“Why are you reading that book?” Boingo the Bunny questions another character during the twisted fairy tale romp Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil. “Nobody reads books anymore. Movies are always better. Especially sequels!”
Who’s Boingo the Bunny, you ask? Doesn’t matter. (And considering it’s the voice of the horrifically unfunny Andy Dick behind ol’ floppy ears, it REALLY doesn’t matter.)
The fact is, Boingo’s little comment all but sums up the problem with Hoodwinked Too! So self-congratulatory on its sarcastic quips (some hit, plenty miss) that there’s an eerie –– and undeserved –– cocky vibe oozing out of this thing, it’s a wonder the creatures don’t snap their wee animated arms trying to pat themselves on the back.
Not as poor as it is sloppy, it’s hard to say how we’d look at a movie like Hoodwinked Too! had there never been a Shrek. Unfortunately, there WAS a Shrek, (four of them, in fact) and thus, this comes off as a knock off. Or, to make matters worse, a sequel to a knock off.
Anne Hathaway skips the gig this time around, leaving the role of Red Riding Hood to the rather lifeless pipes of Hayden Panettiere. In Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, the Happily Ever Agency is back in action, including Red, the big-kinda-but-not-really-bad wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Granny (Glenn Close). Their mission is to rescue Hansel and Gretel (Bill Hader and Amy Poehler) from the clutches of an evil witch (Joan Cusack).
The case takes the gang to the Beanstalk Club, where a mob-connected giant (Brad Garrett) and a singing harp (Wayne Newton) reside. There’s also something about a magic cupcake recipe, and Cheech and Chong provide cameos as thugs. And uh…. well, I think that’s about it.
Kids, please hear me out… I’m not actively trying to dislike every animated movie that comes down the pike. I wanted to like Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, honestly I did. But with clunky animation and tired pop culture clichés (c’mon, will kids even understand ‘70s stoner humour –– hello, Chong –– or Silence of the Lambs references?), it was kind of a trying sit. My 10-year-old daughter thought it was OK, not great, just OK –– not exactly a ringing endorsement.
–– Jason Armstrong is The Morning Star’s longtime movie reviewer. His column, Aisle Seat, appears every Friday and Sunday.