Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, entering the movie theater, and expecting to leave if It screamed suckage. That’s basically the news; it was actually kind of good. Tommy Wirkola, who handled the directing and writing chores did the impossible by turning a short childrens’ fable into an adult full-feature action-adventure.
Jeremy Renner is capable in the role and is just as dependable as he is in his other hero’s journeys. Gemma Arteton is hammy in the role—but Oh My God—doesn’t she look so good playing a pig; she lends a certain urgent, sexpot in heat role, to the ensemble; a feature visible in the direction and editing. Boy oh boy, doesn’t this movie scream sex! Famke Janssen as usual disappears in her portrayal of a wicked witch; she’s the veteran actor of the trio; and frankly, it has been too long since she was in a pulpy Hollywood film.
The editing is incredibly effective in summing up the parts in a title sequence and immediately diving in to the action. The writing had me caring about the characters so much so that when one of them bit the bullet I had to reach in my pocket for a Kleenex. Did I mention the sexiness of it all? The direction was good for a no-name billing and the quality of the film even reminded me a little of Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead series; it’s a shame the studio behind the latter couldn’t get Wirkola for the Dead reboot. Alas, I haven’t seen the new Evil Dead. But that’s another story.