Written by / 1/26/2013 / 1 Comment / , , , ,

HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS

year: 2013 cast: Jeremy Renner, Famke Janssen, Gemma Arterton rating: **
Hansel and Gretel, those two fairy tale children forced to fatten themselves up for dinner, are now older with a lucrative occupation described in the title – although there’s a lot more killing than hunting going on.    

Beginning with a quick reintroduction to the sibling’s famous backstory against the candy house witch (more hyperactive than menacing), we cut to an opening credit montage of newspaper clippings with our heroes in action, fighting witches throughout the dark forest countryside.

The initial villains – before Famke Janssen’s sinister Muriel takes over – are the hillbilly townspeople ala religious fanatics that burn maidens without a proper trial, introducing the love interest: a blond-haired lass quickly warming up to Jeremy Renner’s tough-as-nails Hansel. This also intentionally (and way too obviously) separates H & G from those infamous knee-jerk scoundrels who gave witch hunting a bad name.  

Loaded with "machine guns" and other modernized weaponry, the dynamic duo take down broom-riding aggressors in scenes so fast-paced and close-up, you might have to close your eyes until each dizzying conclusion. Noisy and boisterous, the witches are hardly distinguished from each other, making all the fights seem repetitive and ultimately tiresome. 

Renner does a decent job as Hansel, spouting tough guy one-liners ("I say burn them all") and never showing his emotions; while sister Gretel, played by Gemma Arterton... along with a young boy who attempts writing their story... seem too modern for the ancient setting, using words like “Awesome."

In the vein of FROM DUSK TILL DAWN which inspired VAN HELSING and all the UNDERWORLD flicks, HANSEL AND GRETEL wields too much action to be as mysterious or engaging as the timeless story that it’s based. 

But if you’re up for a lotta witch whoopin' – especially the climax where a makeshift Gatling gun massacres an entire bloody lot of 'em – this mindless roller coaster is just for you.
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1 comment:

  1. Don't forget BORDELLO OF BLOOD, a personal tasty treat. I do have to say that the last half the movie got better than the first. At least it was rated R, and I think that is what saved this movie for me. If it had been PG-13 - ever so popular with movie studios - it would have been all the action and no blood and guts. Pointless and B-O-R-I-N-G. Actually I'm surprised they didn't make them cut this to a PG-13 to get the "target audience". At least with the R Rating we got to see the full palette of blood, full body explosions with wiggly worms, witches, well sheared to pieces as sweet as pie. GIVE ME MY SEXY VIOLENCE and R Rating! So at least if I wanted to bang my head against the wall with the silliness of the movie, the splatter effect kept me in the movie and over all I left with a jib in my step. I mean, it could have been as bad as THE HOBBIT.

    Thank you for the R Rating!

    Great review sir.

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