April 09, 2009

Hannah Montana: The Movie

"Hairspray" meets hoedown

Grade: D

Director: Peter Chelsom

Starring: Miley Cyrus, Billy Ray Cyrus, Emily Osment, Jason Earles, Lucas Till, Vanessa Williams, and Margo Martindale

MPAA Rating: G

Running Time: 1 hour, 42 minutes

Admittedly, I am not the target audience for Hannah Montana: The Movie or any film of its ilk. Heck, I can’t even enjoy it vicariously through my six-year-old son: He yells “Boo!” every time he even hears her name, although he does claim that the Jonas Brothers “rock.” Sigh

Still, only some Faustian bargain can explain the stardom of Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, but it is our souls that are left picking up the tab when subjected to such mind-numbing idiocy as this sophomore offering in the lucrative Disney series’ film canon. Caught up in the insular popularity of her Malibu alter-ego, Miley Stewart (Cyrus) is shanghaied by her dad (Billy Ray Cyrus) back to her Crowley Corners, Tennessee roots for some “Hannah detox.” Of course, the film ends with Hannah throwing a benefit concert for the entire population of her hometown, so I guess the treatment didn’t take.

Anyway, Miley sports designer overalls, drops her consonants, and pratfalls her way through such authentic, homespun therapy as feedin’ chickens, ridin’ horses, gatherin’ eggs, and some foot-stompin’, ear-piercin’ hoedowns with Rascal Flats and…oh dear Lord, please, not Taylor Swift. There is also a blond, cowboy hat clad love interest (Lucas Till), a pesky Brit tabloid reporter trying to dig dirt on Miley/Hannah (Peter Gunn), and a real estate developer who wants to erect a shopping mall against the town’s Smokey Mountain skyline (Barry Bostwick). In other words, it’s one cardboard cutout character and inane cliché after another, leaving all of us in dire need of some intensive Hannah detox.

Neil Morris

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