Sony // 2008 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // October 30th, 2008
Something's fishy. (Not the official tagline, but it should be.)
Meet Roxy Hunter (Aria Wallace), a precocious pre-teen that loves nosing around mysteries and yearns to become a world-famous investigative reporter one day. She gets her chance to prove herself when a mysterious mute woman with no name, no identification and no fingerprints turns up at the local police precinct. What's her story? No one knows or is inclined to figure it out, so Roxy takes it upon herself to get to the bottom of the mystery. She takes the woman -- who she christens Annie Nonymous (say it out loud fast...see, it's a play on the word Anonymous!) -- back home and befriends her.
It's not soon after that she discovers Annie is likely not of this world, or, at least, the surface world. Turns out Roxy might have just become BFFs with an actual mermaid, who's been forced out of her natural habitat by a pair of buffoonish rogues that are protecting a dark secret. Coincidentally, a squirrelly land developer named Kip shows up and starts flirting with Roxy's mother, ticking off her boyfriends.
Somehow, all this zaniness comes together to reveal a nefarious toxic waste disposal scheme and it's up to Roxy and her new friend to...well, get caught and wait for the grown-ups to come to the rescue.
Roxy Hunter is new to me, and while I don't find the character terribly interesting or charming, this full-length adventure should appeal to the Nickelodeon young teenaged girl target demographic. Roxy herself is annoying, belting out mangled idioms (her gimmick I suppose) and getting her own way by relentlessly nagging the living crap out of any adult she sees. And for some reason the director chooses to point the camera in a position that consistently grants the viewing audience a full view of Roxy's nasal cavity.
The mystery is lightweight stuff, culminating in a predictable pro-green moral and a diabolical scheme lifted directly from the '80s. Didn't Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez tackle toxic waste dumping hooligans already? The big gimmick is the mermaid angle, but we're denied any bodacious Splash-lite action, with said mermaid simply wandering around in a funk and singing in an excruciatingly high tone. The jealous boyfriend and jackass suitor peripheral storyline will likely register more with followers of the Roxy Hunter mythology.
That's all I've got for Roxy Hunter, a light, whimsical, sort-of-comedy for the preteen crowd, starring a character that would surely be more appreciated by that demographic than old fart me and a goofy storyline that unfortunately shirks the scaly fin lower torso and seashell bra look.
Straightforward release: a nice 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital and a host of lightweight extras including a brief making-of featurette, a music video, bloopers, deleted scenes and some not-so-helpful tips about going green (plant a thousand trees!)
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2008
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Music Video
* Going Green Tips