‘Annie’ Review: Quvenzhane Wallis Stars in Ridiculous Remake

December 14, 2014 2:01 PM

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‘Annie’ Review: Quvenzhane Wallis Stars in Ridiculous Remake

While there are several possible good reasons to remake the Depression-set musical “Annie” in 2014, none of them seem to have informed Will Gluck’s overblown yet undernourished treatment. More of a facelift than an update, the pic features a multiracial cast, dusts off some old songs, adds a few desultory stabs at new ones, and stuffs the frame with shiny upscale gadgets that scream “modern.” Featuring an all-star cast with few pretensions to dancing expertise, the film replaces choreography with metronomic editing, while one-note overstatement drowns out character development. Even without the Sony hacking scandal that caused it to leak online early, “Annie” would seem headed for a lackluster Christmas bow.

The film begins promisingly with a pre-credits sequence wherein Gluck acknowledges the obvious parallel between the Great Depression and the currently widening rich/poor divide: A schoolroom show-and-tell produces a standard-issue, red-haired “Annie A,” only to replace her with an afro’d “Annie B” (...

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