This wiki has been closed following a Request for Comments. Please see this page for more information.

Annie (2014)

From Awful Movies Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Annie (2014)
Annie2014PosterHQ.png
For the 28% of people who like this movie, are you sure you guys didn't watch the other three on accident? No? Okay.
Genre: Comedy
Musical
Family Film
Directed By: Will Gluck
Produced By: Jay Brown
Will Gluck
Jay-Z
James Lassiter
Jada Pinkett Smith
Caleeb Pinkett
Tyran Smith
Will Smith
Written By: Will Gluck
Aline Brosh McKenna
Starring: Quvenzhané Wallis
Jamie Foxx
Rose Byrne
Bobby Cannavale
Cameron Diaz
Photography: Color
Cinematography: Michael Grady
Distributed By: Sony Pictures Releasing
Release Date: December 7, 2014 (Ziegfeld Theatre)
December 19, 2014 (United States)
Runtime: 118 Minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $65-78 million
Box Office: $133.8 million


Annie is a 2014 American musical comedy-drama film directed by Will Gluck and produced by Village Roadshow Pictures and Will Smith's Overbrook Entertainment for Sony Pictures' Columbia Pictures. The film stars Quvenzhané Wallis, Jamie Foxx, Rose Byrne, Bobby Cannavale, and Cameron Diaz. It is the third film adaptation of Annie following the 1982 theatrical film and Disney's 1999 television film. The film officially premiered at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City on December 7, 2014 and was released theatrically on December 19, 2014.

Plot

Ever since her parents left her as a baby, little Annie has led a hard-knock life with her calculating foster mother, Miss Hannigan. However, all that changes when hard-nosed billionaire and mayoral candidate Will Stacks takes her in on the recommendation of his advisers. Stacks believes that he is Annie's guardian angel, but the plucky youngster's confidence and sunny outlook may mean that Annie will save Will instead.

