Movie Review Rewind: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)
No matter how low or high they may be, we all have expectations each time we go see a movie. We are satisfied if they are met and pleasantly surprised if they are exceeded. But when expectations are not met, we become disappointed and sometimes borderline pissed off, and that is how I felt after seeing Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
My mindset going in was to not expect too much, but it could at least be fun and somewhat entertaining. Well I was wrong. The ridiculous story should already be known before you walk in to the theater. Yet, no one could have known how empty Hansel & Gretel is with the lack of suspense, intelligence, and overall interest in what is going on. I cannot even tell you how bad I feel for those who spent even more money to see it in 3D. It almost brings a tear to my eye.
The story of Hansel and Gretel is well known by most people. A brother and sister are abandoned in the woods and left all alone until they encounter a house made out of candy. Who wouldn’t love to run in to that, right? But there is an evil witch inside who wants to feed them and then feed on them. But, not so fast because the young siblings actually have some fight in them and it’s the witch who goes up in flames.
Now, that’s usually all we remember or know about Hansel & Gretel. What we were never told is, as they got older, they kept killing witches and became damn good at it. They had gotten a taste of witch blood and love watching it splatter everywhere. It puts a smile on their face when they cut the heads off of them and blow their brains out.
Hansel & Gretel may have met their match though once they meet Muriel (Famke Janssen), the most wicked witch of them all. She needs 12 children for a very important black Sabbath sacrifice that will guarantee immortality for her and her broom-flying friends. Of course, the deadly bro and sis duo must stop Muriel and save the kids while battling their own past and the secrets that were kept from them. Luckily, they have weapons from the future to help them out.
Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton play the grown-up Hansel & Gretel and I am still trying to figure out why in the hell Renner decided to do this. Honestly, it had to be for the money because not only is this material beneath him, but he even makes it obvious in the actual movie as well. And if Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is number one at the box office, it’ll be because of Renner and the fans he picked up by doing The Avengers and The Bourne Legacy last year. But the two-time Oscar nominee for The Hurt Locker and The Town is nowhere to be found in this mess.
The only one who seems to be trying to make the movie better than what it actually is is Arterton. She puts in a real sincere effort to try to make you care about her character and their witch hunt, but that’s tough to do when she is being crushed under the mediocrity and lameness of the movie.
Director Tommy Wirkola knows how to make a funny, campy horror film, or so I’ve been told. I have actually never seen his film Dead Snow, but I’m sure it’s better than this. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is only funny when it’s not supposed to be and is about as lifeless as the ugly old witches who get butchered. The movie has been on the shelf for a while and it should have stayed there. I forgive Renner for this one, but please don’t let it happen again.
Classic Tale. New Twist. Unnecessary. Waste of time.
“Nature Boy” Brandon Vick is the resident film critic of the SoBros Network, and star of Brandon’s Box Office In Your Mouth. Follow him on Twitter@SirBrandonV and be sure to search #VicksFlicks for all of his latest movie reviews.