Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Review

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was delayed almost an entire year (due to 3D post-conversion)…and I can’t say it was worth the wait.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing too awful or offensive about it – it’s just a perfectly fine, serviceable action film with some great set-design and production values.  There just isn’t that much else at play here.

The film opens with a young Hansel and Gretel being lead into a forest by their father.  He asks them to stay put and leaves them all alone.  They eventually disobey him and make their way to the iconic witch’s house made of candy.  And the rest is history.  Well, not exactly.  Our heroes grow up as orphans, hell-bent on eradicating the countryside of all manner of foul witches.  The rest of the film plays out like a typical action movie; our heroes are hired to hunt witches, they slowly uncover a larger scheme being conducted by the big baddie (played by Famke Janssen), which culminates in an over-the-top action set-piece.  Throw in a douchey sheriff (my all-time least favorite actor, Peter Stormare), a bumbling comic-relief sidekick, and a love interest for Hansel and you have the complete package.

Despite the paint-by-numbers story, I did actually appreciate the film’s attempt at a mystery sub-plot involving H&G’s parents and their mysterious disappearance.  I did, for the most part, see the twists coming a mile away, but they were still very welcomed at mixing up the story just that little bit.  Jeremy Renner (Hansel) and Gemma Arteron (Gretel) must be commended as well – not for their performances, per se, but at least for actually trying and giving it their all.  It genuinely looked like they were having fun running around forests and beating the living hell out of evil witches.  I did, however, find the underlying incestuality between the two a bit disturbing…

If you’ve seen the trailers for Hansel & Gretel then you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.  While it won’t end up as one of my favorite movies of the year, I would recommend it based solely on its fun factor; it’s also just nice to see Jeremy Renner getting work after his career-turning performance in The Hurt Locker.

Hansel & Gretel is a fairly generic, paint-by-numbers action film with enough pleasantries to entertain.

The Bearded Bullet

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