Nancy Drew, the Movie
Basically, to me, the first half-hour of this movie appears to be a complete put-down of Nancy Drew and virtually everything she stood for and represented. It's done as a complete farce, a parody of Nancy Drew. Then, suddenly, about 35 minutes into the film, it starts acting like an actual Nancy Drew mystery. Then, again, it gets absurd, then decent. etc. It's an incredibly unevenly done movie, like they couldn't decide just what type of movie they wanted to make.
Casting: Ned looks too young for Nancy. Bess looks too young and also isn't really plump. George is also too young and has the wrong color hair. Mr. Drew also appears to be too young.
The movie starts off with a completely over-the-top thing where Nancy is talking to two burglars and trying to convince them to give themselves up. It gets ridiculous and amounts to nothing but comedy.
Another thing; one moment Nancy is climbing up a tapestry and the next she's on the roof which nothing shown how she managed that. Then she uses something from her sleuth kit to rappel down the side of the church. Did she get ideas for that from Batman?
Of course, the place they are going to stay while in California has its own mystery about a woman actress that died suddenly.
She's reading a book called Advanced Sandcastle Making. How ridiculous does that make her look?
For as smart as Nancy is, wouldn't she have some knowledge of peer relationships? It should be quite obvious to her that appearing as she does, being super-smart, super-physically capable, etc, would make her stand out a little too much to her fellow students.
It is neat that some of the movies Draycott had been in were titles of Nancy Drew mysteries.
About 35 minutes into the film it actually starts to become a mystery. They use a lot of standard Nancy Drew scenes like someone trying to run her over, a bomb in her car, someone threatens her on the phone, and she discovers a hidden passageway in a house.
It's also obvious that someone has threatened the actress' daughter.
Then, 55 minutes into the movie, it goes bad again. The guys that had tried to run Nancy over and put a bomb in her car she ends up chasing, but allows them to get away when Ned says, stupidly, didn't Nancy promise her father not to sleuth? Excuse me, but didn't these guys try to kill her twice? Doesn't that override a promise? Just how unrealistic, and illogical, can a movie be? A few minutes later, Ned goes along with her sleuthing? Is he planning to grow up to be a politician or something?
There's a stereotypical teen-age party that gets out of control. Boring.
Then the film starts to get interesting again, about a hour and ten minutes in. From there to the end it is pretty good.
I think if they would have redone the first half hour or so of the film and the other uneven bits, it would have made an extremely good Nancy Drew film. As it is, though, it doesn't.
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