YEARS on the Hannah Montana TV series have not adequately prepared Miley Cyrus for movie drama.
So Undercover (12A)
Director: Tom Vaughan
Running time: 94 minutes
The Last Song felt more like a tuneless whistle in the dark, and earlier this year LOL was not so much released as left with the cage door open and allowed to slink into the wilderness.
At least the sitcomish comic opportunities of So Undercover place Cyrus on more familiar territory as she clomps listlessly through a film which requires her to play a school dropout who helps her father (Mike O’Malley) by working as a private investigator, catching cheats and petty thieves. Her workload steps up a notch when she’s approached by the FBI, or at least Jeremy Piven, and asked to keep an eye on a college girl by posing as a university student and joining a sorority. Does this sound familiar? I liked this film more when it was called Miss Congeniality.
If you don’t enjoy Cyrus, So Undercover is not going to change your mind. Directed by Tom Vaughan, this is a very generic attempt to cosy up to Cyrus’s core fanbase, and demonstrate that she can tote a gun and throw a few punches. More weirdly, she shares digs at college with Kelly Osbourne, who is about decade too old for the role.
A more convincing star could have saved this, although to be fair to Cyrus, she hasn’t much to work with. Still, one of the basic requirements of a romcom is that you should have some spark with the love interest. In this case Cyrus and a hunky student (Joshua Bowman) generate all the heat of two people who can’t wait to get back to their smartphones and tweet what a nightmare this is as soon as Vaughan calls “cut”.
On general release