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The Independent Critic

Hayden Panettiere, Glenn Close, Patrick Warburton, David Alan Grier, Amy Poehler, Andy Dick, Bill Hader, Brad Garrett, Cheech Marin, Joan Cusack, David Ogden Stiers, Martin Short, Tommy Chong
Mike Disa
Mike Disa, Cory Edwards, Todd Edwards, Tony Leech
Rated PG
85 Mins.
The Weinstein Company

 "Hoodwinked, Too" Review 
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Even amidst the world of animation, where studios often are only tasked with distracting the kiddoes enough to coerce their parents into putting out their hard-earned bucks on cinematic mediocrity, Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil is awful. Brilliant animation is hard to find in the wide release, feature film world. Almost exclusively the territory of Pixar, with occasional unexpected guests and Miyazaki, well made animated films are few and far between. As a film critic, the goal isn't so much to discover a brilliant animated film as it is to simply find a tolerable one that, Gasp!, is reasonably entertaining for the entire family without being overly condescending to its target kid market.

On almost every level and in virtually every way, Hoodwinked Too is a mess. Hoodwinked Too features bloody awful, second rate animation (under NO circumstances should you pay for the film's 3-D version) and a script that is so unimaginatively written that it's appalling that a studio like The Weinstein Company would relent to releasing the pic.

Hayden Panettiere takes over the vocal work originally created by Anne Hathaway as Red, who now finds herself in in training as a young girl warrior who possesses a miraculous truffle recipe (Yes, how odd. A "feminist" storyline centered around, um, baking) with a special ingredient that could rule the world. Grandma (Glenn Close) knows the secret ingredient, a fact that doesn't work in her favor as she's kidnapped by a witch named Verushka (Joan Cusack) who is aided by none other than Hansel (Bill Hader) and Gretel (Amy Poehler). The Big Bad Wolf (Patrick Warburton) shows up to help good ole' Red out and to learn warm and fuzzy and painfully unfunny lessons about friendship.

Directed by Mike Disa and scripted by the same team responsible but obviously not accountable for the original Hoodwinked, Hoodwinked Too features inside jokes galore that are mostly related to its talented cast that must've been sentenced to community service before agreeing to take on this motion picture mishmash. Panettiere has such a different sound and feeling from Hathaway that anyone familiar with the original film will be jolted, and Warburton is so completely wasted that his appearance here borders on irrelevant. Among the key players, only Hader and Poehler manage to make any impression at all but their characters are written so poorly with truly insipid dialogue that even they nearly drown.

While the visual effects are somewhat improved from the lower budgeted original film, the decision to go for 3-D is nonsensical and is most certainly poorly realized. If the Razzies gave an award for Worst Animated Feature, there's no question that Hoodwinked Too would find itself a nominee.

There are a ton of supporting players, most existing solely for brief, momentary laughs or stereotypical humor with the most notably be the consummate stoners, Cheech and Chong.

The original Hoodwinked only hit $51 million at the box-office, hardly a call for a sequel. Yet, here you go...That low budget flick managed to turn a profit, so Weinstein and the team got together again hoping lightning would strike one more time. It doesn't, though certainly somebody deserves to be struck down for ever green lighting this flick.

Almost guaranteed to disappoint adults and children alike, you will most definitely feel hoodwinked if you actually decide to catch this film. Do yourself and your child a favor...skip it. If you haven't caught it yet, go check out Rio!

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic