I had vowed not to rent the new Annie. I was having a mini boycott by not giving them any additional money, perfectly content to wait for Netflix. But, in a moment of weakness, I broke down and rented it. I liked it, but not that much…
The first and most obvious question is… “Why bother?” The 80s Annie is really really really good! And Annie has already been remade! Why are we still remaking perfectly good movies? Remake the lame movies! Don’t remake the movies that people love! (I have low hopes for Tim Burton’s Dumbo).
The movie takes place in the modern day, which I think hurts it. Some of the charm of the original story is that Annie is living in a tough time, not just in her own life but in America. There are a few other changes too: “Little Orphan Annie,” is “little foster-kid Annie.” Her adoptive father, Daddy Warbucks, for no apparent reason is renamed Mr. Stacks. Stacks is a cell phone manufacturer running for mayor that needs Annie to help his image. A few new songs have been added that are not very good. Miss Hannigan’s brother Rooster has been replaced by Stacks’ seedy campaign manager.
Now, how about the acting? The girl playing Annie, Quvenzhané Wallis did a terrific job. She was cute, charming and had a great singing voice (if it was actually her singing). Jamie Foxx was entertaining as Mr. Stacks, however his singing pulled me out of the movie each time he sang a line. Cameron Diaz as Miss Hannigan is a big NO! She tried very hard to make the character her own, but it just comes across feeling forced. It’s hard to fill the shoes of Carol Burnett who did such a perfect job in the original film. The other actors were fine, but nothing really stood out about them.
So, all-in-all, I give it a solid “Meh.” It was cute, but will never be the charming classic that the 80s version is.