MOVIE REVIEW: HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013)

Running time: 1 hour, 27 minutes
Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen
Director: Tommy Wirkola

I can’t. I just can’t.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters takes place 15 years after Hansel (Renner) and Gretel (Arterton) killed the witch who tried to eat them in the gingerbread house. Hansel ate too much candy while at the house, and now as an adult he suffers from diabetes.

As the movie starts, we learn Hansel and Gretel are widely known for their successful careers as witch hunters. It’s not like their job is too hard though; they are immune to witches’ spells and curses, so they use traps and brute strength to subdue witches and kill them.

The duo travels to a small town where witches have kidnapped several children. They are planning to sacrifice the children during the sacred Blood Moon, and as a result they will become immune to fire. Hansel and Gretel promise to find the witches, kill them, and then return the kids unharmed to the town. So, there you have it.

There is nothing fairy tale-esque about this movie, and it lacks heart and emotion. This movie is bland, the acting is questionable, and overall it seems like a campy Halloween movie.

I noticed three things that really irked me and I must address them:

1. Why do these witches know hand to hand combat?

Hansel and Gretel may be immune to curses and spells but they are not immune to a good ass kicking. You’d think after 15 years these two would’ve developed a system for taking down witches, but instead they spend a large chunk of this movie eating dirt after the witches slam them to the ground over and over again. Also, these witches must attend self defense classes, because they know martial arts and hand to hand combat. I saw a lot of roundhouse kicks and karate chops, and now that the U.S. military has approved having women serve on the front lines, they might want to grab some of these witches and give it a go.

2. I’m going to stand here and look cool while I deliver this wisecrack.

This movie is painfully unfunny, and I got tired of the camera zooming in on Hansel or Gretel as one of them paused, posed, and delivered a one liner that is supposed to be ‘bad ass’ or ‘funny’. Hansel’s go-to pose is slinging his gun over his left shoulder, and Gretel’s go to pose is standing straight and then seductively pushing one hip to the side.

3. I’ve said it before, and I guess I’ll have to say it again.

I don’t like coming down on Jeremy Renner. He’s a two time Oscar nominee (The Hurt Locker, The Town) and his nominations are well deserved. I know he’s a big star and he’s earned the chance to be a leading man, but I just don’t think he lives up to it. He seems to shine in supporting roles, but as long as he’s an A lister he’ll keep going for the lead roles.

Jeremy tried to be cute when he recently addressed the negative criticism surrounding the film: “We knew this was never going to be a movie for the critics.”

Oh, ok.

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