The Ninjabot

Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters: A Witching Good Time

Posted on June 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm by Jess Hicks

Hansel and Gretel

Alright so I have to admit when I first saw the trailer for this movie I laughed. Seriously? Hansel and Gretel? It looked so incredibly ridiculous that of course I passed it up in the theater. So yesterday we decided to go to the local brick and mortar video store (DVD/Blu-ray store sounds stupid, ok?) and picked up a couple new releases. I chose Oz the Great and Powerful and my boyfriend chose Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. I chose wrong…but that’s for another review.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is essentially a where are they now for the well known children’s story. It starts out with Hansel and Gretel as we know them, children, who are left in the woods by their father. The come upon a house made of candy and do what most children would do, eat it. Soon the children are captured by a nasty looking witch and forced to eat as much sweets as humanly possible. Of course the kids defeat the witch and escape safely with minor scrapes and bruises, a seething hatred for witches and probably the worst cavities in history. Flash forward several years later and Hansel and Gretel are grown up into ass kicking, foul mouthed, rough and tumble adults.

Femke witch

I was incredibly surprised at how fun and entertaining this movie actually was. I was expecting something a little more family friendly with a hint of darkness, like Snow White and the Huntsman, but in reality there is nothing family or friendly in this movie. Let’s look at the main characters, shall we? Hansel (Jeremy Renner) is a drunken, womanizing, shoot everything ask no questions kind of guy. He hates witches and doesn’t hesitate to drop one no matter what the cost. Gretel (Gemma Arterton) on the other hand is still just as tough as her brother but she is clearly the more level headed of the two. Renner and Arterton don’t have perfect chemistry but they are still enjoyable playing off each other.

I actually really enjoy the brother/sister relationship, it’s refreshing from the normal love story that is always forced. Sure there is a minor love story between Hansel and a young woman but it’s very minor. We get two characters who love each other in a platonic way so we get more action and witches.

Hansel and Gretel fight

And what about those witches? My boyfriend thought they were a little over the top but personally I enjoyed the outrageousness of them. In particular I enjoy Famke Jannsen’s portrayal of the Grand Dark Witch, Muriel. She reminded me of Angelica Houston in The Witches, just scary enough to be threatening. The rest of the witches are entertaining and provide some pretty awesome sequences. One thing I was not expecting was the amount of gore splattered throughout. Heads exploding, hearts getting ripped out, and children getting eaten (ok it’s implied but still!) what more could you want!? This isn’t your normal family friendly fairy tale, vulgar language and blood makes for a great witch hunting flick.

Overall Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters was a delightfully fun experience. Would I have paid $10 bucks to see it in theaters? No, probably not but it was sure worth the $3 bucks I paid to rent it. Though it totally bombed in the States, I blame bad marketing, it did very well internationally so we will be getting a sequel sometime soon. Will it be as good? Who’s to say? I thought this was going to be absolute shit and I ended up enjoying it exponentially. With that I say go watch it and let us know what you think! But remember this isn’t for the kiddies!

Side Bars and Closing Thoughts:

  • Jeremy Renner will always be Jeffery Dhamer to me but I still like him
  • I really like the different versions of witches from around the world, I’d like to see more on them.
  • I think witches could be the next “thing” in the supernatural movie genre but I hope they stay creepy and evil.

Rating: B

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