Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is the latest film from Hollywood to take an age old fairy tale, repackage it, and attempt to cash in on the new spin of the tale. After a near death experience as children in which Hansel and Gretel destroyed a blood-thirsty witch, the siblings spend their entire lives as bounty
hunters, intent on tracking down and destroying witches all over the world. Their constant hunting brings them to a small town which has seen a large contingent of its children snatched in the middle of the night. Hansel and Gretel believe it to be witches but when they realize the fabled 'Blood Moon" is approaching, the siblings encounter a witch more powerful than they ever have experienced. Tommy Wirkola's Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a surprisingly violent, cheese-fest that simply goes through the motions bringing almost nothing new to the table. The narrative is very standard stuff, with one big reveal, coming about 2/3rds of the way through the film, being utterly predictable. Going beyond the story, the technical aspects aren't much better with everything in Hansel and Gretel feeling very cartoonish, in which bad make-up and production design aid in making the whole film feel very cheap. Gemma Arterton is really the bright spot of the entire film, as almost every other actor, most notably Jeremy Renner, feels like they are simply sleepwalking through the film. To be fair, it's hard to blame him, but I did really appreciate Gemma's performance which brought a nice balance of swagger and timid-ness to the role. The film does have a lot of action and my favorite aspect of the film would have to be the creative bits revolving around the various spells the witches would use during combat. "The Hunger" spell was fun, and once again these fights were much more violent than I
was expecting. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a film that dances that line between bad and enjoyable dumb, essentially taking its place next to other similar films like Stephen Sommers' Van Helsing.
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