(2011)1.5Alaina O'ConnorHoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil is the computer-animated sequel to the mostly forgotten 2006 original, Hoodwinked. This fractured fairy tale has returned with more-polished animation but less wit and charm, and instead of refashioning a fairy tale, the movie takes the same characters introduced in the first film and casts them in an action-oriented plot that feels sorely misplaced. Director Mike Disa trades questionably improved animation for a decidedly less engaging plot (not that the original had a much better story to begin with) as Red (Hayden Panettiere, replacing Anne Hathaway) moves through a series of unbearably humorless and visually inert confrontations on her way to save the day.
The film opens with a quick storybook-style intro that explains the first movie: Red Riding Hood saved Granny (Glenn Close) from the Hannibal-like Boingo the Bunny (Andy Dick), who has since been institutionalized. Now, Red is training with a mysterious covert group called the Sisters of the Hood when she and the Wolf (Patrick Warburton) are called upon by Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers), the head of the Happily Ever After Agency (HEAA), to rescue Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler) from Verushka the Witch (Joan Cusack). Eager to get her hands on the recipe for a magical truffle that offers extraordinary powers upon consumption, Verushka then captures Granny, forcing her to bake the treat. Coming to the rescue are the trio of Red, the Wolf, and Nicky, who use their detective and martial art skills to locate the stolen kids and their elderly pal -- only to find out that Verushka's plan is far more devious than they expected.
Screenwriters Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, and Tony Leech, who also wrote the previous movie, leave no pop-culture stone unturned with references that include spoofs of The Silence of the Lambs, Kill Bill, Mission: Impossible, and Ghostbusters. Couple that with a series of clichéd lines like "Hasta la vista, baby" and "Say hello to my little friend," and you're likely to want to scream, "Enough already!" Despite the fact that the Hoodwinked sequel has been in production since 2008, the film feels as shoddy and as thrown-together as the story. The movie works best when it's playful within the context of the fairy tale world (as opposed to an action film world) -- like when agents storm a gingerbread house and, rather than kicking down the door, they eat it -- but those moments are pretty scarce. At the end of the day, you'll be wondering what the point of this sequel is anyway.
Unexpectedly summoned back home in the middle of her training with the mysterious Sisters of the Hood, Red teams up with the Wolf to investigate the disappearance of Hansel and Gretel in this animated sequel featuring the voices of Hayden Panettiere, Joan Cusack, Martin Short, and Glenn Close. Happily Ever After Agency head Nicky Flippers is determined to ensure that no harm comes to young Hansel and Gretel, and as the search gets under way the whole gang decides to lend a helping hand.