Red Riding Hood

Get cape, wear cape, fly? Not for Your Highness, Scream 4 or Red Riding Hood

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When I was just knee high to a grasshopper, there was one item of clothing necessary that every movie hero just had to have to achieve true greatness. It didn’t matter what was causing a stir on the catwalks of Milan or Paris at the time, if they weren’t sporting one of these on screen then they simply were not worth my time. That piece of apparel was of course, the cape.

Superman had one, Batman had one, even Obi-Wan Kenobi had one, and his had a hood! I don’t think it was the wearing of a cape itself that made me regard these characters as true bastions of awesomeness, but the heroic deeds they performed in the wearing of one.

Who doesn’t well up a little when the Man of Steel plucks Lois Lane out of the air mere seconds before she was to be made pavement pizza? Whose hairs on the back of their neck don’t stand to attention at Sir Alec Guinness’ unflappable retort, “Only a master of evil Darth.” Who didn’t spend childhood summers with one of their mum’s aprons tied around their neck making ‘Whooshing!’ noises for hours on end? Just me? Alright then let’s move on.

I think I’ve sufficiently demonstrated how important the cape is to me in relation to my childhood film heroes. This is why I’m particularly offended by this week’s film releases and their blatant disrespect for the hallowed shoulder wear.

Your Highness, Red Riding Hood and Scream 4 are all released this week and in an odd twist, all contain at least one character bedecked in a robe of some description. That they are all below a watchable standard is an even bigger disappointment.

Your Highness was pretty much doomed from the start I suppose. A lewd but funny trailer packed with so many gags shouted from the rooftops that I was witnessing the funniest moments of the entire production. Throwing too many swear words into a sentence in an English accent is something I’ve been doing for ages now, so that aspect of the film had little impact on me. I wondered if it might be an age thing, but noticed the tween gaggle that pushed past me at the start in a bid to stake their claim to the back row where also with-holding their mirth. I assumed they’d either nodded off or were busying themselves with what teenagers seek to do in dark places.

As for Scream 4, what more has it got to say? It winked knowingly at the horror genre cleverly and delightfully in its first instalment, by this film it’s less of a knowing glint, more a nervous twitch. Throwing in a few nods to the current trend for reboots and torture porn does not a refreshing film make. Getting your characters to say buzz words like Facebook and Twitter also does little to rid the film of its musty odour.

Which left me clinging to the vague hope that the cape’s honour could be restored by Red Riding Hood; a more Twilight skewed retelling of the gothic fairy tale. Alas, while Red was far bustier than I recall and Gary Oldman did his best at lifting things above average as a mildly crazy German Van Helsing a-like. In the face of a truly awful script, a CGI werewolf and male characters substituting acting for pouting there was little enjoyment to be had.

Ah well, fingers crossed for Thor in a fortnight’s time… Whoosh!

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