When I heard that a Nancy Drew movie was being made, I had envisioned something along the lines of Veronica Mars on the big screen. Of course, I knew that it wouldn't be anything like that, but the Kristen Bell character is similar to what I think a new version of Nancy Drew would be like. What we got was a movie that wasn't quite sure how to handle the character or how to deal with the tone. The end result is a movie that is not terribly bad, but it smacks of a missed opportunity.
The story, which had the working title of Nancy Drew: The Mystery in Hollywood Hills, has the young sleuth moving, temporarily, with her father to Los Angeles for some unspecified job-related reason. Nancy got to select where they were going to live, and true to form, she has chosen this old neglected mansion, which plays host to an unsolved Hollywood mystery. The spacious home was once owned by Dehlia Draycott, a top Hollywood actress who had disappeared for a number of months, only to be murdered shortly upon resurfacing. The long unsolved mystery has tickled Nancy's sleuthing itch and she sets out to find out the truth behind the mystery.
Nancy Drew is not a deep movie, there is little in the way of character development. Actually, there's no character development — what you see is what you get. From the requisite introductory scene through to the final reveal of who was behind everything, you are clued in at every step of the game. Of course, I was not expecting this to be the next Double Indemnity, nor was I expecting to be drawn in by its conventions, since I am clearly not within the target audience. I was just hoping to watch a movie that knew what it was, rather than the scattershot result.