[Review] Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters


Abandoned in the forest by their father, young Hansel and Gretel enter a gingerbread house and nabbed by the old witch who lives there.  The witch keeps the two as her slaves until they’re able to shove her into the fire.  Fifteen years later, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become famous witch bounty hunters.  One day they enter the town of Augsburg to stop the execution of a woman, Mina, who is accused of using witchcraft.  They’ve been hired by the town’s mayor to help stop the recent abductions of children.

Okay, disclaimer time.  I have been having some weird taste in movies these days but who says a reviewer has to always watch great, epic movies.  I’m pretty interested in any rebranding on the classic Grimm’s Fairy Tales so that’s what made me curious to check this out.  Plus, I like Jeremy Renner.  Other than that, I really didn’t have any expectations going into the movie which was probably in my best interest.

The movie is pretty hokey incorporating flimsy comparisons to the Salem witch trials to frame the basis of the story.  Not that I expected it to incite intellectual conversations about prejudice.  But again, no expectations.  So that leaves the action aspect of the movie.  Unfortunately, the action is just alright with its focus on the gore and gothic.  You know, beheadings and such.  If the story was going to be subpar, you at least hope that the visuals make up for it.

I just wish there was more of that going on in the film instead of the action/gothic horror aspect of it because that side of it was just disappointing.  Perhaps it may have something to do with the fact that this movie was made to be a 3D movie extravaganza as is the trend these days.  However, it’s just not worth it to pay the extra money to see it in a 3D theater (nor any money, really).

Basically, what you have is a superficial movie to watch as a bad TV movie of the week when you want some mindless entertainment but don’t have to pay attention too closely to what’s going on.  Those movies to watch while cooking or doing some laundry.  This one was during a bus ride for a weekend trip away and I honestly had to look away for half the movie due to motion sickness.  This is why I can’t read on buses.  There are some highlights to the movie though.  The humor is a bit dry and Jeremy Renner is great at those deliveries.  I did enjoy the movie despite all the hokiness and middling action scenes.  But rewatchable?  Definitely not.

The interesting bit of news is that Will Ferrell is one of the executive producers on the film and it looks like if the filmmakers can bring the same cast back together, these sibling witch hunters will have a sequel.  Sigh.  Will Ferrell needs more input on the script and the movie altogether to get me to watch if there is a Part 2.



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