Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

"Good"

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters Review


Made in Germany, this raucous adventure merrily refuses to follow the usual Hollywood route of blanding-down a fairy tale for the lowest common denominator (see both Snow White movies last year). It's still pretty stupid, but it's so unapologetically over-the-top that we're consistently entertained. And it helps that the filmmakers are clearly aware of how ridiculous the plot is, so they push it even further.

The film opens with a horror-style version of the Grimm Brothers' fable, then jumps years ahead as Hansel and Gretel (Renner and Arterton) achieve notoriety as bounty hunters specialising in tracking down and dispatching witches. When they arrive in a small village, they rescue innocent young Mina (Viitala) from the bloodthirsty mayor (Stormare), then vow instead to capture the area's real wicked witch Muriel (Janssen). The sheriff is sure they're con artists, so forms his own posse. Meanwhile, Hansel tentatively falls for Mina, and the duo also meet their teen super-fan Ben (Mann), who joins them as they head into the woods.

Norwegian writer-director Wirkola has created a gonzo action-horror movie out of the familiar bedtime story, complete with wildly outrageous creatures, fiery battles and almost as many explosions as a Michael Bay Transformers movie. Meanwhile, Renner and Arterton strut through medieval Europe like 21st century action heroes, wearing skin-tight leather, head-butting their foes, swearing like sailors and shooting massive guns at anything that moves. In other words, Wirkola's approach is essentially satirical, which allows him to indulge in astounding levels of grisly violence without it ever getting too nasty.

The film definitely has a Tarantino vibe about it, going for snappy wit and gore instead of actual suspense. The cast members have a great time chomping on the scenery and diving into gritty, full-on battles that are skilfully staged, and the effects and make-up are hilariously deranged. Even so, the script can't help but fall back into tired cliches along the way, as Hansel's awkward romance is interrupted by the action, Gretel is kidnapped in need of rescue and Ben rises to the occasion. We also know full well that for all her shrieking and cackling, Muriel will get her due in spectacular fashion. But getting there is surprisingly amusing.

Rich Cline



Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Facts and Figures

Genre: Action/Adventure

Run time: 88 mins

In Theaters: Friday 25th January 2013

Box Office USA: $55.7M

Box Office Worldwide: $224.8M

Budget: $50M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures/MGM

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), MTV Films, Gary Sanchez Productions, Studio Babelsberg, Deutsche Filmförderfonds (DFFF)

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 15%
Fresh: 19 Rotten: 108

IMDB: 6.1 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Hansel, as Gretel, as Muriel, as Mina, as Edward, as Berringer, as Ben, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Horned Witch, as Tall Witch, Joanna Kulig as Red Haired Witch, as Candy Witch, Stephanie Corneliussen as Desert Witch, Christian Rubeck as Tracker Jonathan, Thomas Scharff as Father, Kathrin Kühnel as Adrianna, Cedric Eich as Young Hansel, Alea Sophia Boudodimos as Young Gretel, Matthias Ziesing as Deputy, Sebastian Hülk as Deputy, Vegar Hoel as Gamekeeper, Jeppe Beck Laursen as Tracker William, Stig Frode Henriksen as Mute Tracker, as Bürgermeister Englemann

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Jackie Movie Review

Jackie Movie Review

Rather than make a standard biopic about the most famous First Lady in American history,...

Split Movie Review

Split Movie Review

After a few badly received sci-fi blockbusters, M. Night Shyamalan returned to his earthier style...

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

xXx: Return of Xander Cage Movie Review

It's been 15 years since Vin Diesel walked away from his XXX role, killing off...

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

Manchester by the Sea Movie Review

This may not be the cheeriest movie of the season, but it's so skilfully written,...

Live By Night Movie Review

Live By Night Movie Review

Ben Affleck launched his directing career 10 years ago with his film of Dennis Lehane's...

La La Land Movie Review

La La Land Movie Review

After storming awards season with Whiplash two years ago, writer-director Damien Chazelle returns with something...

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Assassin's Creed Movie Review

Hopes were high that this film might finally crack the curse of movies based on...

Advertisement
Silence Movie Review

Silence Movie Review

Faith is a topic Martin Scorsese can't quite shake, courting controversy with complex films like...

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A Monster Calls Movie Review

A difficult movie to market, this isn't actually the BFG-style fantasy adventure it looks like....

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Monster Trucks Movie Review

Word has it that a 4-year-old came up with the idea for this unapologetically silly...

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Collateral Beauty Movie Review

Dramas exploring the nature of death and the true meaning of life are always in...

Paterson Movie Review

Paterson Movie Review

Unpredictable filmmaker Jim Jarmusch ricochets from his artful vampire movie Only Lovers Left Alive into...

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

I, Daniel Blake Movie Review

At 80 years old, British filmmaker Ken Loach won his second Cannes Film Festival with...

Why Him? Movie Review

Why Him? Movie Review

Writer-director John Hamburg continues to recycle the formula that made his first hit Meet the...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.