Annie is now the third adaptation we've gotten of the musical, and it's also the worst one yet. If you're not aware of the story, Annie follows the story of the title character (played by Quvenzhané Wallis), a ten year old foster child who, when attempting to rescue a dog, runs into Will Stacks (Jamie Foxx), a man who's running for mayor. He saves her life and it goes viral, reluctantly giving him the idea to take Annie in for a week or so, simply for the publicity. It's during this week that the self centred millionaire begins to care for young Annie after being forced to spend time with her. You know the story. We've seen it before and it just keeps on getting worse and worse.
Now, Annie wasn't a film I was looking forward to. While I've never seen the stage musical, I hate the original Annie film with a passion. It's without a doubt a one star deserving film. It's a lifeless telling of what is already a lifeless story. When it came to this new Annie, they've managed to make it even worse. There's literally nothing to like about this movie, despite it having an immaculate cast. They're all in the film, but none of them seem to try, nor care. They give bombastic, one note performances with crummy vocal work to suit. This is a film of little substance, yet big ambitions. It means well, but it fails.
In an attempt to give a little fresh air to this over-telled story, the new Annie only manages to make things worse. They try to freshen things up a little, changing some of the famous characteristics of characters and even changing a few of the songs around. While I can appreciate the change of Annie's nationality, everything else I can't. It's not that I feel as though they ruined everything (as I don't see how anything in the original can be ruined), but it's just that they make everything a little less interesting.
The basic plot elements are still there, but the songs are almost entirely new. I'm not a fan of the original Annie's soundtrack, especially since they have only one okay song but it gets milked and played three times, but this new Annie makes the original sound masterful. The lyrics are laughable, the songs themselves are sung at the most inappropriate of times, and the cast's voices appear to have been digitally altered, Jamie Foxx especially. And don't even get me started on the embarrassingly bad lip syncing work.
This time around there's no butlers, no ugly Miss Hannigan (although her character is still there, but she's played by Cameron Diaz, so go figure) and very little Sandy. The only thing this film adds to the table is a focussed relationship between Annie and Stacks, even if it's still handled poorly. His, along with Hannigan's, character development doesn't have time to brew. They have a stick up their butt for 99% of the film, yet it's suddenly removed when the time calls for it. It's forced and out of the blue, just like the songs.
Despite all these flaws, the biggest disappointment Annie has to offer is that it's derivative of charm, humour or heart. It's a film that just is. Despite an over-stretched runtime, Annie never gets a chance to show off any likability or care. It's a sloppy film with little to offer, comedy included. Seriously, the humour in it is mind numbing. It's unfunny, unrealistic, idiotic, and repetitive, yet the cast and crew seem to think it works as they continuously throw it in there.
In a lot of ways, this new Annie is a parody of the old Annie. It takes the storyline and a few of the songs, but performs them in a similar style to how Scary Movie poked fun of the movie Scream (although, to be fair, Annie is a much better movie than Scary Movie). The only problem with this parody is that it's not even so bad that it's good. While films like The Room and Sharknado make for great entertainment, Annie can't even slot in among those. Annie is awful, that's all there is to it.
To sum up, Annie is a bombastic retelling of an already excruciating movie. With one note performances, auto tuned and out of sync singing, a lengthy runtime and a lack of both humour and heart, Annie fails miserably.
0 1/2 Stars