So, i went to see this move on my birthday with a close friend from work (her choice). Girls like her and my sister are always convincing me to watch kids movies….. but i love ’em really; and this kids movie remake of an 80’s classic hit musical pleasently surprised me as being actually rather good.
So to begin reviewing this movie, lets start at the beginning with Annie the musical. Released on video in 1982, it was a smash hit, nominated for two Oscars. The musical was an equally big sensation on stage and i like to think it’s remembered fondly as one of the most loved musicals of all time.
So, very big shoes for director Will Gluck [Friends with Benefits (2011) and Fired up (2009)] to fill, but i think this could be his finest movie yet, unfortunately i think that’s mostly because he already had the winning formula in the original Annie script, but his modernization of that script and update of the writing went really well. Nothing felt outdated, everything fit. The character dialogue was appropriately changed and the actors delivered it very well.
Of course, they are good actors. Jamie Fox and Cameron Diaz most notably. They added a sense of believable-ness to the story, both of them portraying very well the depth of their characters as both Will Stacks and Miss Hannigan, as they both have changed by the end of the movie, staying true to the musicals ending.
In fact this movie throughout, despite it’s modernization does stay true to the original musical very well. It’s very obviously the same characters – some even act the same as there original co-parts; i think there was some film study put into this movie….. All so the film’s plot is the same (Duh- if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it) and the ending is same.
The songs are very well used. I think they went into this movie with the view it’s a movie first because the songs don’t stand out or come at you out of nowhere, for no apparent reason. They have been very well woven into the movie, so much so, i’m not even referring to it as a musical. All the songs are used to add to or explain the story, all in a dignified way. True, there are a lot of them, and it is still a musical at heart, but it doesn’t feel like one when you watch, and i like that because the original felt like a musical, so to me this proves that they have changed it, and i think for the better.
The only problem i had with this movie. So Jamie Fox and Cameron Diaz do a good job of making there characters believable, but others in the movie, mostly minor part actors admittedly, didn’t. All so, by staying true to the original script very often, some of the movie did fell a little plastic… like everything was there that the movie requires but i’m just not connected to whats going on all the time. Some of it did feel like it was only in the movie just because it was in the musical.
Overall, i would say this modern musical remake was a success. It is a good movie and if you are a fan of the musical, i do suggest it as it’s a good watch. I asked my friend what she would give it out of 10 and she said “Probably a 6…. not sure.”. I personally think they went in a really good direction with this remake and perfect for what it is; but in comparison to other movies…I agree with my friend.
That Other Guy