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Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

February 6, 2013

Hansel and Gretel movie poster


Hansel and Gretel is a wonderful dumb machine. It is a Brother’s Grimm story on steroids that feels like a 100 minute film that was edited down to 80. The movie moves so fast you barely have time to catch your breath between witch decapitations.

Hansel and Gretel evil witches


Hansel and Gretel is the story of a good looking brother/sister duo who kill copious amounts of witches. They travel around the supernatural woods in search of death and pleathor pants. They help peasants rid themselves of swamp, bog, tree, water and sand witches that eat kids, enslave nice trolls and feed one of the heroes so much chocolate he becomes a diabetic.

Hansel and Gretel pointing gun at stuff


What I like most about this bonkers film is it seems like another day in the life of these sibling badasses. They have a been there/done that attitude that is most likely the result of massive editing cuts. The witch they have to defeat in this episode is the grand witch Muriel played by Famke Janssen. She has an evil plan to raise a coven of warrior women who will wreak havoc on the peasant populace. She is thwarted of course and it happens quickly. Hansel and Gretel is a lean and mean killing machine that moves faster than one of Gretels arrows.

Hansel and Gretel Gemma Arterton shot


Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are reliably good but are given nothing to do. They are believable butt kickers and have a nice chemistry despite all the editing and tinkering. What is left are one-liners, flirtations with good witches and wearing pleather pants well.

Hansel and Gretel Gemma arterton


I understand why they signed on to this long delayed and strange film. It was directed/written by Tommy Wirkola who is best known for the fantastic Dead Snow. Snow featured a lovely infusion of blood and humor that created a perfect storm of zany horror. I’d wager the combination of a foreign director, studio meddling and scattershot script created the final product. They say a camel is a horse designed by committee. I think all the meddling of this horse created a manic honey badger. I bet the script was whittled down to the page the duo are looking at in the pic below.

Hansel and Gretel reading together


Hansel and Gretel is short, fun and wonderful to watch. Is it good? Nope. Is it an odd little creature of destruction and quips? Yes. When it is over do you remember much of it. Nope? Does it feel like it was edited by a keyed up Shia LaBeouf? Yes. Will I watch it again? Absolutely!

Hansel and Gretel teamwork

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