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Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel & Gretel, Witch Hunters Jeremy RennerGemma ArtertonPeter Stormare

Ah, twisted fairy tale indeed! After seeing a preview for this movie, I couldn’t wait to see it. I knew from the title that this wasn’t going to be an ordinary fairy-tale-made-modern, and I was right. Hansel and Gretel get left in the woods and wander into a house made of candy, which they start to eat. Just like the classic tale, the witch shows up and is going to eat them, but they get the drop on her instead. And that’s where the adherence to the fairy tale ends and a romp on the wild and weird side begins.

The witches in this story are hideously ugly things that just ooze evil from their pores. Hansel and Gretel grow up as the heros who killed a witch and saved a town, and go on to make it their life’s work to destroy every witch they see. They’re bounty hunters for hire, with the arsenal to match. When they get hired by a town to save several children who have been stolen, they realize there’s more going on than the normal witch hunt. Something huge is going down, and they aim to stop it with a cart load of weapons and attitude.

This movie is a wonderfully fun mix of steam punk, fairy tale (the Grimm kind, not the Disney kind) and Die Hard. It romps in an 80’s-action-flick-with-crossbows sort of arena, and dances with the blood, gore and shadows of a horror flick. I’d call it dystopian, but it’s not set in the future…it’s sort of victorian fantasy. The cinematography is beautiful, the costumes are awesome (hello, leather!), and the acting was great. I have to admit, Jeremy Renner in a leather coat is just yummy.

Underneath all the eye candy is a solid plot (a typical fairy tale type of one) with a fun, if predictable, twist. It has all the makings of an entertaining story:  a bit of mystery, a lot of attitude, and a cavelier approach to, well, everything.

I enjoyed the heck out of this, mostly for the attitude. I love Gretel. She’s cute, sexy as hell and can totally kick ass. She doesn’t need a man to save her, although in the end she does need a tad bit of help from a troll. Yes, a troll. Don’t judge a book by its cover!

I don’t know why the movie poster has all that snow because I don’t remember it featuring in the movie really, but it makes for nice art.

Hansel & Gretel was everything Snow White and the Huntsmen wasn’t. They kept a solid story underneath the pretty pictures, and gave the actors something to actually work with. Job well done, I say. Go expecting a campy, dark, gory but entertaining time and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I don’t think it’s appropriate for kids, though. This is not a Disney tale, this one is for grown-ups.




5 comments on… “Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters”

  1. I’ve been seeing the previews for this and wanting to go see it, but I don’t like movies with a lot spells or witchcraft. Is this just a hunt and kill thing – or is there more supernatural stuff going on? I love Jeremy Renner, and really enjoyed Van Helsing (and Snow White) 😀

    • Hmmm, mostly a hunt and kill thing 🙂 I know you liked Snow White, that’s ok I like you anyway :-D. I think you’ll like this, spells and witchcraft, while present, are used more as a different type of gun or weapon rather than being the focus. The focus is mostly pure action shoot-’em-up type, which is what I found so delightful. Er, in an entertainment sort of way. You’d think there would be a lot of cauldrons and wand waving but that’s not really in this. There’s a wand, but it’s used to shoot with and doesn’t play a big role. Think steam punk meets Die Hard, with a fairy tale twist. I found the look of the witches somewhat cheesy, but that’s where the fairy tale part kicks in so I forgave the cheese and just enjoyed it.

      Jeremy Renner can rescue me any day 😀

      There’s a subplot going on in this that I didn’t really see the point of but didn’t mention because it’s not a huge deal. I think they are trying to imply that Hansel has a form of diabetes from eating the candy off the witch house in the beginning. Sort of an odd detail but…eh. Curious to see what other people make of it.

        • No, not really. Maybe toward the cheesy…at least the way they look is somewhat cheesy. No, I’d say really it just doesn’t figure in at all, aside from them actually being witches. You don’t see them casting spells really, and the main focus of the story is Hansel and Gretel and their hunt (and kills), not the witches themselves. If that makes sense. But yes, there’s a bit of ridiculous in the fairy tale part of it…a bit cheesy. Sorta like the blockbuster 80s action flicks lol. I did roll my eyes at the witch makeup but then laughed because it’s supposed to be over the top campy. It’s a fairy tale gone down the rabbit hole. I’m dying for you to see it now because I really want to know what you think :-D.

  2. I think we have to wait another few weeks before it comes across the pond, but can’t wait to see it.

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