Plot: Molly (Miley Cyrus) is not your typical teenager, as she is more concerned with her work than fashion or the latest gossip. She helps her father Sam (Mike O’Malley) with his private investigation assignments, as she is adept at blending in, snapping key photos, and sniffing out the truth in these cases. Her skills at tracking her marks have been noticed by FBI Agent Armon (Jeremy Piven), who wants to give her a chance at a real case to test her skills. After all, who better to watch over and trail a teenage girl than another teenage girl, right? Molly is tasked to infiltrate a sorority house, where the daughter of a crucial witnesses resides, to uncover any potential mob plants and ensure the target remains safe. But while Molly’s skills have proven useful in her father’s simple cases, can she keep up at FBI case levels and navigate the complicated social realm of the sorority at the same time?
Entertainment Value: I have to think your appreciation for So Undercover will hinge on your opinion of Miley Cyrus, as she has the lead here and the movie is clearly a vehicle for her talents. The premise is a humorous one regardless, with Cyrus thrust into an FBI case in an undercover role, despite no law enforcement experience aside from some light stalking assignments. So even if you’re not a fan of Cyrus, the ridiculous concept might hold your interest and while So Undercover is no classic, it is brisk, harmless fun that has some campiness sprinkled in at times. The movie is pure fluff of course and leans on well worn narrative elements, so don’t expect creative twists or inventive threads in this one. But I doubt many viewers seek out Miley Cyrus as an undercover agent if they’re after rich narratives or subversive content, so the cheery, predictable approach seems wise. The humor is broad, the pace is fast, and So Undercover aims to do little more than provide a few laughs and let Miley be Miley, so again, your feelings on her will likely signal how you’ll receive this one. But if you like Cyrus or harmless teen comedies, it is probably worth a spin.
This movie was made as Miley Cyrus tried to transition from her Disney Channels into more mature roles, but before she went full twerk goddess, so her persona here is closer to her Hannah Montana days. Her performance is about what you’d expect, broad, wide eyed, and perky, with the same kind of light attitude she showed on her television show, which can be fun, but also on the annoying side. The same act that worked well in small doses on her show can feel stretched thin in a feature length movie, especially since she is the focus throughout. So I can see if you’re driven to insanity by the rampant goofiness and perkiness, but I can also see some people that get a kick out of her simple comedic charm. In other words, your feelings on Cyrus’ brand of silly comedy is going to dictate much of your reaction to So Undercover. Jeremy Piven is also here in a prominent role and while he isn’t given a lot to work with, his presence adds some weight and he is more than capable in the role. The cast also includes Lauren McKnight, Joshn Bowman, Mike O’Malley, Alexis Knapp, and Eloise Mumford.