After her continued requests, I recently took my oldest daughter to see the new Annie movie. Generally speaking, I find that re-make movies fall short of their predecessors. Perhaps it is because they are always measured against the original, in this case the 1982 movie classic starring Carole Burnett (Yes, I realize there is a Broadway play, too, but the movie version is the most well-known). Following the borrowed-from-Plugged-In-movie-review-website format, here are my thoughts.
Eleven-year old Orphan Annie is back on the big screen. Set in modern-day New York, this capable young foster kid seeks for her long-lost parents and, instead, finds a family in the surprise form of billionaire businessman and politician, Mr. Stacks (played by Jamie Foxx).
Without question, the songs from Annie are memorable, sing-along songs. This newly adapted version takes a modern twist, putting an extra beat to songs like “Tomorrow.” You will either love it or hate it, in this modern form. I probably would say I like it, though the movie viewing experience was brought down by the adult man, sitting behind me and singing all of the familiar tunes (Really dude, did you have to do that?!).
At any rate, the young lady playing Annie is cute as a button and a good singer to boot. Jamie Foxx, of whom I am not a huge fan, did a good job acting and even singing.
Some of the characters in the movie, such as the notorious “Miss Hannigan” (played by Cameron Diaz) take a while to warm up to. Diaz is not believable in her role, until later in the movie.
There is some noticeably bad language in the movie that makes this one you would not want to own. Furthermore, some of the outrageous behavior from Miss Hannigan seemed inappropriate, though without giving away the plot she does improve. Lastly, there is a small tweak to the song “Tomorrow” in which it is “always a day away” instead of “only,” which is not an improvement on the song’s meaning.
There is nary a mention of Jesus or God in the movie, yet this can be evaluated based on its message. In “Annie,” we see several glimpses of faith and hope, against all odds, and even talk of prayer. We also see that riches are meaningless apart from God-balanced relationships. We also see forgiveness and perseverance praised, while treachery and political ambition are painted in a bad light.
This latest rendition of Annie is by no means a classic, but it was a unique take on an older storyline that can touch the heart. Moreover, there were some cute references to the original (including a red-haired little girl and a mention of FDR). I tend to think this toe-tapping will be enjoyable for most viewers, all things considered.
3 of 4 stars
Photo credit: Sony Pictures