Why It's A Hard-Knock Movie Indeed

  1. It disrespects the source material. The original Annie was about a genuine social problem: namely the brutal treatment of orphans during the Great Depression and the hard-heartedness of the rich. However, the new one is a manufactured story that doesn't really seem to address anything.
    • Now granted, it's possible to tell a new take on the story set in a different time period, or even modern times, as Annie has easily relatable and identifiable themes and characters (Rich guy wants to help a poor girl; she the poor girl an insensitive caretaker; some crooks try to pull a scam involving the girl for money) that can work in different settings. If the film had been set during 80's Recession or the 2000s Housing Crisis (as those periods also involve America being an financial trouble), it may have actually resonated with people, even with its flaws. But as previously mentioned, it's unclear what this film's trying to address, if anything.
    • Even having the titular girl be a modern day foster kid (which the film actually does) could have worked out. In fact, it likely would have, if it weren't for the film being self-referencial and trying so hard to be "cooler" and "hipper" than previous adaptations.
      • The film infamously begins with a scene where a girl resembling the classic redhead Annie performs a chirpy presentation, only to be met with complete indifference from her school class, while this movie's version of Annie's presentation gets high praise. Challenging lovers of the original to find a reason to hate your remake almost never ends well.
      • The movie seems to be ashamed of the fact that it's a musical since there's a ton of 'meta' jokes regarding the songs. Meta jokes can work, but they should be done with caution, or in small bursts, or it'll seem like the songwriters have self-esteem issues. Audiences would more than likely be able to overlook the film being a musical. But it's unclear just what audience the meta jokes would be for. Is it endearing to the original fans, or for another demographic that doesn't like musicals?
  2. The modernization of the story creates a series of plot holes that weren't present in previous takes, and the new characters created for this film do not translate well to screen.
    • What happened to Annie's parents is never explained. In the original musical, it is implied that her parents died in a fire and Hannigan had the other half of Annie's orphan trinket, however, that's not present at all in this film. Also, like in the musical, Annie's taken away by a man and woman pretending to be her parents, but with the film being set in the modern age, it would be a lot easier to find Annie's real parents, since no only does Annie have a surname (Bennett), the internet and DNA tests are a thing. Plus, Will Stacks -- the film's equivalent of Daddy Warbucks -- is one of the richest men in America with cellphones that track everyone's data.
    • Somehow Annie's parents turn up no results after a test, which makes no sense at all, as it implies Annie never had parents. There's never an explanation given as to why Stacks' resources couldn't track down Mr. and Mrs. Bennett, when he would clearly be able to do so under normal circumstances. And if he did manage to find them, Annie would probably want to go home to her actual parents instead of living with Stacks. If Annie's parents turned to be dead or abusive drug addicts, that would be a different story, and it would make sense why Annie would want to stay with Stacks and Grace. But again, nothing among these lines are ever so much as implied.
    • With enough proper logic, the entire third act could have been avoided. Since Stacks uses technology to try finding Annie's parents -- instead of a nationwide search for potential parents to claim her with the right knowledge, the duo pretending to be Annie's parents shouldn't be able to take Annie away with just the locket. Plus, there's no quick money involved, so the crooks wouldn't have anything to gain. Guy Danlily (the new villain of the piece) from Stacks marketing team thinks reuniting Annie with her parents will help Stacks become mayor of NYC, and that Guy himself would get a lot of money as his advisor and an undisclosed payout, despite there not being any proof that would actually happen. Guy's whole plan is based entirely on speculation, and the audience never even learns how much money he'd earn.
    • And another thing, Guy's plan has tons of flaws in it. With Annie being a social media star with tons with followers (including celebrities), his plan of taking her, getting money as Stacks' advisor and then dumping her back in the foster care system would never work out. First, after Guy and Hannigan set up auditions for possible parents, the line's shown stretching out past the foster home. This begs the question of how the duo that would pose as Annie's parents find out them or where to go? Hannigan would have to had posted some kind of ad, but with her being connected to Annie as her caretaker, Stacks would have gotten involved, quickly found out about the scam via his massive cellphone system and shut it down; or maybe one of Annie's many fans would have done the same. Plus, there's no way Guy would be able to have Annie put back in the foster care system without many people noticing, and he likely wouldn't have been able to keep that up long enough to get the money with Stacks with his mayor campaign. He doesn't even give the kidnappers any instructions on where to take her or have them keep up the parent act long enough for Annie to be unable to call for help. Guy Danlily didn't think his plan through at all.
    • For some reason, the creators decided that it would be appropriate for this incarnation of Annie, who has lived in a foster family, to be unable to read. This revelation creates a ton of plot holes since, she's 10 years old, goes to school and definitely would have had to face this issue after long enough. She's also shown reading a letter out loud (although this could be because she memorized the speech, and had the paper because she was self-conscious about her inability to read, and didn't want anyone to know about it). She claimed she was good at pretending, by that's not a very good explanation and feels like a forced attempt at a heartfelt moment.
