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'Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters' Rated: R Time: 88 min. My Rating: 1.5/4 stars
Movie Review: ‘Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters’
© Gainesville TimesIn the ripe days of my childhood, I viewed what is still a dear film to me: “Van Helsing” (2004).
Though it is quite ridiculous at times, it provides considerable entertainment even now.
At first, I thought “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters” would be a movie similar to “Van Helsing.” This could not have been further from the truth. The movie contains little entertainment or fun, and instead, delivers the audience gory fights, a ridiculous plot, and a completely ruined Brothers Grimm tale.
After being abandoned by their parents in the woods, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are kidnapped by a witch and tortured. After finally killing the witch, the siblings become legendary witch hunters.
However, Hansel and Gretel may have met their match when they are given the task of defeating a powerful witch named Muriel (Famke Janssen) and rescuing other kidnapped children.
It is unclear why recent sensation Jeremy Renner took the role of Hansel in this lame excuse for a movie. Renner’s talents can take him far in the mad world of Hollywood if he learns to discriminate between star vehicles such as “The Hurt Locker” (2008) and duds such as this.
Though I am disappointed in Renner’s choice here, his and Arterton’s acting was what made the film salvageable. They have the ability to act through the rough points in the poorly written script due to their chemistry onscreen.
Another characteristic of “Hansel and Gretel” that hurt the film was the cliché plot. Time and again audiences watch protagonists act like they are better than everyone else. Then, when the heroes seem to be at their lowest, they stumble upon some revelation that allows them to succeed.
Even in films such as this, a little plot variety would make a world of difference.
In addition to a lackluster plot, director Tommy Wirkola completely ruined the classic Brothers Grimm story. In no way does the Brothers Grimm tale have any relation to this movie except for the title characters.
The only people that I could imagine enjoying such a movie would be those who don’t know the classic story.