Red Riding Hood review
This version of the classic tale features a werewolf terrorizing a small village at the edge of the dark forest. Every full moon, the villagers lock themselves in their homes and leave out an animal sacrifice to appease the wolf.
Amanda Seyfried plays Valerie (aka Red Riding Hood). Valerie learns that her parents have arranged for her to marry a wealthy blacksmith. She is just about to run away with her childhood sweetheart, a woodcutter named Peter, when the village Bell of Dire News tolls and she learns the werewolf has killed her sister. The village priest sends for Gary Oldman, who goes by the name Father Solomon in this flick but he's still Gary Oldman and that means he's awesome
. Father Solomon is a well-known werewolf hunter and carries one of only three silver swords blessed by the Holy See.
Meanwhile, the villagers get rip-roarin' drunk and go out to kill the wolf. They think they succeed, but Gary Oldman
Father Solomon informs them that their prized wolf head is just a wolf. If it had been the werewolf, then the head would have returned to its human form. And then
he tells them that the werewolf lives in the village.
At this point the movie moves into the party game in which the players need to figure out who is the wolf. It's done passably well, but elements that should have been in the normal flow of the narrative were hidden until the "exposition" at the end of the flick, which definitely hurt the movie as a whole. Actually much of the ending was poor.
I'd give this a 2.5, but we don't have fractions here. I'm rounding up because the visuals of the village were beautifully done. Also Gary Oldman is, as usual, awesome. Amanda Seyfried is pretty damned cute, so that didn't hurt either. Then there was the entire bit of Gary Oldman
Father Solomon and his retainers terrorizing the village in the name of protecting it from the werewolf. It was perhaps a bit overdone, but quite timely.
I have heard about lots of people complaining of rewriting this old tale. Of course this isn't the first time a studio has done an updated version of this tale. The 1943 short Red Hot Riding Hood
by the great Tex Avery
comes to mind:
Anyway, it was a fun movie with a poor ending. Also, don't wait through the end credits to see a little bonus footage. It's not worth it, despite what Steve told all of us. It should be noted that Steve has been fired from his position of deciding if we should sit all the way through the end credits.
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