Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

I swear, they spend 80% of the film in this gun-slung-over-the-shoulder stance.

I swear, they spend 80% of the film in this gun-slung-over-the-shoulder stance.

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INTRODUCTION. Story time! So apparently my parents own a copy of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters on blu-ray. Why? I don’t know. What I do know is that last night, at about midnight, my mother tells me they have decided to watch “that vampire movie” tonight. I walk into the the living room and this is on telly. Whaaaaat. Anyway, review. 

CHARACTERS. They aren’t boring, though they are two-dimensional. In trying to give the classic Hansel and Gretel a backstory to explain their state of abandonment, the writers have robbed the original fairy tale of its most haunting premise: parents or circumstances so inherently deplorable that it leads them to lose their own children in a dark, potentially haunted forest. Gemma Arterton is typically ace at portraying a vulnerable but strong female character; she has moxy, even if its not especially original moxy. Renner was a real treat to watch and I’m not just saying that because he’s a cutie (he is). I liked Hansel, the diabetic condition – not really a spoiler – and his general willingness to take a beating while dishing out humour. We all love a smart ass when they aren’t being a smart ass to us in particular.

They handled the brother/sister dynamic quite well, tenderly even. A break from lovelorn protagonists (Van Hellsing, Underworld III), even if there was the token romantic subplot with a village girl. It did little for the characters involved. 

STORY. Not a difficult premise: sibling witch hunters! Directer and Writer Tom Wirkola does nothing new with his conception of witches. It is unlikely that this was his intention; the man did direct  Dead Snow after all. Still, if you’re going to reinvent a classic, why bother using half-arsed ideas? I would rather recommend television series Once Upon a Time for its dedication to retelling fairy tales- while not wholly accurate, they at least grasp creative intricacy and emotional depth. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has a banal, predictable plot: it is happy being just that. 

CONCLUSION. This is a halfway decent film if you’re looking for a mindless romp! Fairy tales, rock music, cheesy one-liners, likeable side characters, etc. All of that is right here, ready for your night in with a pint of Rocky Road and snarky commentary. 

N

CHARACTERS: 4/10
STORY: 3.5/10
REWATCH FACTOR: 2/10
OVERALL: 4/10
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