Rated 2.0

A middle-aged dude without the input of an 8-year-old girl trying to evaluate the success of a popular line of dolls making their transition to the big screen is a fool’s game, but as a fool, I’m game. Bratz wasn’t excruciating. Of course, I was a little perplexed that liberties were taken: the live-action stand-ins weren’t dressed as provocatively as the dolls, and even more disappointingly, the characters didn’t have huge heads as they bobbled down the campus halls (I knew it would have been too much to ask to have creatures like that falling on freshmen and tearing them up alive with terrifyingly large, flashing teeth). But as a take-the-daughter-to-a-matinee flick, I suppose it isn’t that bad of a choice. It plays like Mean Girls-lite, with an emphasis on how to deal with cliques and other high school obstacles. Essentially, a competent live-action cartoon that celebrates the necessity of a keen fashion sense and the indulgence of crass commercialism, but as such it’s painless.