Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is, at best, half-baked
Featuring the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, and Patrick Warburton. Rated G.
When we last checked in with Red Riding Hood in Hoodwinked, her most recent cartoon form, Anne Hathaway had given her a slightly modern spin while she carried her tisket-a-tasket through the smart-ass woods. The idea, I guess, was to exploit those fairy tales for their last few kernels of popcorn before even those bastions of mass culture are swamped by Snooki and the vampires du jour.
Watch the trailer for Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. />
In Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, a frenetic and deeply unnecessary sequel, the girl in the hood has gone to the East for martial-arts training and has come back armed with more skills, wisdom, and Hayden Panettiere’s voice. That monastic sabbatical was where Granny (still Glenn Close) grabbed her baking know-how. Truffles are serious business, you see, and now Granny needs help in the fight between goodies and evil. Unfortunately, Red and her crime-busting pals—including Patrick Warburton (who can’t not be funny) as the Big Bad Wolf and David Ogden Stiers as a patrician frog—are in serious disarray.
Hansel and Gretel (Bill Hader and Amy Poehler) have been kidnapped by a nasty witch (Joan Cusack), and when Granny joins them, Red has to go after everybody, leading to more in-fighting, bad puns, and long stretches of boredom. The animation, as with its precursor, is much lamer than the Pixar-level stuff, something only driven home by what looks like a last-minute attempt to add 3-D. The herky-jerky action scenes are far too nightmarish for small children, who will also miss out on the myriad references to Kill Bill, Scarface, and Silence of the Lambs—thank God!
But the biggest sin here is making the protagonist dull, dull, dull. It would be kind to say that the whole project is half-baked.