Monday, March 14, 2011


Review: Red Riding Hood
2 stars (out of 5)
By R. Kurt Osenlund

One of the very first scenes of “Red Riding Hood” shows a young version of the film's heroine, Valerie (played by wee blonde Megan Charpentier), sneaking into the woods with a boy to capture a white rabbit. It's no “Alice in Wonderland” pursuit – the rabbit, the boy says, could lend its fur to a nice pair of shoes, and with that, little Valerie pulls out a dagger and prepares to slit Peter Cottontail's throat. “Good girls aren't supposed to hunt rabbits or break the rules,” a narrator tells us. You certainly don't need to go fishing through the underbrush to pick up what the people behind this dark update are putting down. In a tacky bit of “Twilight” déjà vu, director Catherine Hardwicke, working from a script by David Leslie Johnson (“Orphan”), once again explores a loss of lily-white innocence and a feral female's rise to womanhood by translating a popular text into rudimentary popcorn entertainment. This time, however, it's hard to imagine even the womanhood-bound core audience being all that entertained.

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