My only exposure to the father-daughter make believe Disney World that Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus have gotten themselves into, as the reel father-daughter team up as Robby Ray and Miley Stewart, was the Hannah Montana/Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert Tour 3D film. While I had enjoyed her performance with 3D gizmos, it didn't actually pique my interest enough to follow the adventures of Hannah Montana and her alter ego, which is some art imitate life imitate art kinda tween series, which has recently been green-lit for yet another season.
In this other big screen dramatic outing, Miley and Billy Ray embark upon a journey back to their roots in Tennessee, well, more like the former being conned into making that trip back because she has turned out to be kind of a spoilt little brat, thinking that her Hannah Montana persona is the is-all and end-all, that bright camera flashes and screaming fans are forever, instead of the closer ties that bind.
For a non-fan, this film is easy to follow and quite no-brainer. After all, it's a Disney production, and family friendly with good moral themes for (young) fans to be sublimely influenced, which serves the other purpose called profits from merchandising. So resentful little Miley has to get back in touch with nature, relatives, and have a go at a relatively adult romance who comes in the form of a strapping young cowboy, her childhood friend actually, Travis (Lucas Till), who's spending the summer working for her grandmother. And the romantic angle doesn't just open up to herself, but opportunities are abound for her single dad too.
But seriously, romance or the lack thereof doesn't provide enough adversary for our pop singing sensation. That enemy comes in the form of Oswald Granger (Peter Gunn), a pesky paparazzi reporter who snoops around trying to unravel the mystery and dig up the dirt on Hannah Montana for an English tabloid, which will of course threaten her very existence! How diabolical is that! And Miley/Hannah's bitch-fight with Tyra Banks (which actually is a Xerox copy of what Isla Fisher did in Confessions of a Shopaholic) was that last straw which made dad Robby Ray pull the plug in order to save Miley's soul, since it's affecting her lyric writing, and her music.
The plot then goes on a blah as the diabolical villain gets forgotten midway, and follows Detriot Metal City where the lead has to juggle his double life in a scene which calls for his presence at different locations. And add to that, there's a threat looming in her hometown of Crowley Corners where modern developers are just waiting to erect a shopping mall, which Hannah holds the key to preventing their rustic life from being rudely interrupted, so this calls for, what else, a fundraising concert!
Yes, it's engineered to allow Miley/Hannah to perform every now and then, which is just about the best thing in the film. As I had mentioned before, between the bubblegum pop lyrics that Hannah sings about, and the more meaningful and fun numbers Miley gets to stage, it's little surprise that I prefer Miley's performances a lot more than when she dons that blonde wig and pretends to have a lot more fun. And my personal favourites would be Miley's soulful duet with her Dad in Butterfly Fly Away, her heartfelt performance on stage during the finale, and anyone who disses Hoedown Throwdown really needs a head check. I'm not sure if the dance moves will catch on like the Macarena, but I'm sure fans out there are already perfecting that boogey already, which would fit right into mass line-dancing.
I may not be and am still not a fan, but I'm quite convinced Miley Cyrus has what it takes, and charismatic enough to be the next big thing coming out of the Disney assembly line of manufactured stars. You go, girl, make that climb!
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