"Exciting, Suspenseful, Mysterious, Faithful, and fun!"
NANCY DREW, based on the best-selling teen detective series that sold more than 200 million books, is great! It is fun, heartfelt, campy, exciting, suspenseful, and blatantly faithful and moral. Achieving this quality is very hard to do with a character that is so well known. The filmmakers not only pull it off but exceed the viewer’s expectations.
The movie opens in the small, nondescript Midwestern town of River Heights where two thieves are rummaging through a church office. They catch Nancy in the vestment closet. Through wit and wisdom, she takes command of the situation and tells the thieves they should turn state’s evidence so that the criminal mastermind can be caught. She also tells them they need to talk with the priest. They finally agree, and she takes them into the church, which is full of statues of Jesus and the saints. By now, Nancy has surreptitiously notified the police, and they have surrounded the church. She escapes through the roof and almost comes to a premature end.
This pristine, idyllic, 1940s type opening suddenly turns into a very exciting movie when Nancy’s father moves both of them to Los Angeles to become a rich and famous lawyer. Always seeking adventure, Nancy has found them a haunted mansion where a Hollywood starlet named Dehlia Draycott died 20 years earlier. As they head off to L.A., the priest prays for Nancy’s safety.
The haunted mansion is full of booby traps. It is cared for by a very sinister, threatening looking caretaker, Leshing, and all of it is under the control of the Draycott estate attorney, Dashiel Biedermeyer, who is Nancy’s father’s new employer. Although Nancy has promised her father she won’t sleuth, the reality of the curse of the Draycott mansion keeps forcing her to find out more and more about the mystery. As she does, her life is threatened.
Nancy finds out about a missing will and a missing orphaned heir. She teams up with a younger, 12-year-old admirer named Corky. Nancy is totally out of place at her new school, but through wit, wisdom and integrity starts to win friends and even change her nemesis, Corky’s sister. When she gets too close to the truth of the mystery, she is kidnapped and must use all of her gifts and talents to try to solve the intricate puzzle that is the legacy of Dehlia Draycott.
NANCY DREW is an extremely well-plotted movie. Emma Roberts plays Nancy as a vulnerable, normal 16-year-old girl. She is likeable from the beginning. Therefore, when the threats start, the jeopardy rises and keeps the audience enthralled to the very end. Without giving away the ending, NANCY DREW has one of the best constructed and rewarding endings of all time.
Although this is a young girl movie, everyone from young boys to parents and grandparents will enjoy it. One little girl at the press junket said she just wanted to be like Nancy Drew. This is a great goal.
During a critical chase scene, Nancy Drew’s high school sweetheart, Max, tells her she should exceed the speed limit. She informs him in no uncertain terms that “the end doesn’t justify the means.” And, this is one of the few movies where the villain and the heroine stop at a red light. Contrary to the opinion of negative nabobs, this exemplary morality works. Although there is a twinkle of campy delight in the director’s eye in pulling off these extraordinary scenes, they are done with such jeopardy and excitement that the audience stays glued to the story.
All of this said, there are those reviewers who will not like the girl’s movie, the retro look, the moral fish out of water story, the Christian references, and the dispelling of the myth of ghosts. Some of them have already taken out their poison pens, but those moviegoers who want a rollicking good time and a classic story of good over evil will love NANCY DREW. NANCY DREW shines her bright flashlight of faith and values on a classic dark Hollywood mystery of greed, murder and ghosts.
(CCC, BBB, L, V, S, A, M) Very strong Christian worldview (including overt references to Jesus Christ) with heroine, Nancy Drew, suggesting that some thieves need to talk to the pastor, Nancy takes thieves into church, priest prays for Nancy, plus a very strong plot that refutes the idea of ghosts and affirms very strong moral values, including personal integrity, intellect and dedication with a couple great references such as the ends does not justify the means, plus Nancy has a problem keeping her promise not to sleuth but she apologizes profusely and her father recognizes that this is her gift and her talent, and theft, greed, murder, manipulation, and kidnapping are all refuted in very clear terms, and high school peer pressure and ridicule are also refuted; one exclamatory reference to God and one very lightweight obscenity; lots of action violence including heroine almost falls off church roof but recovers quickly to let herself down as if climbing down a mountain, car runs heroine off the road, heroine knocked out, heroine defuses bomb, and villain hit by shovel, but nothing bloody, though there is a reference to opening up an allergic person's windpipe to get them some air; one kiss and several very lightweight sexual suggestions; no nudity; drinking; no smoking; and, miscellaneous immorality is rebuked.
NANCY DREW opens in the town of River Heights where Nancy stops two thieves robbing a church. This 1940s type opening suddenly turns into a very exciting movie when Nancy's father moves both of them to Los Angeles to become a rich and famous lawyer. Always seeking adventure, Nancy has found them a haunted mansion where a Hollywood starlet named Dehlia Draycott died 20 years earlier. As they leave for L.A., the priest prays for Nancy's safety. Although Nancy has promised she won't sleuth, the the Draycott mansion keeps forcing her to find out more and more about the mystery. As she does, her life is threatened.
NANCY DREW, based on the best-selling teen detective series, is great! It is fun, heartfelt, campy, exciting, and blatantly faithful, moral and Christian. Although this is a young girl movie, everyone from young boys to parents and grandparents will enjoy it. One little girl at the press junket said she just wanted to be like Nancy Drew. This is a worthwhile goal. NANCY DREW shines her bright flashlight of faith and values on a classic dark Hollywood mystery of greed, murder and ghosts.