Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
The precocious brother and sister of fairy tale fame are all grown up and have turned their resentment for witches, curious access to weaponry, and some sort of special anti-hag protection, into a lucrative bounty hunting business.
Who’s in It?
Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are the very attractive and vengeful siblings, who seem to be having some fun with such a silly film. Famke Janssen is the evil witch, ‘That Guy’ Peter Stormare is in it too, and there is also a big, dumb troll that may or may not be Mickey Rourke (it’s not).
Loud, absurd, incoherent, and surprisingly violent, H+G at least commits to being ridiculous. The pair arrive in a town with money that is plagued by witches, decked with outfits far sleeker and weapons more advanced than anything in the time (I’m not quite sure what to make of the accents). Children are missing, so the witch hunt is afoot, even though it seems Hansel and Gretel make way more work of it than is necessary – then again, why wouldn’t you want to drag out a witch fight? And apparently you need to question them too, because something is up.
Not that you need to follow along the story, or that there is really any attempt at one. It’s time to zone out when they discuss good witches versus bad ones, what colour the moon is, and who is and isn’t protected by spells. What we have here is not a commitment to characters or plot, but to f-bombs, bloody disgusting deaths (most involving the removal or combustion of the head), and one very sexy fair maiden, who is rescued by Hansel. Side note: I’d like to think that there is no male love interest for Gemma because she is tough enough not to need one.
With the music cranked to 11, bodies exploding, and witches flying around (there are a lot of brooms, mind you), it’s almost enough to make you forget what you’re watching, which is really all you can ask for. The dialogue is cringe-worthy, but there isn’t much talking. Just blood and guts, and worms, and then more blood.
Should You See It?
Not really, and definitely not in the disorienting 3D. Honestly though, once you get through the Oscar films (if you’re even going to bother), there isn’t much out there, and this is probably one of the more original films released at the moment. Which is sad.
Aside from a lot of clichés, there are actually some funny lines. Preparing for an attack, Gretel asks their elderly guide if he is a good shot. “No, I’m not,” he says. “That’s why I use a shotgun.”
So at least there is that.