Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, just the name sounds obnoxious to me. I never had any intention of watching this film but since I needed to kill time before the showing of Cloud Atlas I decided why the hell not? Can’t say I had much hope for that film to begin with and while it wasn’t as bad as I thought it’d be, when I left the screen I felt like my time had been wasted.
The story of this film is a continuation of classic fairy tale in which Hansel & Gretel survive their encounter with their first witch and kill her, then years later they become bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. Now as the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings are on the hunt for the disappearance of several children and while on that quest they run into the leader of a group of evil witches that they seek out to destroy.
Straight from the beginning I knew I wasn’t going to like what followed. I felt like the film a little overly dramatic in some scenes and after all of the jokes and comedic deaths it is hard to look at these more serious scenes and actually care about them. The story while it had some moments of potential it wasn’t all that interesting, I think this was due to the film’s use of action and humour, at times the film wasn’t sure which one it wanted to use so that’s when things got messy. One thing that really bugged me is the modernization of the story. Now I understand that loads of films do this with remakes, reboots and spin-offs of classic material but this film’s direction just perplexes me. Firstly I know that this film derives from German heritage right? So why do some people talk with American accents and some others talk with British accents? I found that a tad annoying and inconsistent. Secondly if this is set in a time before present then why do people know how to curse so much? Why do Hansel & Gretel wear leather clothes? It’s so out-of-place. And lastly why does their weaponry seem modern with the use of shotguns and fancy crossbows? I know this is the realm of fiction but some of this stuff just bugs me.
As for characters they were all just there, they ranged from plain to just downright dull. Let’s talk about the main to siblings starting with Jeremy Renner as Hansel. Man, Renner was so lame in this film. His character was supposed to be this cool dude who just cared about kicking ass. But he was just devoid of emotion and I found it hard to like his character at all. Next we have Gemma Arterton as Gretel, she fared better than Renner but only by a little bit. Firstly she is still looking hot as hell! But other than that she was supposed to be the brains of the pair and why she did plenty in the film I still feel like her Gretel sucked. And as a pair Renner and Arterton rarely ever come across as brother and sister, but more like work colleagues or two people who’ve been in a relationship for a long time.
As for everyone else well you have Famke Janssen as Muriel, the main witch villainess in the film. She just hams up the role and does stuff in a very over the top manner which you can’t take seriously, oh well at least she still looks pretty. Next there’s Pihla Viitala as Mina, again another pretty face but as useful as her character was in the film she didn’t really add much. Also Thomas Mann as Benjamin “Ben” Wosser as the siblings fanboy ranged from mildly funny to very annoying from scene to scene. And lastly Peter Stormare as Sheriff Berringer, man what an asshole! I know that’s technically what his character is meant to do so well done on that front but heck I just didn’t like this guy one bit.
The presentation of the film wasn’t half bad but it wasn’t all that fancy either. The CGI was decent but was used a little too much in some scenes, also the violence was nice, but not unlike things I’ve seen before and action sequences again were decent but I’ve seen so much better done before. I also wanted to highlight the witches, now I dunno if this is just me but I swear they looked like rejected orcs from the realm of The Lord of the Rings.
One last thing to note was while watching this film I swear I was starting to get flashbacks of Clash of the Titans and that definitely not a good sign when you’re getting flashbacks of a crappy film during the film you’re currently watching. You know it’s hard to hate on a film you didn’t really have expectations for in the first place, but yeah sometimes things just need to be done.
In conclusion Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters was a silly action film that just didn’t entertain me. It seemed so mindless, strange and violent just for the sake of being violent and it also didn’t know when it wanted to be serious or funny. Now there’s probably an audience for this film, I saw most of the people in the screening liked it, I just consider it another one of those action films with little substance.
Rating: 5/10 (Not worth your time I say.)
So have you lot seen this film? If so leave me your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review yo! 😀