Opening this weekend is the new film Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. The film stars Oscar nominated actor Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker, The Town) and Gemma Arterton (Prince of Persia, Quantum of Solace). About the film (from its official synopsis):
After getting a taste for blood as children, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) have become the ultimate vigilantes, hell bent on retribution. Now, unbeknownst to them, Hansel and Gretel have become the hunted, and must face an evil far greater than witches...their past.
The movie was originally scheduled for release in March of 2012. Yes, that’s last year. That should probably tell you something about the film. 2012 was a year we saw Abraham Lincoln hunt vampires and Snow White fight alongside a hunstman yet this sat on the shelf waiting on a 10 month delay. So why did it sit for so long? Because it’s pretty ridiculously bad. I hate to say it, but it is.
I really like Jeremy Renner as an actor. He’s a really good guy and I’ve been a fan since the 1990’s (yeah I’ve seen Senior Trip way too many times to count). In what I’ve seen her in, I like Gemma Arterton. Plus the film has the much underrated Famke Janssen and some character actors I like (Derek Mears, Peter Stormare). But the major problem with the film is the script. You have some talented people, but they get nothing of quality to work with. Sure I don’t expect Sorkin-esque dialogue in a movie like this, but the constant clichéd stuff has to go. The twisting of a classic children’s story into a kick butting, witch hunting, 21st Century action movie could really play out well if it was done well. But, it wasn’t.
Remember how they tried to do a Twilight twist on Red Riding Hood a few years back and how awful that turned out? Well consider that before you see this. If you thought that was bad, you probably won’t like this either. And fair warning, this is Rated R. I saw parents with kids under age 10 at the screening and well they got lots of blood, some nudity and a whole bunch of explosions. Parents, look at a rating of a film before you take your kids.
Hansel and Gretel isn’t totally unwatchable. Ok maybe it is, but call me Mr. Positivity because I found myself laughing at a lot of it. I probably wasn’t supposed to be laughing at it, it probably wasn’t the producers and director’s idea to make people laugh, but you gotta know people will laugh at this. The star of the film is Gemma’s um, cleavage. If you’re a LARP’er, fan of renaissance fairs or just like seeing attractive women, Gemma’s outfits might take your mind off the script. There’s that, some good kills, some blood, a bit of other nudity and well, you’ll probably wait to see on DVD like everyone else.
With a bunch of new films opening this weekend, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters will most likely get lost at the box office. People will see it out of curiosity and it might crack the top 10, but don’t expect it to last long. Even with a cast that I like, this just isn’t good.