  3. In stark contrast to Annie and Daddy Warbucks in the original who slowly get closer, while the latter's also set up with Grace who also had great chemistry... Annie and Stacks' interactions basically amount to Stacks begrudgingly taking Annie in and the two disliking each other, and then suddenly pulling a 180 and having a forced reconciliation that fells unearned.
    • Will Stacks in general is a huge downgrade from Daddy Warbucks with sympathetic moments and Jerk with a Heart of Gold traits. He finds the touch of other people disgusting, his campaign for New York is mostly a giant ego-trip, his cellphone network invades the privacy of everyone in the city, he spends most of the movie not even attempting to show affection for Annie making it hard to get invested in their relationship, he could care less about the poverty around him, and Jamie Foxx feels miscast as somebody meant to be soft yet stern.
  4. Speaking of miscasting, Cameron Diaz was a terrible choice for Mrs. Hannigan, as she constantly overreacts and has terrible line delivery. She's also tone deaf, meaning she has a bad singing voice, and doesn't bring the flair or personality Hannigan's other actors had delivered.
    • What's worse is that this was Diaz's final role before retiring from acting.
  5. The musical numbers are badly sung and choreographed with mostly whimsical orchestrations, and some songs use a lot of autotune, which was unnecessary considering the pre-existing songs were great the way they were. Even the new songs, such as The City's Yours and Opportunity sound like manufactured pop songs.
    • Speaking of the songs, they got rid of a lot of songs (namely any of the songs cut from the play for the 1982 film. but even some of the songs from said film, such as Let's Go to the Movies; N.Y.C.; Sign; Dumb Dog; Sandy; or We Got Annie) and replaced them with new ones
    • You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile, is sort of heard in the background, but Sia's take on the song is unrecognizable.
    • Little Girls, despite having the same chorus and being a mostly good song, is bogged down Cameron Diaz's awkward performance and tone-deaf as previously mentioned. She was dubbed over by a different singer who does a better singing job, but it's easy to tell when the replacement takes place in the song.
  6. The film cannot decide whether if it wants to be different from or the same as the original.
  7. The remake seems to miss the point of the original was that you can be happy no matter what you have. The replacement moral is "being rich is really cool!", which is a very false moral.
  8. False advertising: This movie is said to be a remake of the 1982 film when in reality, it's barely considered its own separate film.
  9. The sole purpose of the movie is to serve as a star vehicle for Will Smith's daughter Willow, but apparently, even she couldn't be persuaded to star in it. (It is rumored she was deemed "too old" to star in the movie.)
  10. The scene where a woman on the cinema screen turns into a creepy blue creature can be too scary for a PG-rated film.
  11. The climax paints telecommunication companies tracking the users' every move as a good thing. It sends a message to kids that having people watch your every move on your phones is A-OK.
  12. The film had been in development on 2011, so it's not all that surprising that it turned out the way it did.
  13. Grace's role is essentially nothing, as the "first rescue of Annie" role is given to some random Croatian child services woman named Mrs. Kovacevic. Not to mention her entire schtick is that she's Croatian, and as Diva puts it, they come off as mocking her bad English.
  14. Multiple spit takes, which get old real quick.
  15. Jamie Foxx is a great singer, but for some reason they give his numbers the autotune treatment.
  16. Much like The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which had been released that same year, it severely hurt Jamie Foxx's career and caused him not to appear in another movie until 2017.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. The plot is still pretty decent and has some faithfulness to the original.
  2. The Twilight parody movie-within-a-movie, MoonQuake Lake, is pretty good (in fact, the scenes were actually directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller who also wrote and directed The Lego Movie ).
  3. The new renditions of Easy Street (despite Cameron Diaz's poor singing) Little Girls, and It's the Hard Knock Life are pretty good.
  4. There were at least some heartwarming moments in the remake.

Reception

Annie received a generally negative reception. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 28% based on 155 reviews and an average rating of 4.48/10. The critic consensus reads: "The new-look Annie hints at a progressive take on a well-worn story, but smoothers its likable cast under cliches, cloying cuteness, and a distasteful materialism." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 33 out of 100 based on 38 critics indicating "generally unfavorable reviews." Audiences polled by Cinemascore gave the film an average score of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.

Chris Stuckmann gave this film an F, saying that do not watch this movie, just don't see this movie.

Awards and nominations

Annie was nominated for one Golden Raspberry Award for Cameron Diaz as Worst Supporting Actress. It only won the Award for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off, or Sequel. It was also nominated for two Golden Globe Awards including Opportunity as Best Original Song.

Videos

Trailers

Reviews and Top 10

Trivia

  • This was surprisingly the final film role for Cameron Diaz before she retired from acting in 2016, 2 years after the film's release.
  • It temporarily killed the Annie franchise, until Annie Live! (2021) was released in 2021, which got positive reviews.
  • Youtuber Degenerocity appeared in this film as a background character, and even made a video talking about his experience of it.

External links

Comments

<comments />