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Bratz

Lionsgate

Review in a Hurry:  This movie is, like, a totally outdated version of every teen gal-pal movie that, like, ever existed. I mean, just 'cause it's based on a line of dolls doesn't mean it has to be stupid.

The Bigger Picture:  The Bratz dolls aren't the most sophisticated vehicle for a flick, but they could have inspired more than this empty shell of a movie. The dolls' unseemly, sexualized clothing and va-va-voom figures are somewhat balanced by a marketing strategy steeped in girl power, and that's a worthy message.

But Bratz takes that message and, without a hint of subtlety or creativity, shoves it down the throat of every single viewer. Anyone over the age of eight will find their intelligence insulted, and in this day of irony, even an infant might be offended by the robotically perky pronouncements of "stick-together!!"-ness and "be-yourself!!"-ness (everyone speaks with exclamation marks!!!). These aw-shucks attitudes belong in a Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland musical—not a modern day tween comedy.

Oh, but there's a plot, too—barely. Yasmin (Nathalia Ramos), Jade (Janel Parrish), Cloe (Skyler Shaye), and Sasha (Logan Browning) enter high school as best friends, but thanks to class president/bitch Meredith (Chelsea Staub) and her knack for splitting the entire high school into cliques, they drift apart. It's up to them to forgive, forget, and unite the school against evil Meredith.

The girls represent every stereoty—ahem, every facet of our modern, diversified society. You know Yasmin is Hispanic, for example, because there's a mariachi band inexplicably hanging out in her kitchen. A mariachi band.

The cliques are no less ridiculous: Amongst the usual goths and jocks are headscratchers like disco lovers (?) and hippies, and they all dress the part 24/7. Come on, cheerleaders never wear their uniforms to school except on, like, game days—everyone knows that!

The dialogue is stupid, the plot is stupid, and unfortunately, the stars are as brainless as their plastic counterparts. This is girl power?

The 180—a Second Opinion:  Here's what the kids will like: Pop-y musical numbers, extravagant, sparkly set pieces, and funky costumes and hairstyles. You know, real deep stuff, aimed straight at the feminists of tomorrow!