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

Contactmusic 2017 Exclusive

New Movies

Life Movie Review

Life Movie Review

Like a mash-up of Alien and Gravity, this ripping sci-fi horror movie is very effective...

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

The Lost City of Z Movie Review

Based on a true story, it's the historical aspect of these events that holds the...

Chips Movie Review

Chips Movie Review

It's clear from the very start that this movie has little to do with the...

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

Beauty And The Beast Movie Review

This remake of Disney's 1991 classic is remarkably faithful, using present-day digital animation effects to...

The Salesman Movie Review

The Salesman Movie Review

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi won his second Oscar with this astute drama which, like 2011's...

Get Out Movie Review

Get Out Movie Review

Leave it to a comedian to make one of the scariest movies in recent memory....

Personal Shopper Movie Review

Personal Shopper Movie Review

After winning a series of major awards for her role in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of...

Advertisement
Certain Women Movie Review

Certain Women Movie Review

In films like Wendy and Lucy and Meek's Cutoff, writer-director Kelly Reichardt has told sharply...

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

Kong: Skull Island Movie Review

After the success of 2014's Godzilla reboot, the Warner Bros monsters get their own franchise,...

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Viceroy's House Movie Review

Filmmaker Gurinder Chada (Bend It Like Beckham) draws on her own family history to explore...

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

Trespass Against Us Movie Review

With an extra dose of attitude and energy, this Irish comedy-drama hits us like a...

Logan Movie Review

Logan Movie Review

Hugh Jackman returns to his signature role one last time (so he says), reuniting with...

Patriots Day Movie Review

Patriots Day Movie Review

The third time's a charm for Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg, who previously teamed...

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

A Cure for Wellness Movie Review

It's no surprise that this creep-out horror thriller is packed with whizzy visual invention, since...

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.