After pretending that it didn’t exist, I forced myself to watch the controversial reboot of the classic musical- Annie. It was meant to be a reimagining of the timeless show for a new generation. And on paper, it looked like it could work with Oscar and Grammy winning talent in front of and behind the camera. A movie with Jay Z, Will Smith, Quvenzhané Wallis, and Jamie Fox attached should not be so underwhelming. At its best it was a made for TV movie. In fact, it would have been considered a surprisingly good TV movie. But this so much talent involved, I think it’s incredibly disappointing. Annie lacked wit. Director and Screenwriter Will Gluck should not have been given this project. His script was just pathetic. It was shockingly amateur. He was truly the one to blame for the disaster that was Annie. He tried so hard to be funny but he wasn’t witty. He could have and should have explored the fight between the 99% and the 1% but instead completely glossed over the idea. Quvenzhané Wallis did the best she could to draw emotion from the lackluster script. Rose Byrne was unquestionably believable against Jamie Fox who was so disappointingly fake. But none rival the atrocious performance of Cameron Diaz who was trying so hard to be over the top (with the expressions of a mime). But really, again, I don’t think this is totally Diaz’ fault- it’s Will Gluck’s poor script. The concept for the character is brilliant but Gluck can’t execute it. The lines Diaz has to read are near impossible to make believable. The music is the one thing I was surprised by. To be honest, it’s not horrible. But when you know the music is “remastered” by Jay Z, you expect more. He didn’t “remaster” them (like he did so perfectly with Hard Knock Life back in 1998) but instead set the classic Broadway tunes to Kidz Bop. But what’s worse is that Will Gluck gave no interest to the songs. There was no choreography to it. Tomorrow was literally just he looking into tinted windows (where the heck was Sandy for the iconic song???). Gluck should have had cuts to wide, medium, and tight shots (something you learn your first day of film school). Instead, he shoots bad shots. I thought they could have made the score more gritty but instead they sweetened it- hiding bad voices with autotune. Some standouts were “You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile” and “Oppurtunity” (which we think could win the Golden Globe if not the Oscar for Best Original Song) but the rest best be forgotten. To be honest, if you go in with no expectations, this could be good. But we DO expect things from Jay Z, Will Smith, and Jamie Fox and at the end of the day they don’t deliver. Annie is not a horrible movie, but it’s not a good movie. It’s better than Game Change (which we think is very similar) and you may have fun. There are some very small glimmers of what could be a great movie, but that’s because of the cast not because of the creative team. At the end of the day, Will Gluck doused sugar on a gritty and once profound Broadway classic. You may like that, but odds are you will hate it.