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Molly is a teen who works with her father an ex-cop turned P.I. One say an FBI agent approaches and wants her to work for them. They want her to keep an eye on the daughter of a man who is going to testify against a criminal. So they send her to the college where the daughter is attending. And she tries to fit in while keeping an eye on her and trying to see if there's someone there who doesn't appear who they are.
For more about So Undercover and the So Undercover Blu-ray release, see So Undercover Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on January 29, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Miley Cyrus, Jeremy Piven, Alexis Knapp, Joshua Bowman, Mike O'Malley, Lauren McKnight
Director: Tom Vaughan
» See full cast & crew
So Undercover Blu-ray Review
Like so totally on Blu-ray.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, January 29, 2013
I'm really gonna love it here.
Does this sound familiar? "Heroine outsider is forced to go undercover into an environment she doesn't understand, change everything about who she is, and intermix with people to whom she cannot relate, all in the name of solving some important crime." It's an age-old "fish out of water" backdrop that's been the subject of countless films, amongst them Miss Congeniality, Never Been Kissed, and, to a slightly lesser extent, The House Bunny. Director Tom Vaughan's (What Happens in Vegas) So Undercover intermixes elements of all three in his telling of the tale of a tomboy forced to ditz herself up and play the role of shallow sorority sister in an undercover FBI sting operation. She's forced to change her vocabulary, wardrobe, and makeup, all the while somehow making herself fall into line with her "sisters" who, to her, may as well be "aliens." It's a playful, innocent, and wholly conventional flick, but somehow, some way, So Undercover finds a charm, a sense of humor, and a watchability that all make it a much more satisfying little excursion than the advertisements might otherwise suggest.
Molly Morris (Miley Cyrus) isn't like the other girls. She's something of a tomboy, a pro with the camera, an expert marksman, and she demonstrates plenty of physical agility. She's sort of like a teenage super spy; her latest intelligence-gathering mission has her trailing a prominent U.S. Senator to capture on film his sexual escapades. When that mission goes bust, she's forced to follow lower-profile targets, and again her mission is scrubbed when her cover is blown, but not by her own doing. Her latest sting is interrupted by an FBI agent named Armon (Jeremy Piven) who wants her to go undercover into a New Orleans college, pose as a sorority sister, and keep an eye on a girl named Alex Patrone (Lauren McKnight) whose father is a key figure in an operation against the Georgian mafia. Molly, who needs the money to cover her father's gambling debts, agrees. She receives a physical and verbal makeover and enters the Kappa Kappa Zeta sorority under the pseudonym "Brooke Stonebridge." She keeps a pistol under her pillow and clandestinely sets up spy cameras all around the house. But there's one thing she didn't count on: boys. When she meets Nicholas (Joshua Bowman), she must balance work with newfound personal feelings and try to piece together a mystery that runs much deeper than the bottom of a spiked punch bowl.
Don't be so quick to outright dismiss So Undercover, don't judge a movie by its title, don't pass by because it stars a "like/hate" "tweener" celebrity. While certainly not a classic in the making, So Undercover proves a rather enjoyable little mindless excursion into the world of the modern college scene. It's a fluffy and innocent movie that packs in a surprising number of laughs, getting a lot of mileage out of the ditzy sorority scene and one girl's efforts to fit in with a class of people far above her bank account and far below her IQ. It's lots of fun and even a bit clever, very comfortable in its skin, and it generates a good number of laughs, even if some of those laughs are at the characters rather than with them. It's a somewhat edgier film than parents might want to expose their younger Miley fans to; there's some choice language, light adult themes, and mild violence. That said, it's a solid watch and an enjoyable little movie that belts out a hip and happening soundtrack and finds just enough heart to offset the humor and parade of mindless sorority girls in whom the film finds most of its humor. It's an imperfect movie within an imperfect cinema landscape and in an imperfect world, but So Undercover knows its place and its strengths and stays right where it fits most comfortably as a light and good-natured escapist movie.
No matter what the movie does right or wrong, no matter how similar it may be to other films, most will probably be drawn into a watch, or pushed to avoid it, solely based on the star power in the lead role. Miley Cyrus acquits herself very well in So Undercover, milking the part for all its worth and finding just the right cadence for every scene, whether as a tough girl spy, trying her best to fit in with dissimilar people, or ultimately a part of the girls' club by film's end (hey, these things are sooo predictable). The transformation is a standard one but Cyrus falls into character -- both extremes and the arc across the middle ground from one to the other -- naturally and believably, except, of course, when she flubs an otherwise humorous line about her "dream possession," a Sig Sauer pistol with "tritum" night sights. Ouch. In her defense, one can probably blame the writer for that little mistake. Certainly, this isn't a challenging role, but this isn't a challenging movie. Cyrus plays the part just as it needs to be played, with an effortless blend of charm, machismo, and sweet rolled into one likable character.
So Undercover Blu-ray, Video Quality
So Undercover's high definition transfer is a good one with few problems of any note. The photography sparkles, offering a very clean, sharp, and pure digital image. It's a little flat by nature, but it shows fine details and strong colors. Whether ritzy hotel decorations, roadside diner accents, richly textured college campus buildings and adornments, skin details, or clothing lines, the transfer captures most everything clearly and accurately with no blemishes or anything less than upper-end clarity and attention to detail. Colors are brilliant, particularly the many shades of bright pink and red scattered throughout the film. A few scenes feature a moderate warm push, but the palette is generally candy-colored brilliant and accurate. Blacks are a touch pale in spots but generally precise. The image shows a few brief signs of aliasing, but very little in the way of banding, blocking, or other uglies. Overall, this is a good, accurate transfer from Millennium Entertainment.
So Undercover Blu-ray, Audio Quality
So Undercover features a balanced and clear Dolby TrueHD 5.1 lossless soundtrack. All of the usual elements, and the qualities associated with a solid presentation, are here. There's a fine natural spacing and accuracy to music. It plays with a fine low-end support, and all of the various pop tunes throughout the film really kick but not too heavily and not at the expense of clarity. The musical presentations are nicely room-filling, and the aggressive posture suits the movie's attitude nicely. The track finds some light surround support, mostly in the way of atmospherics but sometimes in specific sound effects supporting movement or action scenes. There's a positive, full-stage power to an explosion near the end of the film. Dialogue plays clearly and cleanly from the center. The track isn't particularly memorable -- though fans of the soundtrack might want to replay a few scenes -- but it does everything well and with all of its elements in fine working order.
So Undercover Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
So Undercover contains only previews for other Millennium Entertainment titles.
So Undercover Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
So Undercover won't win any (positive) awards and many may outright dismiss it based solely on the actress in the lead role. One can't blame others for overlooking this movie, and it's not a gem, but it is a bit better, somewhat more fun, than it superficially appears to be. Miley Cyrus turns in a charming and balanced role, her sorority sisters do the ditzy thing very well, and the story plays out predictably but nevertheless proves mildly entertaining and largely humorous. This is a good, relaxing little movie that might be a bit too adult-oriented for the smallest Miley fans, but most audiences should get a kick out of what is a simpleminded but generally entertaining little flick. Millennium's Blu-ray release of So Undercover features good video and audio. No supplements are included. Worth a rental, and perhaps a purchase at a rock-bottom price.
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