Movie Review: ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is advertised as a “new take on an old tale” and that it is. After the classic story of the brother and sister duo Hansel and Gretel killing the witch that tried to eat them in a candy house, we see what happens when the siblings grow up. They go on to become famous witch hunters and in the movie they come across the most powerful witch of all and must stop a terrifying ritual from taking place. They make new friends, fight new enemies, and learn secrets about their own past along the way.
This is one of those movies that you know if you will like it or not by watching the trailer. I would describe it as a mix between Van Helsing and Sleepy Hollow (with just a pinch of Red Riding Hood). If that’s the sort of movie you like then you’re in for a treat. The best part about this film, in my opinion, is the chemistry between the two leads. Gemma Arterton played Gretel and I couldn’t take my eyes off her the entire time. I was impressed with her modified accent and she kicked a lot of ass and looked natural doing it. Also I may have spaced out for a few minutes after a shot of her ass in those leather pants. Jeremy Renner was great too. He was really funny and reminded me a bit of Fred from Scooby-Doo. He and Gemma had great chemistry and really sold me the idea of them being a brother sister duo fiercely loyal to each other and their work.
Famke Janssen played the role of the lead witch Muriel and looked absolutely fabulous doing so. I have to admit she overacted somewhat, but in a way that we expect our villains to do. There are plenty of witches in the film, each with their own personal design and each creepier than the last. The witch in the very beginning (the famous one who tries to eat little Hansel and Gretel) was especially frightening. I was pleasantly surprised at how the movie showed the witches as creepy and very dangerous, rather than hokey or corny. Peter Stormare was great in his (small) role as the town sheriff and Thomas Mann was adorable as the bumbling fanboy. Pihla Viitala played Mina, Hansel’s love interest, and while she did fine in her role their storyline felt ridiculously rushed and unnecessary. Another character that I wasn’t too fond of was the troll. His design seemed the most fake out of everything in the movie and frankly, he was a bit corny.
Hansel & Gretel surprised some by receiving an R-rating. This is because of the large amounts of violence and cursing. I was worried that either of those aspects would be overdone or misused but didn’t feel that they were at all. The action scenes were a blast to watch and the cursing was used effectively to create some humorous lines. I admit I did see some of the twists coming, but it didn’t ruin the experience for me. One of my other favorite things about this film was the music. This is a soundtrack I could easily add to my workout playlist. I also really liked the setting and the gorgeous landscape shots.
Overall Hansel and Gretel is a fun time at the theater. It’s a film that critics hate but audiences enjoy. It’s one of those movies that you go to to have a little escape from the real world by watching attractive people kill witches with some awesome gore, funny dialogue, and great music. It’s not a film for everyone and it’s certainly not going to win many awards but it sure is a hell of a good time.