“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” (trailer below) if everything you’d expect it to be based on the trailer; a bloody good time. Nothing about it should be taken seriously, and if you go in with an open mind you should enjoy it like the cast looks like they did making it.
In this spin on the fairy tale, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) & Gretel (the gorgeous Gemma Arterton) are now bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past. Throw in here more than a half dozen violent and grizzly with slayings, and you have the type of fun 2004’s “Van Helsing” attempted to have.
The cast they assembled looks like they had a blast during filming, and that really comes through to the audience. Although he starts off as if he didn’t quite know why he was there Jeremy Renner really pulls through as the overly handsome Hansel with a social awkwardness. Some of the funniest scenes were his interactions with other people as he isn’t used to dealing with anyone other than his sister. Gemma Arterton stole the show for me. She plays a smart kick-ass woman, and is gorgeous to boot. I don’t understand why she isn’t in more things (maybe if this is successful which is hard to tell). Famke Janssen (“X-Men” franchise) did great in the role of the villain. Ever since “Goldeneye” I have always appreciated her more as a bad guy, and I feel like her personality fits those roles better.
The story itself, while simple and not needing too much development, still feels really light. Given the non-complex nature of the material they were working with I don’t understand why they would leave so many plot holes (Hansel needs some medicine one minute, doesn’t the next, and then does again), and at some points the dialogue was just dreadful. As a whole I can look past that since this movie was meant to just be ridiculously violent fantasy, and it delivers in spades. From heads exploding, to decapitations, they really went all out on the ass-kicking.
“Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters” was made to just be a lot of fun, and in that regards they deliver. Much like “The Last Stand” it lacks a properly developed plot, and has some issues with dialogue, but it never loses focuses of its goal to entertain you. If you like violent non-stop action/fantasies then this is definitely something you need to check out. With attractive leads (seriously why isn’t Gemma returning my calls?), kick-ass weapons, great CGI (the troll was awesome!), and a pretty solid story twist at the end I think anyone with an open mind should be able to have a blast with this one. I saw it in IMAX 3D, and I can say this is one you definitely don’t need to pay the extra for (the IMAX was nothing special), but I can’t really see 3D so you’ll have to make that decision for yourself. 3.5/5
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