How could a project with Jay Z, Will Smith, Jamie Fox, and Quvenzhane Wallis ALL in the same movie screw up so badly? All of the high expectations for Annie are instantly sucked out with every horrifying second gone wrong. We’ve broken down all the reasons why the iconic red head will be an embarrassment to everyone involved and why it’ll become an embarrassment to attend.
When the adorable and impressive Quvenzhane Wallis signed on shortly after her Oscar nomination (yes Oscar nomination at the age of SIX) we were sure there couldn’t be a better dream cast. But within three minutes of watching the trailer, we already dislike her. While she was perfection in Beasts of the Southern Wild, something must have happened between then and now that made her so stiff and forced. The raw performance she gave in the Indie drama has been plastered with an artificial facade that makes her no longer cute but annoying. Willow Smith, who was originally attached to star, backed out of her father’s proposal to make her a star. And now I see why that was such a loss. Smith would have added an offbeat more spunky take on the all to happy character. But she would have also added a much needed voice to the musical which brings us to our next point.
THE ALL TOO FAMILIAR MUSIC
We thought for sure that the Grammy winning rap God Jay Z could reinvigorate the old Broadway show tunes. While we love the original music, we thought that with this new take we’d get a more rhythmic fast paced ride of pulsing beats and percussion inststrumentals. Instead we just had a Kids Bop version of the music we already know. While they reassure us there will be new songs, why didn’t they show us them in the trailer!!! Jay Z should have brought far more of his style to the score instead of just using the same all too well known songs.
Perhaps the most astonishingly bad take away from this was Cameron Diaz. Wow!!! Everything about her was just awful. While this may be largely due to the terrible script, her jokes are laughable at how bad they are. I know that Miss Hannigan is slightly cartoonish, she is still a character role. It needs a character actress or at least someone who can give the role their all to make it work. Diaz has always been someone you love in one role but you hate in the other. While we were delusional in thinking she might be able to pull this off, we know now that she”ll fall under the later category.
The scenic elements look downright laughable. The technology they try to make look cool is just absurdly fake. And since when did the lovable scrappy dog Sandy become a CGI looking German Shepherd? As if to solidify this they chose perhaps the worst title design I’ve even seen.
THE SIMILARITIES TO THE STAGE SHOW
Most of all, we were promised, or at least led on to believe, that this would be reinvigorated new take on the timeless story. But nothing in that statement is true. Will Smith did so well with revamping the Karate Kid but why couldn’t he do it here? They claimed that it would be an all black cast when really it’s just two of them acting white in a crowd of the same race. Mr. Warbucks has changed to Will Stacks hoping to be mayor but that slight change in the script is really the biggest difference. We were hoping for a gritty maybe even darker movie that highlight’s the incredibly artistic creative team. Instead, we have a made for TV movie that is the cross between Game Plan and Enchanted. When looking back at the 1999 movie, there’s barely a difference.
I’m truly utterly shocked that this movie passes to theaters and not to the Sale Bin at a Blockbuster. Annie has disappointed fans of Hollywood, and the music industry but most importantly it has angered Broadway as this disastrous project is solidifying the reputation of movie musicals as tacky. Annie may be the most optimistic one on Broadway but we’re going to need that unwavering faith when it comes to the movie that’s shaping up to be one cruel joke.