Rotten Tomatoes Rating: N/A (Critics) / 88% (Audience)
Directed By: Will Gluck
Written By: Will Gluck and Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale and Jamie Foxx
Studio: Sony Pictures
Synopsis: A foster kid, who lives with her mean foster mom, sees her life change when business tycoon and New York mayoral candidate Will Stacks makes a thinly-veiled campaign move and takes her in. – (Source)
Quvenzhané Wallis is a very charismatic young actress as she showed as the lead in BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and she brings that charisma to the role of “Little Orphan” Annie in spades. She also has a nice rapport with Jamie Foxx who brings a lot of charm of his own to the role of Will Stacks.
Maybe it’s just me but when casting a movie musical wouldn’t you try to get people who could act, sing and dance? Now triple threats are a bit hard ot come by so even 2 out of the 3 criteria being met would be a successful casting in my book. So why did the folks at Sony seem to go out of their way to hire people who could act but couldn’t sing and/or dance to save their lives. Aside from Foxx all of the cast were middling singers and I don’t think anyone of them could dance worth a darn.
Also Cameron Diaz was woefully miscast as Miss Hannigan in every facet of the character.
I also don’t understand why the writers saw fit to take all of the teeth out of this property. Once upon a time Little Orphan Annie would find herself in truly hairy situations like being kidnapped, almost drowned and facing off against gangsters. The most that happened in this movie was a medium speed car chase. Things were so uneventful that the Punjab stand-in (played by LOST’s Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) never even got an opportunity to be badass which is basically Punjab’s job description.
And the music was terrible. From the re-worked classic songs to the new stuff written expressly for this movie every last one of them was just over-produced vapid messes.
Annie has a secret and it is a very insulting secret that kinda pissed me off and made me wonder what the hell were the folks behind this film smoking that they thought giving this character in this this re-imagining this specific issue. It was dumb and everyone involved should be smacked in the head for even putting it in the movie.
Final Verdict: Charismatic leads can sometimes carry a film but when you put together a musical with a cast who can’t sing or dance and then ask them to sing mediocre songs, well then you have a recipe for disaster. And disaster pretty much sums up this movie.