Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil

11 May

Title: Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil
Year: 
2011
Director: 
Mike Disa
Writers: Mike Disa, Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
Starring: 
Hayden Panettiere, Patrick Warburton, Glenn Close, Andy Dick, Cory Edwards, Martin Short, Debra Wilson, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Joan Cusack, Brad Garrett, Wayne Newton, David Alan Grier, Cheech Marin, Tommy Chong, Phil LaMarr, Heidi Klum
MPAA Rating: 
PG, some mild rude humor, language and action
Runtime: 
85 min
Major Awards: –

IMDb Rating: 
4.5
Rotten Tomatoes: 
11%

I never really hate animated films, I many times hate films that combine live-action with CG like in last year’s appalling Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore, but I never really hate the films that are purely animated because they’re harmless and don’t really warrant disgust. And while I still didn’t hate Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, I did come kind of close to it. This is a really really bad animated film, just a tad better than last year’s horrible Alpha and Omega, which is saying something.

This is the sequel to Hoodwinked (obviously), that film came out in 2006 and even though it wasn’t as witty as it thought it was, nor was it particularly well made, you got the feeling that at least the people behind it were trying and were I grading films back then like I do now I think I would have probably given it a B-.  This one is a big fall-off from that one, I didn’t hate it, but I sure as hell think it was a completely unnecessary sequel which lost every single bit of wit its predecessor may have had and that, by adding 3D to it, lost whatever charm the first one had, which was a rare animated film made for just $15 million and which went on to make $110 million at the box office. So yeah, you might think such a great margin of profit made this sequel a no brainer, and may be so, but still, at least the story had to be on par with the first one, and the reaction of people to this one is proof that it just didn’t cut it: this one has made only a bit over $6 million even though its budget was a bigger $30 million.

This is the sort of film that you can’t help but feel was destined to go straight-to-video, because it really is nothing special or new, which pains me to say because it had the awesome Amy Poehler and Bill Hader voicing two of the main roles, and they’re funny and inventive as always with what they can do, but yes, this film just doesn’t work for me. But, hey, at least it’s quite short, which means nothing because even though it’s short it doesn’t go by all that fast because you can’t help but pity this franchise for just how much it wants to be Shrek. Fairy tale characters delivering witty pop-culture infused remarks is not refreshing anymore, please retire that schtick. And having “Too” in the title because its the second film isn’t smart, either.

Oh and, also, Hayden Panettiere stepping into the role that was originally voiced by Anne Hathaway doesn’t really work for me. She sounds way too young, which is obvious considering she is seven years younger than Ms. Hathaway, but still, her voice when delivering all those witty lines as Red Riding Hood sounds just like a teenager trying to be sassy and it takes away a lot from the character. And also, all of this just goes to show just how great Ms. Hathaway is at knowing when something will suck and show smart she was at bailing out of this one.

Anyways, Ms. Panettiere voices Red Riding Hood, which is our heroine who is to be initiated into the same secret society as her grandmother once was, and she’s, as an agent for the Happy After After Agency (which makes sure fairy tales have their happy endings) given the task to rescue her grandmother who’s been kidnapped alongside Hansel and Gretel. And she goes to rescue them with the big bad wolf that’s voiced by Patrick Warburton, who’s her ex-nemesis but with whom she has to join forces to prevent a bigger evil.

The film goes all-out through its entirety, packing it up with a lot of action sequences that not only are exhaustive but also aren’t well made at all. I’m not denouncing low-budget animated films, because the cheaper first installment of this series had a bit of charm and was made for half the money this one was, but if you don’t have the resources to produce these elaborate pieces of animation, moreso when they’re in 3D, then you really should just stick to less complex scenes and set pieces because kids, who are your target audience, know they have seen much better animation elsewhere.

This is still a harmless little film, but one that I think you’d be much better off just skipping entirely. Yes, the animation doesn’t look as cheap here, but it looks like a lesser version of a generic one, which I think it’s worse. And yes, the story’s still very cheeky and referencing other films and full of gags, but it either feels way too recycled or just isn’t funny at all. If I’m not giving this film a lower grade you can attribute it fully to the fact that Ms. Poehler and Mr. Hader were funny as Hansel and Gretel and gave Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil a few winning moments when it needed them the most. But it still doesn’t have nearly enough of them to make do.

Grade: C

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