NANCY DREW (Andrew Fleming). 99 minutes. Opens Friday (June 15). Rating: NN Rating: NN
The nosy girl detective created by Carolyn Keene has been around for 75 years, and she's feeling every bit of her age in this latest Hollywood adaptation.
Except for the presence of a cellphone and a VCR (how quaint), this dumb teen mystery is horribly out of step with post-Veronica Mars crime-solving techniques. Even an attempt to freshen the premise with a Mean Girls-style fish-out-of-water subplot involving Nancy (Emma Roberts) trying to fit in at her new Hollywood high school is dated.
That's right, Hollywood. Seems Nancy's solved all the crimes in River Heights, so she and dapper dad Carson Drew (Tate Donovan) head to the coast, where they move into a mansion haunted by a dead screen siren. Jinkies! Scooby-Doo, where are you?!
The mysteries are always the best part of any Nancy Drew adventure - sleuthing out all those clues, the feeling of constant peril. Unfortunately, Nancy's investigation involves little more than reading some old news clippings, bribing a county clerk with a brownie and wandering onto a movie set, the sole purpose of which seems to be to provide a certain big-screen action hero a chance to cameo in a movie his kids can watch. Yippee-ki-yay!
Not once does Nancy ever seem in real jeopardy, whether hanging from a rooftop (lucky she carries a rappelling line in her purse) or disposing of a bomb (lucky there's an open manhole nearby). What's worse, while she's obviously smarter than everybody else in this movie, she still turns out to be pretty clueless.
They should subtitle this one The Case Of Why My Inner 10-Year-Old Didn't Fall Asleep (clue: the theatre was too cold).