Preteen girls will love this clean and enjoyable 3-D concert film, writes Michael Dwyer
HANNAH MONTANA & MILEY CYRUS: BEST OF BOTH WORLDS CONCERT TOUR IN 3-D Directed by Bruce Hendricks. Starring Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Kenny Ortega, Billy Ray Cyrus Gen cert, lim release, 73 min
IF YOU are over 12 and don’t have a preteen daughter, then you’re probably unaware of the phenomenon that is Miley Cyrus and her trinity of personae. On the Disney channel show Hannah Montana, Cyrus plays high school student Miley Stewart, who leads a secret double life as international pop star Hannah Montana. The real Miley is 15 and the daughter of Billy Ray Cyrus, whose hit single Achy Breaky Heart was the anthem of the line dancing era.
Following in a long line of Disneypackaged teen singers, from Hayley Mills to Britney Spears, Miley has sold more records than her father ever did, and her concert film has surpassed all expectations, taking more than $63 million in its first month on US release, playing only at venues equipped for 3D presentation.
At a St Louis auditorium, Miley comes on stage in her Hannah Montana role, which seems to involve little more than wearing a long blonde wig, and belts out pop-rock lite, accompanied by two backing singers, a four-piece band and eight precisely choreographed dancers. “I’m just an ordinary girl in an extraordinary world,” she trills to an adulatory audience composed almost entirely of tween girls, with hardly a boy in sight.
After another display of modesty, in which she sings Nobody’s Perfect, the guest artistes come on. The Jonas brothers are a hyperactive boyband trio who raise the energy levels when they join Hannah for a duet. They perform two more songs, one of them Busted’s Year 3000, while the star is de-wigged backstage. She returns as Miley to sing her own compositions, culminating in Best of Both Worlds, after which her concert tour is named. Cyrus and the Jonas brothers exude the joy of performance when on stage, and this proves infectious for her fans, who respond with ear-piercing screams.
The movie pointlessly interrupts the concert footage, cutting away to irrelevant material of the show in rehearsal, Miley in self-conscious conversations with her parents and crew, and a mildly amusing contest wherein dads don stilettos in a running race to win concert tickets.
The other drawback is the frenetic editing of the song-anddance numbers, which renders the choreography redundant when it is chopped up like this. MTV has a lot to answer for. And, unlike U2 3D, which was admirably restrained in its use of 3D gimmickry, Miley’s movie piles it on. Hannah shoves her mic out so far that it’s almost in your mouth. A guitarist flicks a plectrum in your eye. The most inventive use of the format comes when an overhead camera captures the drummer aiming one of his sticks in the air, catching it when it lands and carrying on playing.
Going through more costume changes than Diana Ross, Miley throws herself into her act and knows exactly how to engage her young admirers throughout. As she showed when she was an Oscar presenter last month, she oozes confidence, and clearly enjoys herself in a concert that is goodnatured, innocent fun. As tween role models go, she’s much closer to Hayley than to Britney.
Double act: Hannah Montana, alter-ego of Mily Cyrus