[pullquote cite=”” type=”left, right”][amazon text=Amazon&template=carousel&chan=That Film Guy&asin=B006NYBEK2][/pullquote] Catherine Hardwicke first announced herself on the directorial scene with the excellent youth drama Thirteen. She followed it up with Lords of Dogtown and then finally cemented her place as THE director for all teenage-popular films with the release of first of the enormously successful Twilight. Her latest offering, Red Riding Hood is loosely based on the famous fairy tale of a similar name, and whilst it shares lots of themes and motifs, it has clearly been reimagined for the Twilight-savvy audience.
The action in Red Riding Hood follows Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) who is a young woman growing up in the small village of Daggerhorn. She plans to run away with her childhood love in hopes of avoiding marriage to the wealthy blacksmith’s son Henry (Max Irons: Jeremy’s son). Just before she can put her plan in action, the mysterious wolf attacks and communicates with her, leading to a witch-hunter (Gary Oldman) coming to town to slay the creature.
Red Riding Hood’s plot is silly from the outset and the action is slow and ponderous with lots of scenes highlighting just how ˜in love’ Valerie and her man are, with plenty of brooding for those of an R-Patz disposition. But much like Twilight, the film lacks the cohesion to make it anything more than popcorn fluff. The characters are two-dimensional, with the only person seemingly having fun being Gary Oldman who prances around the village like a man possessed.
The computer-generated wolf at the centre of Red Riding Hood is at it’s best when only seen in brief glimpses, and as soon as it’s revealed any mystery is gone. The film does pick up in the middle and develops some nice ˜whodunnit’ elements as you try to figure out who the wolf is, but sadly the revelation is predictable and uninspired.