Review: “Hoodwinked”

It’s probably not right to prejudge a movie based solely on the cast
list. The actors of course choose movies in different ways and they
change their style with each role. But each actor brings a certain charm to their roles that you should be able to count on. Where am I
going with this, I’m saying when you see this cast list, you tell me
the caliber of movie I should be expecting: Jim Belushi, Anne Hathaway,
Patrick Warburton, David Ogden Stires and Glenn Close. Most likely a
fun cute fluffy throw-away family film with light-hearted moralizing or
some such. Ah, but when you read a little closer you see the dread Andy
Dick and your happy family movie becomes Hoodwinked in all possible meanings of the word.

The subject matter, which in a children’s movie doesn’t matter a whole
lot, is the well-worn Little Red Riding Hood story. One would think
that every possible angle on this ancient tale has been explored Hoodwinkedad
nauseum, but director/screenwriter Cory Edwards has found a small
hidden corner of the legend to exploit. That’s right folks, Red been
infected with the heinous disease "edgy". She does karate, she smarts
off, and she still manages to deliver sweets to the forest creatures. And
she’s not the only one who has been "edgified": Our wolf is a sarcastic reporter, Granny is an
extreme sports enthusiast, and The Woodsman is a struggling Teutonic
actor/aspiring yodeler.

To a child, the above character descriptions are irrelevant, the plot
exists to keep the parents awake. Kids will be impressed by the fuzzy
talking animals, loud noises, pretty colors and musical numbers. As a
kids film, this film works on some levels although the kiddie action
may be too sparse to keep little eyes trained on the screen.

Once again this is a kid’s movie that tries to be all things to all people. It takes a Shrek-like
dynamic and tries to pull off broad appeal. But the poor adults will be
assaulted by weak musical numbers, leaden jokes which practically come
with a [laugh here] prompt, and wink-wink references and asides that are meant to be viewed as brilliant but which hit the ground with a resounding thud.

At best Hoodwinked should’ve been "ok" at worst "sort of lame" but it
sadly lands at the most embarrassing place a movie can land: "utterly
forgettable". Having just seen it 45 minutes ago, I’m already
forgetting it. And what makes it so sad is that nearly every single
person in this movie should’ve known better*. They’re all capable of,
and deserving of more out of their film roles than this pointless and
boring fairy tale reimagining. Especially as fairy tales have been
reimagined to death. When The Muppets take on The Wizard of Oz starring Ashanti, the fairy tales are done. C

*Except Andy Dick. This is precisely what he expects, deserves, knows,
and gets. He excels at this kind of mindless idiocy. Hell, of all of
the limp characterizations in this film, his is the only character that
appears to have any joy at all. But if you can derive joy from this,
well you’re just proving me right: this is what you get for being Andy
Dick.

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