Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Movie Review

This is a fairy tale we all grew up with. A story about two children, Hansel and Gretel who were abandoned in the woods and came upon a witch living in a cottage made of candy. She tries to eat them and they kill her by outwitting her. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters continues this classical story with dark humour and lots of action scenes. Not to mention, a plenty of blood and gore splattering the screen almost every ten minutes or so.

Thanks to Nuffnang and UIP, I managed to catch the premiere screening of Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter.

After their first witch kill as children, Hansel and Gretel have found their calling in life as Hawkeye and Buffy witch hunters for hire and rather successful ones at that. Although still suffering from abandonment issues, work is relatively easy for the orphaned siblings as witches' spells and curses do not work against them.

When the children of Augsburg, Germany (the country of the Brothers Grimm) are taken by the powerful sorceress Muriel (Famke Janssen), the mayor hires the siblings to find the children and to kill the witches. And from there, the witch hunt commences.

Jeremy Renner as Hansel.
Admittedly I was a little skeptical about this movie seeing as there has been a trend of remaking classical fairy tales as movies in recent years. And I don't mean that in a Disney happy-ending-way. Just take a look at Amanda Seyfried's Red Riding Hood and Kirsten Stewart's Snow White. But because Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton were the titular characters and the main baddie was the former Jean Grey/Phoenix from the X-men trilogy, I placed Hansel and Gretel on my must-watch movie list for January 2013.

Gemma Arterton as Gretel.
Storyline was fairly predictable but the blend of humour and action keeps the audiences either laughing or flinching on behalf of the characters whenever they take a hit because the action scenes do not hold back on the beatings. Adds a sense of realism to the protagonists I suppose. As for the humour, it's not just in the deadpanned lines delivered perfectly by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton but also in the subtle hints of popular cultural references throughout the movie that may or may not be making fun of other movies (or maybe that's just me).

Here are a few hints:
Edward is a troll.
The Blood Moon was also mentioned in another fairy tale-turned-movie.
A mother's love knows no boundaries (or movie-verse)

Famke Janssen as Muriel
Famke Janssen radiates badass as Muriel although I felt they overdid it with her witch appearence. Famke is a great actress and I think it would have added more dimensions to her character to play a witch in human skin instead of a blue-eyed, wrinkly banshee majority of the time. After all, she did play the most powerful character in the Marvel-verse (also decked out in leather, if I might add).

Would I watch it again?
Rated R for a good reason, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunter serves up an entertaining dark comedy action movie with eyecandy for both guys and girls. However I did come out of the cinema wanting more as it felt as though something was missing. It doesn't excite me the way the Avengers did nor did it leave me intrigued like Inception. I don't know what yet but when I do know, I'll let you know.

But yeah, I would watch it again because it is not often I come across a movie that doesn't hold back on the blood and gore and that stars Jeremy Renner.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters hits the big screen on 24 January 2013.


Tony said...

Jeremy Renner doesn't have a properly written character. It's like his personality is on random mode. A dumb movie with just like literally 2 moments.

Tania said...

i think that's the issue with the movie. There's no character development.

cindy said...

Tania; I still love the movie even there's no character development!

Tania said...

I enjoyed it too for all the mindless action scene and unexpected comedy bits.....and of course, Jeremy Renner.