Grae's Rating:

1.0

A grim fairy tale.

Grae's currently on vacation in an exotic land until the end of April. Subbing for her is fellow MDC writer Alonso Duralde. Follow him on Twitter at @ADuralde.

Who’s In It: Hayden Panettiere, Bill Hader, Amy Poehler, Joan Cusack, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, David Ogden Stiers, Cheech and Chong, Brad Garrett, Martin Short, Andy Dick, David Alan Grier.

The Basics: In this thoroughly unnecessary sequel to 2005’s Hoodwinked, Little Red Riding Hood (Panettiere) is now training with an elite fighting (and baking) force known as the Sisters of the Hood. But she’s soon called back into action by Nicky Flippers (Stiers), the frog chief of the Happily Ever After agency, when evil witch Verushka (Cusack) kidnaps Hansel (Hader) and Gretel (Poehler). But all is not as it seems, and when Red’s beloved Granny (Close) also gets snatched up in this plot –- as does a truffle recipe from the Sisters that gives anyone who eats it unimaginable powers -- the young action heroine seeks help wherever she can get it, including from her old nemesis the Wolf (Warburton).

What’s The Deal: Seriously, was anyone clamoring for a sequel to Hoodwinked? The really sad news is that, even if you were hoping for another helping of fractured fairy tales –- and after four Shrek movies and the abominable Happily N’Ever After (2006), you must have a bottomless appetite for the stuff –- you’ll be disappointed by this tossed-off, phoned-in sequel. The animation’s not much to look at, the story feels achingly familiar and rote, and even this extraordinary cast of vocal talents winds up being mostly wasted. Apart from Hader and Poehler’s hilariously overblown German accents as Hansel and Gretel, none of these actors seem to be having (or providing) much fun.

These Muffins Are Stale: Strange that a movie in which baked goods play such a vital role can include jokey references so far past their sell-by date. Jokes about Happy Days? GoodFellas? Starsky & Hutch? It’s one thing to make gags about things that the kiddie audience won’t understand, but some of this stuff is so old as to fly over the heads of their parents.

Save Your Money, Parents: Even if the kiddies insist on dragging you to the theater this weekend to catch this dull monstrosity, don’t feel like you have to shell out the extra five or ten bucks to see it in 3D. Apart from a few action moments, Hoodwinked Too! makes little use of the technology. The visuals are flat and generic enough that paying more for the glasses isn’t going to make the film look any better.

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