Hoodwinked Too, Hood Vs Evil

The Weinstein Co

Review in a Hurry: Enough with the fractured fairy tales! In Hoodwinked Too, Hood Vs. Evil, an unfunny and unnecessary sequel, girls in the Hood try to recover a recipe for a magical truffle. This trite trifle is like a bad cake—flat and way past its "best by" date.

The Bigger Picture: Six years after the original (plus several Shrek sequels and fairy-tale reboots later), is anyone still interested in the adventures of a plucky, butt-kicking Red Riding Hood? This hopelessly stale follow-up should've gone direct to DVD instead of hoodwinking audiences into paying inflated 3D ticket prices.

Red (voiced by Hayden Panettiere, replacing Anne Hathaway) abandons her training with the Sisters of the Hood when she's called back into service with the Happily Ever After agency. Her HEA mission is to rescue Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler) from the clutches of Verushka the Witch (Joan Cusack).

But the two tubby tots are actually in cahoots with Verushka. Together they kidnap Granny (Glenn Close) and force her to bake a top-secret dessert that empowers the consumer with superhuman abilities. Red teams up with the Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) to thwart this diabolical culinary plan before the villains can obtain the recipe's mystery ingredient.

This Grimm-ly witless movie subjects you to frenetic action sequences, worn-out gags and even some odd racial stereotypes. Pop culture references are obligatory and here include nods to The Silence of the Lambs, Goodfellas, Star Wars and...wait for it, Huggy Bear...Starsky & Hutch. Wow, way to keep it fresh!

When all else fails (especially the attempts at humor), the script interjects girl-power platitudes and exclamations of "Muffins!" Though it's probably best not to associate those two—it's a family film.

The candy-colored animation is serviceable, but the 3D lacks eye-poking pizzazz. And though the voice cast is surprisingly star-studded, most are phoning it in—particularly Warburton, who sloppily tosses off joke lines as if he's too bored to give them punch.

The only people laughing? The actors on their way to the bank.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Hader and Poehler are delicious as the gluttonous German kinder: "Ja! Ve're evil!"

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