BY MATTHEW HOOPER, Armwood High
A classic fairy tale, a beautiful setting and the director of Twilight. Throw in the pretty Amanda Seyfried and some dashing young men and the film Red Riding Hood can’t go wrong, right? One would think that.
The flick has its share of positives, but the negatives keep it down and leave you saying, “Red Riding Hood, what big potential you had.”
Knowing the children’s story gives you a little background for the overall plot. There is, of course, a girl in a red riding hood named Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) and a wolf. Valerie is in love with the woodcutter Peter (Shiloh Fernandez), but her family wants her to marry the more well-off Henry (Max Irons). Two love interests for the leading lady in a movie featuring werewolves? *cough* Twilight. *cough* But before she can decide what she’ll do, the wolf takes the life of her sister. The villagers call upon the infamous werewolf hunter Father Solomon (Gary Oldman) to find and kill the beast. Only problem is that it’s one of the villagers, and could very well be one of Valerie’s wooers.
What the story lacks in depth, it makes up for in mystery. The director (Catherine Hardwicke) does a great job keeping you guessing about the true identity of the beast. My theory was changing every five minutes and just when I thought I had it all figured out, it ended up being the only person I didn’t consider.
While the two leading men will have girls going googly-eyed, their performances are very bland, and the same can also be said about Seyfried herself. In a couple of scenes she shines, but for the most part it’s an unimpressive performance. Oldman gives the only noteworthy portrayal, stealing every scene he’s in.
Red Riding Hood has pretty faces and is quite entertaining, but you won’t be running to Grandma’s house to tell her how great it was.
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Lukas Haas and Gary Oldman
Grade: *** 3 asterisks
Director: Catherine Hardwicke