HANNAH MONTANA: THE MOVIE
*** (out of 5)
April 10, 2009
Miley Cyrus as MILEY STEWART/HANNAH MONTANA
Billy Ray Cyrus as ROBBY RAY STEWART
Emily Osment as LILLY TRUSCOTT
Jason Earles as JACKSON STEWART
Mitchel Musso as OLIVER OKEN
Moises Arias as RICO
Lucas Till as TRAVIS BRODY
Vanessa Williams as VITA
Directed by: Peter Chelsom
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
I have to laugh at the furor that surrounds the entire concept of Hannah Montana. If you believe conventional wisdom, you’ll think that the legions of tweenage girls who religiously watch the Disney Channel television series are the most vocal about all things Miley Cyrus and Hannah Montana. However, it’s my experience that it’s the haters of the show that make the most noise.
As someone who writes about movies on the Internet, I have heard more people bellyaching about how awful this movie was going to be. I’ve heard more people make a point to say how they refuse to watch it than I have heard anyone talk about wanting to see it.
Take this general disdain that some folks have for Hannah Montana and add it to all the media’s attempt to watch Miley Cyrus crash and burn – from an overblown outrage of Annie Liebowitz photos to fake shower pictures to a 20-second look-alike in bootleg concert footage to her sports bra showing while she’s jogging – and your head will spin.
When it comes to the new feature film “Hannah Montana: The Movie,” the entire franchise is ignoring its detractors and making a movie for the fans. And I say good for them.
This film isn’t out to win over the Internet fanboy audience. I’ts not out to find new supporters in the New York art houses. “Hannah Montana: The Movie” is all about giving the fans what they want.
Like last year’s “Sex and the City” movie, “Hannah Montana: The Movie” takes the simple girl from the relatively low-rent Disney Channel show and gives her a big-budget treatment. It’s not just an extended episode on the same sets. The movie has a bigger scope, bringing Miley/Hannah to Tennesse to reconnect with her roots and learn to be a small-town country girl again.
There’s actually some character development and change in the Miley role, and the film has a very cinematic look, which is decided different from the filmlooked videotape the television show is shot on.
I won’t start accusing “Hannah Montana: The Movie” of being fine art. It’s corny and sometimes a bit rough around the edges. Sure, there’s a long string of pop songs and production numbers that get a bit wearing on the nerves for those who don’t have their dials permanently tuned to Radio Disney, but they have to generate the soundtrack from something, don’t they?
Let the entertainment journalists bemoan the cookie-cutter aspects of the film. It’s not made for adults looking for a fresh storyline. This film was made for an audience of kids who won’t recognize plot points as cliches because this will be their first exposure to them. The tween audience doesn’t care what these folks have to say about a movie, and they don’t care about what I say.
But parents can rest assured. This is a wholesome, G-rated Disney film with a fine message that isn’t really forced on you.
The bottom line is if you like the “Hannah Montana” TV series, you’ll enjoy “Hannah Montana: The Movie.”