Release Date: 15th April 2011
Director: Catherine Hardwicke
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Max Irons, Shiloh Fernandez, Gary Oldman and Virginia Madsen
Running Time: 100 mins
Why does one franchise or one film’s success mean everything has to be the same? There’s no reason for everyone to repeat himself or herself; it’s just a waste of time. This is especially evident in the “re-imagining” of Red Riding Hood. To quote from the poster, “From the creators of Twilight comes a breathtaking new vision of an old tale”, more like a snore-enticingly new vision.
Hollywood now has the idea for every single “re-imaging” will have the Twilight makeover; forbidden love triangle with 2 topless, burly boys set within a fantasy world. In this world though, there are still the familiar hallmarks; the red cape, gothic, fairytale production design and the infamous “Oh, what big teeth you have speech”. Red Riding Hood is a wonderful film to look at. Each building, room and costume is made with great visual muscle. Despite this, Hardwicke leaves the actors out dry in the tiresome fable.
Amanda Seyfried has an angel-like presence on screen, and as soon you look into her adorable blue eyes, you’re instantly on her side, no matter what the outcome. But her dilemma – trying to choose between Irons and Fernandez – is as deep as an episode of Eastenders – annoying, cheesy and absolute rubbish. There’s no chemistry between any Fernandez, Irons and Seyfried, there’re just wooden planks waiting to be thrown into the fire. Not even a devilish Gary Oldman can save this, that’s when you know you’re in trouble.
One of the overriding problems with the first Twilight movie its F/X sequences with the Cullen’s playing Tarzan in the woods. With Red Riding Hood, the CGI wolf is unconvincing, with the filmmakers using as much shadow and darkness as possible to cover their flaws. It doesn’t help know Ms Hardwicke can’t direct a film; all of the action set pieces have no coherency, the dialog scenes are incomprehensible and it doesn’t help when she diverts away from a conversation with a helicopter shot over the woods for no apparent reason.
Even though Red Riding Hood is rated 12A, after seeing the film it’s really hard to understand who’s the film aimed at. It’s too violent and promiscuous for young girls and too dreary for teenagers with it’s mind-numbing romance and whodunit plot. If the filmmakers went for the same tone as I Am Number Four, Red Riding Hood would’ve been a better film for it.
This is an unbelievably bad film, laced with wearisome plot, humdrum acting and lackluster special effects. Expect this to be a big contender for the Razzies next year.