Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil

That`s not the case with Hood vs. Evil. Not only was there no real audience demand for this sequel, it also arrives too late in the six years (an eternity in Hollywood) since the first Hoodwinked! Even Shrek, the series that began the contemporary fairy tale deconstruction trend, ran out of steam when its third and fourth entries made the franchise look like a shadow of its former self. During these years Happily N`Ever After and, to an extent, Disney`s Enchanted and Rapunzel have also looked at fairy tales through a modern lens, so it`s no surprise the Hoodwinked sequel arrives at a time when the sub-genre is quite exhausted. To make matters worse, it brings nothing new to the table.

Anne Hathaway knew something wasn`t quite right when she wisely decided not to return; she has been replaced by Hayden Panettiere, and the young Heroes actress provides a flat performance as Red an unforgivable sin in an animated film where the actor`s voice is the main tool to bring a character to life.

When a rescue mission by the Happy Ending Agency (HAE) goes terribly wrong and an evil witch (Joan Cusack) escapes taking not only kidnapped German children Hansel and Gretel but also Granny (Glenn Close), Red must leave her special training with the ‘Sisters of the Hood` and join forces with Wolf (Patrick Warburton) and Twitchy to save them. Along the way, they must deal with a giant who operates a night club at the top of a beanstalk, an old enemy, a giant spider and a bunch of Hispanic little pigs wanting revenge.

If the first film was a mildly funny animated hybrid of Rashomon and The Usual Suspects, Hood vs. Evil tries hard to be like a James Bond movie, with a series of almost disconnected set pieces sprinkled with random fairy tale elements, in which the characters resolve the not-so-interesting mystery and learn how to deal with their own flaws. The only characters and voice performances that have a real opportunity to shine are Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler); there might have been a more interesting story had they been better exploited.

This is paint-by-numbers writing, using a series of cultural references which are probably too old for its mainly young audience and somebody should have told the filmmakers that the song Kung Fu Fighting was taken by Kung Fu Panda three years ago with such good results that no other animated movie should try to use it in the foreseeable future.

The first time around, the simplicity of the film`s animation was an asset; after all, this was an independent CGI film in a world dominated by Pixar and Dreamworks. That little movie made U$110 million, so the fact that the sequel does not improve upon its predecessor`s visuals feels cheap and lazy; the 3D is barely visible and certainly not worth the premium ticket.


Hood vs. Evil may not be terrible, but it is so forgettable that we wouldn`t bet on a third part unless it`s released direct to DVD. A sequel that offers too little, too late

Miguel Gonzalez