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Hoodwinked! Too (2011)

by on 2011/05/04

“Flashbacks really do add 10 pounds.”

* *

Ever had an experience where the entire row sitting in front of you at the movie theatre laughs uproariously at a film you find sadly, painfully, offensively unfunny?

In fact, you find the film eye-renderingly awful. And yet these people laugh and laugh and laugh as though they were mocking you.

I had this very experience yesterday, hauling my beloved Miss_Tree to the cheap-seat Tuesday showing of Hoodwinked Too! in 3D.  Racing down the sticky floors and donning our Henry Kissinger-style 3D glasses in the nick of time, we were immediately subjected to a non-stop berserk barrage of things flying at the screen, pointless chases, falls from great heights, explosions, and a general profusion of flailing, farting and yelling.

First of all, I’m not one of those people who will scream themselves bloody about their hatred of 3D. Yes, the glasses hurt my head. Yes, I also think it is a goofy fad. Yes, I think the Nintendo DS3 might be as ill-advised a toy as my beloved Daisy BB gun growing up. (Jeepers, how I loved that gun).

But sometimes, in small quantities, 3D can be fun. That’s what I thought.

That is until 3D murdered Hoodwinked!

I professed my deep affection for the first of the series on this site. Hoodwinked! was a noired-up version of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood.

I said this first film was criminally underappreciated. Hoodwinked! Too is merely criminal.

I loved Hoodwinked!’s characters and I loved its slow, deliberate film noir pacing. Hoodwinked! Too was as though they got notes from the production mucky-mucks saying that the entire thing needed to be amped up a la 24‘s Jack Bauer on speed-laced tea cakes.

Screaming, running, falling, explosions. More! More! More!

Oh yes, in 3D.

Hoodwinked! Too was like seeing your beloved childhood dolls thrown mercilessly around the room, crushed under a giant’s heel and all the while your dolls are screaming accusations and insults at one another. In fact, that’s a pretty decent plot summary.

Little Red (Hayden Panettiere) is sent away to a mountain-top retreat to learn the way of the Sister Hoods – an ancient order of large-midriffed homemakers/ninja warriors or somesuch. The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) feels lost without Little Red. This is a kind of teeth-gnashing ‘lost’ that has an intensity to the point that it makes almost no sense. What … did they fall in unhealthy love over muffins between sequels?

Pining for the girl in the hood causes him to botch the recovery of two kidnapped children – Hansel and Gretel (Bill Hader and Amy Poehler). These roly-poly kids are scooped away from under the noses of an entire Happily Ever After (HEA) band of operatives at a candy compound by Verushka The Witch (played by the great Joan Cusack). Further, the failed operation also has Granny (Glenn Close) going MIA.

All the old Hoodwinked! jokes are back. Almost exactly. There’s the hyperactive, squeaky-voiced Twitchy the squirrel (Corey Edwards), there’s the yodeling goat Japeth (Benjy Gaither), there’s Kirk the Woodsman (Martin Short, replacing Jim Belushi) in similar scenarios. Twitchy is used as a battering ram to free the Wolf from an elevator. In the last movie, Twitchy was used in the same way to escape a closet.

Unfortunately these jokes – identical jokes – appear like bad skin graphs on the decaying corpse of Hoodwinked! Too.

It wasn’t fooling me. But apparently it impressed those guys in front of us.

My lasting impression will be one of a swirling, blurry, meaningless free-for-all of colourful *stuff* lodging itself painfully into our eye sockets.

Of Hoodwinked! I mourn.

* *

12 hours

Rated PG for some mild rude humor, eye-punching 3D action

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