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

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

Advertisement
England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

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.