- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” isn’t exactly high art, but that’s not really the point, is it?

As the story begins, Miley Stewart (Miley Cyrus) is torn between her two worlds. On the one hand, she struggles with the demands of being a normal teenager as Miley — the indignities of gym class, being there for her friends. On the other, she juggles the demands of fame as Hannah Montana, pop superstar and teen sensation. She’s constantly touring, doing photo ops at stores and avoiding a pugnacious paparazzo out to expose her secret.

Fearing she’s getting too wrapped up in the world of show business, Miley’s father shanghais her on a surprise trip to their down-home country town. It’s there that Miley will learn the proper relationship among family, love and celebrity. Oh, and create the hoedown throwdown.

What, pray tell, is the hoedown throwdown? Imagine the electric slide on crank. I can’t even begin to describe the moves that go into this little maneuver. There’s a hip shake, some pointing, foot movements, shuffles … I lost track somewhere between the second and third minute of the routine.


A word to the wise: When you go to weddings in 15 years and the little girls who grew up on Hannah Montana are the ones hiring DJs, you had better know how to perform it. Little girls are not to be disappointed.

“Hannah Montana: The Movie” is what it is: a fun little picture targeted at a very specific subset of the population (said little girls) that delivers on its promise of 1½ hours of mild family entertainment, slapstick humor, whacky costume changes and inoffensive pop ballads.

It doesn’t make much sense to ask why Travis (Lucas Till), the cowpoke Hannah falls in love with, perpetually looks as if he has leapt off the pages of a Men’s Grooming Lounge advertisement. Similarly, pointing out the slightly awful way Billy Ray Cyrus is leeching off of his daughter’s popularity to perform not one but two musical numbers in the movie is kind of beside the point. This is what the kids want, and Disney is more than happy to give it to them.

Performancewise, “Hannah Montana: The Movie” delivers about what you’d expect: bubbly work from Miss Cyrus, down-to-earth homespun wisdom from Mr. Cyrus, zany antics from Miss Cyrus’ older brother, Jackson (Jason Earles) and so on.

Fans of the series will find much to enjoy here. Their parents? Not so much.

★★

TITLE: “Hanna Montana: The Movie”

RATING: G

CREDITS: Directed by Peter Chelsom

RUNNING TIME: 102 minutes

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