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Laughable ‘Riding Hood’ taints the legend

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I saw the best actors of my generation destroyed by madness. “Red Riding Hood,” director Catherine Hardwicke’s first film since introducing the world of cinema to the travesty that is “Twilight,” shows that these insane actors- many of them award winners and nominees respected the world over- are willing to do absolutely anything for a paycheck.
Case in point: “Red Riding Hood” might be the worst movie in recent memory. It isn’t even one of those lowbrow comedies that pander to the lowest common denominator, fully aware of how bad they are. This film is just plain horrific. No one seems to make the slightest bit of effort, not the actors, the screenwriter (shame on you, David Johnson) and certainly not Hardwicke.
“Red Riding Hood” could have been high on camp, which would have made it slightly redeemable, but no. No one even tried. This is “Little Red Riding Hood” for the “Twilight” generation, and even junior Katie Bocksel, my good friend and a proud fan of terrible movies and supernatural love triangles, couldn’t stomach this film. If Katie can’t handle a film, then you really know it’s bad.
Amanda Seyfried proved herself to be a deft comedienne in “Mean Girls,” but if her performance as the Red Riding Hood-esque protagonist is any indication of her dramatic abilities, she should really just stick to comedy. I’ll refrain from saying too much about Julie Christie and Gary Oldman’s performances, except to ask “why, God, why?” Any good will that Oldman earned with me while playing Sirius Black in the “Harry Potter” series is now gone, and I’d like to request that Christie’s Academy Award be revoked.
The one bright spot in the film is the son of the outrageously sexy Jeremy Irons, actor Max Irons. He is not terrible- one could not possibly find a good performance coming from anyone in this film- and he is certainly handsome enough to forge a career of his own. One complaint, however, is that Irons spends little to no time with his shirt off. Hardwicke missed a golden opportunity with that one. I hope the director’s cut involves an extended segment featuring a shirtless Irons. Throw me a bone, Hardwicke.
As I said earlier, this movie had the opportunity to present its own version of a campy, fractured fairy tale. The opportunity was completely squandered. “Red Riding Hood” is high on melodrama without much payoff and features plot holes the size of an ocean. At least the scenery is pretty. That was a high point.
If you still have any interest in seeing the horrifically, hilariously bad “Red Riding Hood,” I must recommend that you imbibe first (legal readers only!). Drink something, anything, and don’t expect anything to make sense. Just laugh at the mess in front of you and don’t give it too much thought.

Sarah B. Pilchick may be contacted at sbpilchick@themiamihurricane.com.

Rating: 0.5/4 stars

Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, Max Irons

Directed By: Catherine Hardwicke

MPAA Rating: PG-13

March 24, 2011

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Sarah B. Pilchick

Senior EDGE Writer


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