen comedies that keep the shelves dust-free at your local Blockbuster, here's your plot: Four teenage girls go to high school, stop being friends, discover the horrors of conformity, band back together for some girl power, and thwart the evil alpha-female who presently rules the school with a glittery fist. If this sounds like something worthy of your ten dollars, I happen to have a poop-filled blender right here.
In the interest of fully explaining how important it is to break down basic stereotypes and racially-created divides, I'll now describe the four girls: The black one who can dance, the Asian one who loves science, the white-girl soccer player, and the Hispanic one who apparently lives with a Mariachi band. (Yep.) You might think this could make for a kindergarten-level attempt at legitimate multi-culturalism were it not for the flick's stunning affection for ... oh yeah, paper-thin racial stereotypes. (Seriously, did a 7-year-old write this movie?) Also there's a food fight.
Directed by tripod aspirant Sean McNamara (one can only assume Robert Iscove was busy elsewhere) with all the artistry of a feature-length Mentos commercial, the movie never once stops to realize that it's wallowing in the very things it alleges to combat. The movie's an unending deluge of squealing mindlessness, blatant product placement, hot young girls in very pricey threads, tons of flaccid platitudes, and more sneering hypocrisy than you'll find in an eternity of Jerry Falwell sermons. (Surely that's what plays on an endless loop down in Hell: Jerry Falwell followed by Bratz!)
Just when you think the agony has subsided and the kids have to go home for supper, a freakin' music video breaks out. (It's like getting root canal before the dentist knees you in the balls on the way out the door.) And don't even get me started on what Jon Voight is doing mired in this sludge-pile. Here I thought Baby Geniuses 2 was pretty much the textbook definition of "nadir" -- but I'd yet to experience the awesome power of "Bratz" -- worthless gimmick movie of today, depressing pop culture detritus of tomorrow.