So Undercover: Miley Cyrus Gets it So Wrong, Again
Even before the phenomenally successful Disney TV-sitcom Hannah Montana drew to a close in January 2011, Miley Cyrus had been trying to spread her wings onto bigger things. In an attempt to break away from her well-established teen-idol image, she tried tapping her way into slightly bigger and more ‘serious’ productions. However, even with films such as the 2010’s romantic drama The Last Song and last year’s highly panned teenage-drama, Lol, Cyrus’ embedded Hannah Montana persona is still proving a difficult one to shake off.
So Undercover, the latest action-comedy from British director Tom Vaughn, responsible for What Happens in Vegas and Starter for 10, is not the film that will help Cyrus mature into the Hollywood starlet she so wants to be.
The film follows the story of Molly (Cyrus); a teenage girl working as a private eye in order to cover her dad’s outstanding gambling debts. Raised by her dishonoured cop father, Sam (O’Malley), Molly has been taught to be tough and was skilfully trained to always follows her instincts. Her photographing expertise lies with capturing cheating spouses in the act; a pursuit that quickly grabs the attention of FBI agent Armon (Piven) – who is on the lookout for someone to go undercover on a highly classified case.
The job? Go to college, join a sorority and gain access to Alex (McKnight); a troubled student who could possibly be in possession of some critical data that the Russian mafia would like to get their hands on. Molly accepts, cue makeover!
After the much-needed alterations, Molly – the tomboy – is transformed into the latest member of the Kappa Kappa Zeta sorority house and, as Brooke Stonebridge, she enters the unfamiliar world of parties and excessive make-up, and soon begins to connect the dots to the case. However, before you know it, her focus is shifted when she meets a possible romantic prospect in the form of fine-looking college student, Nicholas (Bowman).
This is actually worse than it sounds – if that’s at all possible. Posing as an action-comedy, So Undercover offers very few action sequences and even fewer laughs. Scripted by Allan Loeb and Steven Pearl, the dialogue is cheesy and downright dim – with words like ‘amazeballs’, ‘swag’ and ‘adorbz’ the novelty wears thing almost immediately. The plotline – if you can call it that – is predictable and there is very little character exploration. Taking its cue from every undercover-girly-action-comedy film known to man, including the most obvious ones, like Mean Girls and Miss Congeniality – the originality of this film is, well, nonexistent.
The now more mature-looking Cyrus fails to inject anything new to her already well-established image. Considering that she is once again playing dual roles, very little difference can be seen between the two characters and as she tries to bring in a little more edginess to her guise, these types of roles simply aren’t a good fit.
So Undercover primarily targets Cyrus’ devoted teen-fans and in the vain hope of boosting her career into broader horizons,choosing this incredibly unadventurous and ridiculously unoriginal story definitely doesn’t seem like a good start.