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Thursday, April 28, 2011 03:20 pm

Hoodwinked Too, a flimsy fairy tale

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Upon release in early 2006, Hoodwinked proved to be an unexpected delight. With its unique irreverent tone and its three-pronged approach to its story – a la Rashomon – it kept the audience hooked as we were given multiple versions of its version of the classic tale of Red Riding Hood. It also had a cursed mountain goat who had to sing whenever it talked, a gag that had me in stitches, begging for more.

I wish I could say that its long-delayed sequel, Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, was half as funny as its predecessor. Heck, I wish I could say it was a tenth as funny, but that too would be an exaggeration. Proving that too many writers spoil a script – four hacks took a whack at this story – the film strives to be hip and self-aware but only succeeds in delivering a simple story laden with jokes that fall flat and a film that’s not nearly as cool as it wants to be.

This time out, Red (voice by Hayden Panettiere) has left her cohorts Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Granny (Glenn Close) at the HEA (Happily Ever After Agency) to become a Zen warrior at the Sisters of the Hood (yep, that’s as funny as it gets folks) monastery. However, she’s called back into service when Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler) are kidnapped by a witch and go missing.

The ensuing adventure, which involves the making of a magical truffle with special powers, is a blur of motion and an exercise in comedic agony. While the kids I saw this with giggled, I was left cold by the film’s humor. It became obvious to me what this pedestrian effort, which runs a scant 75 minutes, needed, and that was more of that singing mountain goat. His early appearance in the film, in which he offered up a brief moment of salvation, only proved to be a cruel tease.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.

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