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  Publicity Stills of "Nancy Drew"
(Courtesy from Warner Bros)

Genre: Adventure/Family
Director: Andrew Fleming
Cast: Emma Roberts, Josh Flitter, Max Thieriot, Rachael Leigh Cook, Tate Donovan
RunTime: 1 hr 39 mins
Released By: Warner Bros
Rating: PG
Official Website: www.nancydrewmovie.com

Opening Day: 21 June 2007

Synopsis :

Nancy Drew follows Nancy (Emma Roberts) as she accompanies her father Carson (Tate Donovan) on a business trip to Los Angeles where she stumbles across evidence about a long-unsolved crime involving the mysterious death of a beautiful movie star. Nancy’s resourcefulness and personal responsibility are put to the test when she finds herself in the middle of the fast-living, self-indulgent world of Hollywood.

Movie Review:

This reviewer is old enough to tell you that he has seen the heydays of teen detectives Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys in action. The trio teamed up in fun-to-read game books solving mysteries. Never heard of them? You are probably born in the 1990s.

Before a certain magician named Harry Potter conjured tricks with his wand, Nancy Drew the super sleuth was already fast cracking cases with her magnifying glasses, pens and notebooks. Now, before Mr. Potter flies into cineplexes on his broomstick, Ms. Drew is getting her big break on the big screen with this fluffy flick.

Emma Roberts (or Julia Roberts’ niece, as this is how the media likes to label her) plays the titular character that follows her father on a business trip into a new town. There, a murder mystery awaits her, together with a slew of supporting characters ranging from irritating stuck-up girls at school, a geeky fat boy who falls in love with her, and a motley crew of suspicious men who are out to get her.

Sounds like a fun popcorn flick? Sure, only if you are a girl.

Young girls will find themselves rooting for this heroic, charismatic, and upright sleuth, and learn that everything is possible with enough determination and curiosity.

Otherwise, the Andrew Fleming-directed movie isn’t terribly exciting, probably because of its dated scripting and tiresome dialogue. It almost comes across as a tedious effort to impress the younger viewers nowadays. Uninspired lines and unspectacular acting do not help make this 99-minute movie an engaging watch.

Still, credit goes to 16-year-old Roberts, who tries her best to portray the spunky and bubbly Nancy Drew. A tad unlikable at times because of the character’s self-righteousness, the young actress will still please young boys who have a thing for adorably smart girls.

The supporting characters manage to make things a little more fun with their laughably juvenile lines. Josh Flitter’s (Big Momma’s House 2) obnoxious fat geek made us laugh quite a bit with his silly antics, while Max Theiriot’s (The Pacifier) earnest love interest is endearing to watch.

Also, watch out for the blatant Apple product placements (come on, like we don’t already know today’s teens need to own ibooks and ipods to certify their coolness?) and a surprise cameo by an actor who loves living free and dying hard.

Other than that, there is nothing too exhilarating here, because you won’t be clinging on to your seats during the movie’s finale. There is nothing too brainy here as well, as murder mystery isn’t that difficult a case to solve.

From what this reviewer remembers, he had more fun with the game book flipping through page after page in anticipation, yearning to find out how Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys are going to solve the crime.

Movie Rating:

(Nancy Drew may inspire young girls, but today’s smart kids may just find this flick bland and uninteresting)

Review by John Li


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