Every girl's favourite titian-haired detective is back in Nancy Drew, a film inspired by the Carolyn Keene children's books. First created in the 1930s, the super-sleuth is now played by Julia Roberts' niece Emma. Perky, quirky teen prodigy Nancy moves to LA with her father, and tackles the case of murdered Hollywood actress Dehlia Draycott. The age-old mystery doesn't exactly thrill, but there's humour here and there and a swotty heroine that parents, at least, will approve of.
When Nancy moves out to Hollywood, her father tells her to "stop sleuthing" - not exactly the usual parental warning, but then Nancy Drew was anachronistic even in the 80s. She's a pretty but rather square bookworm who can transform into a fast-thinking action heroine when faced with the prospect of a burly bad guy with a bomb. You see, the heavies are onto her investigation, and will stop at nothing to prevent her from finding out who really killed Draycott.
"RESEMBLES A LIVE ACTION SCOOBY DOO CARTOON"
Not that it's easy to care. Far more interesting is Nancy's new friend Corky (Josh Flitter) - her gal pals are dropped as soon as she leaves home town River Heights. Corky is a fitfully amusing little tinker who takes a fancy to Nancy and feigns an interest in detective work. The film could use more of this cynical humour: the whole shebang resembles a live-action Scooby Doo cartoon more than the Scooby Doo films themselves. And for today's teens, that's not necessarily a good thing.
Nancy Drew is out in the UK on 19th Oct 2007.