Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters follows the same basic storyline as its fairytale source material, but director Tom Wirkola adds an action and horror spin to this classic tale in an attempt to make it a viable movie. However, Hansel and Gretel will likely disappoint every type of moviegoer. Whether it was meant for horror enthusiasts (who’ll be unimpressed by the portrayal of the evil witch) or action-lovers (who’ll be bored), this movie could have been a straight-to-DVD release with nary a peep from the public.
The only noteworthy thing about the plot is that Hansel and Gretel grow up to become bounty hunters rather than damaged children. They hunt witches. There’s gore. There’s action. There’s random swearing that confused me a bit. There’s gunfire. And yet I still wanted to walk out. Funny how some movies threaten to erase your memory of every good piece of cinema by scarring you with their own attempt.
The visuals in this movie are hit-and-miss. One serious miss is the filmmakers’ failure to construct a decent-looking witch. If you’re unlikely to frighten even a 10-year-old girl, then it’s safe to say that something is wrong. A small hit, though, is that the candy house in the movie looks incredible. (Wondering what I’m talking about? Don’t bother, because you don’t want to see this movie. Trust me.)
A pang of guilt does push me through the temptation to just insult this film, though. Mainly because the actors deliver enough star power to barely keep the whole film afloat. The good news is that Jeremy Renner (The Avengers, The Hurt Locker) steps out of his usual “tough guy” act to play the handsome Hansel, who does indeed charm the audience. (Then again, that could just be my nine-year crush talking.) That being said, that Renner wasted his time on this movie is heartbreaking. Mea Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time) is a good sidekick/sister as Gretel. She has the whole beauty and brawn thing—you know what I mean. And with Famke Janssen (X-Men) in this movie, I could almost tolerate it all.
The sad thing about this movie is that there is really nothing to report. I feel it is my duty to warn any potential viewers to steer clear of this film and watch something good instead. The same old action sequences with what I assume were supposed to be “scary” witches evoke nothing more than an eye-roll—if viewers could even care enough to muster one. M