88 Min | Action – Fantasy – Horror | February 2013
IMDB Rating: 6.1
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Peter Stormare
Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Review: ‘Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters’ is a dark re-telling of the popular fairy tale where two siblings are captured by a witch. The twist in this film? Hansel and Gretel are now adults and are professional witch hunters. The original fairy tale is pretty dark as it is, child abandonment, kidnapping, attempted cannibalism, people being burned alive, this film tries to make it darker simply by splashing blood all over the place and that’s about it. The fairy tale has been adapted to tie in very cleverly with their latest mission and it isn’t that far-fetched, it makes sense, there’s some good plot twists and it isn’t too stupid. The stupidity comes in other forms, you’ve got electricity, gramophones, tasers, and oh yeah, insulin! It was necessary to include the fact that Hansel has diabetes as a result of the infamous witch feeding him too many sweets as a child. Note that in the flashbacks he wasn’t really overweight at all.
In Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters, the insulin we see him inject into himself throughout the film appears to have the same effect on him as spinach had to Popeye. Despite this weird addition, the film is fairly entertaining though it is fairly naff. The fight scenes are graphic but interesting and at some points are pretty funny. The acting is okay, Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton do all that they need to do here but their performances aren’t anything memorable. Famke Janssen is probably the best in it but even her performance can be a bit embarrassing at times. Maybe if director Tommy Wirkola sent everyone a memo telling them what accent was necessary it would have been better. There were American accents, English and even German – with Gemma Arterton switching between English and American throughout the film.
Overall, ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’ is mildly entertaining but it is pretty forgettable. If you just want to watch a film with absolutely no thinking involved and you just want to relax with some popcorn and have a chuckle at heads being squashed, then this is perfect.