a critiQal film review Hoodwinked (2005)

Plot: Inspector Nicky Flippers (Stiers) has a mission: catch the goody thief who's been stealing recipes and putting people - including The Muffin Man - out of business. His 4 suspects: Red (Hathaway), a goody delivery girl; Big Bad Wolf (Warburton), a reporter with a nose for news; Granny (Close), a goody maker that's hiding a secret life and The Woodsman (Belushi), an actor with very little going on up top. But will Nicky find out the truth, or is the goody thief destined to make a sweet getaway?

Reviewed
617 words (Est. Reading Time 3m 5s)
  • ...a fun new twist on the classic Red Riding Hood tale.

Since the success of Shrek (2001) and the Pixar films, it seems everyone and their brother is making an animated movie these days. The latest to try for the animation market: the newly formed Weinstein Co. But would their retelling of the classic Red Riding Hood story, Hoodwinked, be worth seeing, or is the title referring to the suckers that are shell out money for this film? We couldn’t wait to find out.

The Weinstein Co. has lined up an impressive array of voice talent for Hoodwinked. Old Disney voice fave Patrick Warburton is on board, as is funnyman Andy Dick, not to mention classical actors Glenn Close and Chazz Palminteri! Even Jim Belushi is along for this ride. But how would this vast array of talent work when their faces are hiding off-screen?

Thankfully, they all do a pretty good job of putting voices to these characters. Andy Dick does get a little grating, but the rest of the voice cast more than makes up for him. But, with all the time spent on collecting famous actors to portray the voices, didn’t this leave little time to work on a plot?

Thankfully again, that isn’t the case for Hoodwinked. With the strong familiarity of the Red Riding Hood classic to build on, this storyline expands more on that simple story than most could ever imagine. The viewer gets an in-depth look at each of the central characters of the story, and discovers their true motives for what took place that day. For anyone who ever wondered why a wolf would dress up as a grandmother, your questions are finally answered.

The filmmakers do a terrific job of blending the classic story in with a truly imaginative story of their own creation, making it seem that the story they tell in Hoodwinked is the actual background story to the Red Riding Hood classic.

Unlike the classic tale – where some versions get rather violent when the lumberjack appears – the filmmakers of Hoodwinked aimed for a more lighthearted note. The film is full of laughs, and most of the jokes flow easily. The viewer will gladly chuckle along with the film, enjoying every little joke and spoof that appears.

And don’t worry – there are plenty of spoofs to go around – everything from The Matrix (1999) (of course) to Mission: Impossible (1996) to even an ode to the popular Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater video game series, just to name a few.

The only big drawback to Hoodwinked is really how everything wraps up. It’s interesting to see the different points of view from each of these classic characters, and follow them on their journey through the day. But when the bad guy is finally confronted, the movie takes a bit of a different track.

Firstly, the villain is painfully obvious after watching the rest of the film, so it’s surprising for the viewer while the characters in the film take a long time to figure out whodunit. Secondly, while the rest of the film has a basis in the original tale, the bad guy at the end is a total offshoot into unfamiliar territory – and the viewer may find their attention waning a bit at this point. Luckily, it doesn’t last too long, but it’s unfortunate the movie has to end on this slightly sour note.

Seems like the Weinstein Co. did it’s research before beginning production on Hoodwinked. They’ve taken clues from Disney (base the film on a classic tale) and Dreamworks (spoof, spoof, spoof) and created something worth watching more than once.

Hoodwinked turns the tale of Red Riding Hood on it’s ear – and the viewer will enjoy this new twist on a classic.

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