After seeing Hoodwinked Too! in theaters on opening day, we have three collective opinions to share with the internet.
As a fan of the first Hoodwinked! that debuted way back in 2005, I was instantly excited for its sequel when it was finally announced. A film by Mike Disa, known for his work on such movies as Looney Tunes: Back in Action and Barnyard, as well as directing Dante’s Inferno, among other movie tasks, Hoodwinked Too! comes out just as its budget foretells. It’s certainly no Toy Story 3, but it’s better than a lot of other animated movies hashed together from worn-out plots.
The movie is produced by Weinstein, so its no wonder the budget isn’t so great, even if the company did regain some glory with The King’s Speech. Oddly enough, the budget for this movie was twice that of the 15 million allotted for its predecessor, with hardly anything to show for the increase. To be fair, I must say that many live-action movies, such as Source Code and Limitless were given similar budgets and managed to do fine with them. Honestly, it's a respectable budget. I guess I'm just a bit too eager for another Pixar movie.
Hoodwinked Too! delivers on many levels. It falls flat on just as many, maybe more. Clever jokes are inserted into the dialogue, but they do tend to pop up at times where audiences might find it inconvenient to grasp a joke in the midst of what else is happening on screen. In saying this, not all the jokes are clever. It’s the puns and allusions that this movie has going for it, not the generic bathroom jokes or visual gags.
The plot is subpar. I went in, hoping that this movie would revisit the style of incorporating different stories and perspectives into one big tale, even though I knew it wasn’t going to happen. That, to me, was the charm and originality of the first movie. In this sequel, Red, Wolf, and Twitchy are sent to rescue Granny, along with Hansel and Gretel, whom Granny had earlier attempted to rescue along with Wolf and Twitchy. In the end, not so much rescuing is actually done, but I digress. The story is that of a kid’s movie. It distances itself from a solid plot and immersive scenes to make way for gags, ridiculous scenes, and flawed characters, ruining what could have possibly made the movie more exciting. Some characters are given more depth (Granny and Wolf), while others break their old characters and form new ones that are contradictory to their old (Kirk and Twitchy).
The animation was blocky like the first, and the detail was not great. Red gets some detail in her hair, and the Wolf gains some texture in lieu of his color scheme. The voice acting is good, even if the voices, in the beginning, do not always match up with the characters’ mouths. Patrick Warburton reprises his role as the Wolf, and does a fantastic job of delivering jokes. If for no other reason, see the movie because of the Wolf. Anne Hathaway does not return as Red, who is now voiced by Hayden Panettiere. The other character actor not returning is Jim Belushi, who is replaced by Martin Short as Kirk. Finally, I’ll talk about the character designs. As I stated previously, some characters improve, and some just get scattered. New additions to the cast include Hansel, Gretel, Giant, Three Pigs, and Verushka. Hansel and Gretel both are unbelievable. They have no motivation whatsoever, aside from when they simply state how evil they are. Even so, they manage to ‘stay in character.’ The Three Pigs add more comedy, while the Giant is simply a minor plot device to add another antagonist. Cameos of every character in the old movie, from Chief Grizzly to Japeth (who’s appearances begin to get rather tiresome), are seen at every corner. The only exception that comes to mind is that of the detective pigs in the first movie. Maybe their houses got blown down by Wolf during the time gap.
I’ll give the movie a 3 out of 5. The movie certainly did not surpass, or even meet, my expectations, which, to be fair, were higher than they should have been. The animation did not improve much at all, but there’s something about the under-budget look that is a bit refreshing. The story isn’t great, and much of it is too ridiculous even for Leonardo DiCaprio to dream about. The characters were disappointing, coming out more flat than round in the end. All in all, kids will love the movie. Fans of the original are likely too old to care much about this sequel, but youngsters will find great appreciation for the movie. Even adults can crack laughs in the theater at the movie, as many jokes are targeted at them instead of the children. Even so, maybe Weinstein won’t try to hoodwink us by making this into a trilogy. If anything, Patrick Warburton needs a spinoff movie about a boy who keeps crying out for him. Also, I want a Super Truffle.
Rating: 3 out of 5
I didn't exactly walk into "Hoodwinked Too" with high expectations. In fact, it exceeded my very, very low expectations set by the fact that I have been holding animated films to impossibly high standards ever since UP. Plus, I saw the first movie (which I enjoyed quite a bit but was subpar), and since animated sequels usually are failures I expected even less. However, saying that it exceeded my expectations does not say much, as from the start it failed (it started in 3D mode, but they didn't give us glasses since we did not pay for 3D, so they had to restart the movie in non-3D mode or whatever). The lipsynching with the animation was terrible, lots of jokes were terribly forced, and the plot lacked drive. Seriously, even when it picked up it was stalled by some random cheesy emotional sequence, and at one point they seemed to have literally said "HEY, we need to put a musical montage in at this point".
This is not to say the movie was terrible, as it did have some perks. Much of this is because of my off sense of humor, but the movie is just one of those films that you spend the whole time laughing at. Either a joke WAS good for once, or it was so bad it was funny. Not only this, but I suppose to some people the story could be somewhat... Touching? So it would be a great movie to take your kids to. Although to be honest, I haven't SEEN "Rio" and I'd recommend it over this.
Rating: 3 out of 5
"Hoodwinked Too" harkens back to its predecessor in that it’s a crap movie. The central premise is that Bavarian stereotypes Hansel and Gretel hold Red Riding Hood’s grandmother hostage, forcing her to make truffles that will make them all powerful, and Red and Wolf then must team up to retrieve her. The animation is robotic, the voice acting is poor, and the jokes are a miss.
And that is why you should watch it. Don’t watch it for its quality; watch it for the reason that it’s easy to make fun of. I rate it 2/5.
Rating: 2 out of 5