Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Cameron Diaz
Director: Will Gluck
Genre: Musical, comedy
Running time: 118 minutes
Now showing at Century Cinemax, Acacia Mall, Kisementi and Cinema Magic, Metroplex Mall, Naalya
Little orphan Annie is taken in by a wealthy man who later adopts her. This heartwarming story has been told in two other versions of Annie, and they were both heartwarming. We sang along to every song and secretly envied the little girl with red curls because Daddy Warbucks got her sorted for life.
So it is no surprise that this was one of the most anticipated movies of 2014. Will Gluck and the Smiths (Will and Jada) had promised us an updated version. With people like Jay Z and Sia in the music department, our level of interest went up albeit with some anxiety. Then, because whoever is in charge of the bootleg industry understood just how high our levels of anticipation were, a Dvd copy of the movie leaked in November.
That must have been our first mistake. Making our expectations so high that it would take a lot for them to be met. Don’t get me wrong, the new Annie brings some good stuff with it. Wallis makes an adorable Annie with her kinky afro and that bright light in her eyes that screams optimism. The modern touches to music, with hints of hip hop here and there will surely make it resonate more with the current generation. And children seem to love it so far.
But there is no running away from that feeling at the pit of your stomach as you watch the movie, that there is something missing. Something that was in the first two movies that gets lost in this version. It’s not that Daddy Warbucks becomes Will Stacks (Foxx) or that Annie is a foster child instead of an orphan. Rather, it is the lack of whatever it was that made us feel sorry for Annie in the first movies, and made us fall in love with her wealthy benefactor.
Also, the actors seem embarrassed about singing and dancing in a movie meant to be a musical. Apart from Wallis, the rest of the cast seems to be thinking, “I’m too grown-up to be doing this”. This does not bode well for any musical.
That said, it still make for good entertainment, especially if you are taking the children along. Watch it for them.