Red Riding Hood

I’m a fan of Catherine Hardwicke’s work on Twilight. I think that, given the tremulous source material, she did an excellent job of making it cool, fast and fun. The trouble is is that one cannot simply apply that formula to any screenplay that’s written and, in the case of Red Riding Hood, everything involved comes up a little short. It’s a cautionary tale as to what happens when a studio has one big hit love triangle on their hands and wants to spread out into another big hit love triangle. As always in these cases they should’ve got a story that needed telling first.

Amanda Seyfried plays the lead Valerie, a beautiful and bewitching girl. In this role Seyfried is perfect; one can honestly believe that more than one handsome young go-getter might fall in love with her. However the aforementioned handsome young go-getters are limper than rubber chicken. Big Bad Boy (aka Shiloh Fernandez) is her long time love whilst Gormless Good Guy (aka Max Irons) is being forced upon her for marriage. The set up is painfully obvious and carried it out with so little conviction that one is forced to assume that they’re on autopilot.

Gary Oldman, Billy Burke, Julie Christie and Virginia Madsen all do ‘a little’ with fairly ‘little’ roles but really it’s Hardwicke who should be the star here. Red Riding Hood is set out like Watchmen for teens, glitzy camera movements, beautiful people, man eating wolves…etc. The final product is, however, nothing like Snyder’s flawed but brutal film, mainly because, for a werewolf movie, the script is shockingly toothless. It’s a shame because Seyfried does a whole pile of good work here but the final product is likely to evoke an indifferent response in all but the most dedicated Twiharders.

Seyfried captures the allure of her part but that’s the only time the word ‘allure’ could ever be associated with Red Riding Hood. Tepid.

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