REVIEW – Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

My expectations were really low going into this. I was ready to christen this the Van Helsing of 2013. But… I would be wrong.

Before I get into it, you need to understand that this is an MTV Films production. When I saw that iconic logo, a light went off in my head. Ohhhh, FiBi. For idiots, by idiots.

Just kidding.

A little.

The opening scene started off hokey enough, with dollops of icing dripping off a witch’s gingerbread house and making uncomfortably weird sounds as they splorted onto the ground. SPLORT. But then…

The witches were frightening. Like, Freddy Krueger to a 6 year old frightening. They all reminded me of Linda Blair from The Exorcist.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is short by today’s standards, coming in at a brisk 88 action-packed minutes. There is also boobs. (Or was that Movie 43? I might have that mixed up because I watched them consecutively. The trouble with theatre-hopping!)

There is a surprising amount of gore here. Maybe I should have watched some previews to get a better pulse on this movie, but I had some genuine shock when I saw some of the death scenes. Then again, I had that same shock when I heard Gretel (Gemma Arterton) call the townspeople “fucking hillbillies.” Oh right. MTV Films.

Famke Janssen is hot, except…

…when she’s in her scary with make-up. What a shame to waste her impeccable face.

As frightful as the witches looked, Edward the troll was more Shrek than Orc, and because of his friendly demeanor, his face turn (pro wrestling terminology!) halfway through was as telegraphed as Shawn Michaels turning on Marty Jannetty.

That shock I mentioned at the gore? It wore off after the second decapitation and fourth head explosion. Very. Repetitive. Deaths. Very. Repetitive. Deaths. Very. Repetitive. Deaths. Very. Repetitive. Deaths.

Jeremy Renner is the less believable of the two protagonists. He kills witches but is too much a pussy to make a move on the hot girl when she practically throws herself at him at one point. She does all the work the next time. Give this guy a manual.

Hansel has life-threatening diabetes. It’s almost dumber than it sounds.

The movie looks like a medieval Dutch village. Some of the character have the classic British accent we all stupidly expect from anything that occurs in Europe or the past. There’s one girl with a German accent. And our protagonists speak modern American English, complete with Eddie Murphy action movie potty mouths. It’s all so jarring.

Seriously terrible dialogue. Even for a movie about a sibling duo of monster killers.

The weaponry was more modern than anything else in the film (is that a butter churn in the background of the market?), more futuristic (for the era) than steampunk. I want to accept that this is some alternate reality in which tasers and machine guns and record players (whaaaah?) can coexist with frightened townspeople brandishing torches and pitchforks, but I just don’t buy it.

Oh right. MTV Films.


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