If you’re of the opinion that the set-up: Miley Cyrus is “a tough-as-nails, street smart private investigator…” makes any sort of sense, then you might be intrigued by her latest offering. Sadly for you, I fear that even the most hard-line Miley Cyrus fan will be left disappointed by the cheerless miasma that is So Undercover.
Cyrus, star of the preposterously successful Hannah Montana television show and its big-screen spin-off, stars as young Molly, a tomboyish, intelligent and, somewhat ludicrous, private sleuth who makes her living photographing cheating husbands caught in flagrante.
Hoping to rid her financially-senseless father of his mammoth gambling debts, she takes on some extra-curricular work courtesy of the FBI. She volunteers to go undercover at a sorority house populated by moneyed, middle-class socialites, with the aim of keeping her eyes on the daughter of a dangerous mobster.
Whilst ensconced within the university’s walls she’s faced with all the usual problems a feisty, young spy faces when undercover in a girl’s boarding house; fitting in with the dim-witted rich girls by acting thick, wearing pink and playing down her encyclopaedic knowledge of handguns for instance.
It’s part fish-out-of-water comedy, part spy drama and part pillow-fight. It’s also going straight to DVD in the USA next year, so have a guess if it’s any good.
Given that she brings a certain amount of tween-idol baggage to the piece, Cyrus seems troublingly miscast in a film which never seems to know where it’s supposed to be pitching its comedy.
The pyjama parties and makeover scenes are all peppered with the requisite amount of kitsch, incomprehensible teen slang, but it’s a playfulness that’s undermined by a slight lecherousness and a smattering of ill-advised sex jokes. A couple of scenes in which bikini-clad girls soap themselves and wash cars, or converse immodestly in their underwear raise nothing if not a frown. A running gag about a lost sex toy also seems particularly inappropriate for a film that will presumably be of interest to few but Cyrus’s young fan-base.
A mess; it’s too inane for anyone with an attention span greater than that of a house brick, but much too bawdy for little-uns.