Red Riding Hood
I hadn’t flown on a plane in almost 30 years. So when my family and I took our first vacation trip to Florida, naturally I was a bit nervous. The flight down was fine. Once there, our activities ranged from watching the grand fireworks finale at Disney’s Cinderella’s Castle to attending a concert by seniors pushing 80 in a trailer park. Both priceless.
After a harrowing return trip through security involving a can of hot dog chili and a Miller’s Beer lamp, I settled in to watch the inflight movie. Headphones are 5 bucks extra, and they don’t accept cash, So I watched 2011’s Red Riding Hood — in silence.
Upon my return, I bought the movie on DVD to see what difference sound might make.
Valerie (Red Riding Hood), played by the always gorgeous and reliable Amanda Seyfried, lives in a village near the frozen tundra. From the dialogue, I learned that Red is in love with the woodcutter’s studly son, but she is to be engaged to the wimpy offspring of the blacksmith, instead.
Turns out Red’s mom had an affair with the blacksmith, resulting in Red having a half sister, Lucie. Lucie, in turn, had the hots for the meek man, but alas, they are related. Also, Red’s friend Roxanne has an autistic brother. And don’t even get me started on Red’s grandmother (Liv Ulman). Seems as though producer Leonardo Decaprio thought he was filming Melrose Place.
Meanwhile, the village has been plagued for generations by this awful wolf. Monster hunter Gary Oldman shows up and informs the populace that the wolf is actually a werewolf who lives among them in human form. Alas, this creature turns out to be a bargain-basement CGI critter that wouldn’t even fool The Three Little Pigs.
A celebration is held, the villagers (erroneously) believing they have killed the beast (the dance music might best be described as medieval hip-hop). There is a grim scene involving the insertion of the autistic kid into a steam-filled iron elephant, and a trippy dream sequence involving the grandmother (“What big eyes you have,” etc.). Otherwise, this movie is a plodding affair, even with sound.
Let’s see if you can figure out how these bits of dialogue end: “The streets will run red with …” “Your blood courses through my … ” “Together we will be …” Congratulations! You’re a screenwriter.
The identity of the wolf is finally revealed. Valerie tells her lover, “I’ll wait for you.” He replies, “I thought you’d say that.” (I knew she said that, too, and that was without sound.)
Finally this Twilight knockoff comes to an end. Thank you, Jet Blue, for denying me headphones — guess you did me a favor after all.