DARKMATTERS - The Mind of Matt

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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Film Review: Hoodwinked

Hoodwinked (U)
Dir. Cory Edwards

Reviewed by Matt Adcock

Have you ever wondered if your dear sweet granny might actually be living a double life? Perhaps behind the cup cakes, jumpers and general mild mannered exterior – maybe she’s known as ‘Triple G’ and into extreme sports and danger? No, me either, but it’s a great ‘what if’ and it works brilliantly in Hoodwinked – a fun animated comedy for all the family. You just know you’re in for something a little bit special when you have Little Red Riding Hood in situations like this:

Red (voiced by the always yummy Anne Hathaway) finds a medallion in one Granny's kitchen drawers and asks. “Granny, what's this?” Granny (a wonderfully fun turn by Glen Close) replies, “Uhhh... It says 'World's Greatest Grandma'.” Red quick as wink however says, “Granny, I can read. It says 'Battle of the Iron Cage Gladiators'.” And we get treated to a quick flashback of Granny in all her cage wrestling smack-down glory!

Yes Hoodwinked is that rare beast, an animated film made by someone other than Pixar or Dreamworks that is actually worth checking out. Blessed with a razor sharp script and enough madcap ideas per minute to keep kids and adults thoroughly entertained, this went down a treat with both my boys and my wife… In fact when we got back from the cinema my youngest son James phoned his grandma just to check that she wasn’t a secret snowboarding adrenalin junky (she isn’t in case you were wondering).

Director Cory Edwards should be very proud of what he’s made here – think Little Red Riding Hood crossed with ‘The Usual Suspects’. The plot is staged in flashback as each of the main characters from the fairy tale - the smooth talking wolf (Patrick Warburton), the axe wielding lumberjack (James Belushi) plus Red and Granny / Triple G each tell their conflicting version of events. It’s down to the hard boiled detective Nicky Flippers (David Ogden Stiers) to crack the case and while he’s at it track down the forest’s public enemy number one – the Goody Thief…

I particularly enjoyed the witty asides and quips from the wolf, turns out he’s a journalist working undercover working a scoop on the Goody Thief, you see. Pick of his lines is when he bemoans his lot in life as a humble hack – wistfully exclaiming, “Man, I should have been a film reviewer!” And when the films are as good as Hoodwinked – he’s got a point!

Darkmatters rating system (out of 5):

Action ööö - cool set pieces even if not cutting edge animation
Laughs öööö – lots and they hit their targets
Horror ö – mild suspense, nothing to perturb
Babes ööö – hathaway even sounds hot

Overall öööö (lots of fun)

Darkmatters: H O M E

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