Don’t you hate it when you go see a movie and you aren’t too sure of it? I am debating in my head if Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a bad film or not…mind you, it was not good by any means, I just can’t decide if I really liked it. What’s not to like? There is action, gore, comedy, witches, magic, fighting, gun play (don’t even ask about this one since its set in medieval times), Jeremy Renner shirtless, yet I am still perplexed.
I am not going to go into detail of the set up of the film, if you don’t know the background story there is something wrong with you (I know a bit judgmental, but come on, its Hansel & Gretel, you should know the freaking story). The movie is set years after the infamous duo kills the witch who imprisoned them as children and they become rouge vigilante witch hunters going from town to town ridding the world of witches. Now all in all this might be a good premise for a film, but you never know what type of movie this is because it is all over the place. I hate movies set in Europe (which all of the best fairy tales are) and American actors are cast with American accents. Gemma Arterton who plays Gretel didn’t even have her native English accent which blew my mind. If we can have an English guy play American Superman then we sure as heck can have an American learn a freaking European accent…its called acting Jeremy, you should have this down by now. This is just one of many minor “HUH’s” throughout the film that leave you wondering what is going on. The thing with minor “huh’s” in a movie, is that as time goes on, the more and more you have the bigger plot holes there becomes, and you are left with a movie that is Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunter.
To jump into the plot, there are children missing from a village, the mayor hires our heroes to find out what’s going on, they uncover some weird correlations between the children and the moon.
Famke Janssen is the big bad evil grand supreme witch (there always has to be one of those) which is reminiscent of her character from X-Man: Last Stand. Hansel gets beat up. Gretel gets beat up. There is a town fire. The sheriff and all of his men attack Gretel (which seemed kind of like they were going to “violate” her to me and kind of made me uncomfortable the way they attacked her) for some odd reason, but luckily that was thwarted by a cute Ogre. There was a white witch who gets naked and seduces Hansel and then there is some machine gun play at the end. If this doesn’t make any sense, it’s because the movie, once again, is ALL OVER THE PLACE. The whole background story of why Hansel and Gretel’s father took them into the woods in the first place is rushed and then there really is no follow up as to (spoiler alert) the whole white witch phenomenon. There isn’t even an undertone societal story in this film which is odd…no “be good to thy neighbor, be true to yourself” nothing.
The special effects were pretty tight. All of the witches had unique looks which was a nice twist with the age old image. I enjoyed how their brooms were just pieces of wood and not really brooms at all. There should have been a bit more explanation of what the witches were all about besides not wanting to burn. I mean, who wants to burn? Janssen’s character speaks about her name being so old and scary it shouldn’t be uttered, yet we the audience have no idea why, nor do we ever find out.
The gore was very horror-movie-esque. It was definitely in your face blood and in one scene guts type flesh fest. The acting wasn’t horrible. It reminded me of Saw. I was pretty shocked, but it was done in such a comedic way that the gore wasn’t even shocking. It was as if it was mocking the whole film.
The film had some decent actors in it. I like everyone in it. I just don’t know if the story was bad, the editing was awful, or the money was just so good no of them could pass up this gem of a movie. The one-liners were awful and contrite. It was literally a Disney film with f-bombs strewn throughout.
One couldn’t want anything more from an action film; however, it was just so all over the place on what type of action movie it was trying to be that the story falls short. You expect more to happen and it doesn’t and then the whole thing is over.
I can’t say it is the worst movie I have ever seen, and I can’t complain because I actually got to see it for free (hence why I am behind on my review). It is a Netflix for sure, perhaps if you have nothing better to do in the afternoon while baking cookies.