Review: HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 24 January 2013

Review: HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013)

Now, why does the letter says we are Bitch Hunters instead of Witch Hunters?
Two energetic performances by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, along with Tommy Wirkola's gleefully excess of over-the-top violence isn't enough to justify HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS as a satisfying guilty-pleasure entertainment.

Tommy Wirkola's highly-anticipated Hollywood debut in HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS sounds like a fun, R-rated gorefest that twists the classic fairy-tale story inside out. At least that is what the trailer has indicated but shame about the movie, though.

WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?

When Hansel (Cedric Eich) and Gretel (Alea Sophia Boudodimos) are just kids, they wander around the deep forest after being left by their father (Thomas Scharff) and eventually ends up at the Gingerbread House. Well, as in this classic fairy tale, you should know how the story ends except that this movie offers a new twist: These two siblings manage to defeat and burn the witch where they are being held captive inside the Gingerbread House. Many years later, they grow up (now played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) and become professional witch hunters ever since.

They arrive in the German town of Augsburg, just in time to save the beautiful Mina (Pihla Viitala) from being wrongly executed as a witch by the arrogant Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare). Apparently these siblings are hired by the mayor (Rainer Bock) to hunt down an evil sorceress who has been kidnapping the town's children. They subsequently discovers that the missing children involves a Grand Witch Muriel (Famke Janssen), who is apparently has a bigger agenda of her own.

THE GOOD STUFF
 
At a compact 88 minutes, Tommy Wirkola packed his movie with enough blood and gore as well as some worthy dark humors to satisfy those undemanding gorehounds. And of course, Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT(S)

Frankly, none. 

MOST MEMORABLE QUOTE

Hansel: Whatever you do, don't eat the f**kin' candy.

THE BAD STUFF 

Despite being blessed with a decent US$60 million budget, the movie looks surprisingly cheap. The forest setting looks as if they are executed for a stage production, while all the makeup effects and the costumes are more akin of some elaborate Halloween party. As for the cast, most of them are instantly forgettable. Wirkola and D.W. Harper's screenplay is shockingly paper-thin, while Wirkola's penchant to shoot his action scenes up close with lots of rapid zooms and harsh editing are rather frustrating to watch for.

FINAL WORDS

 Now where is Mr. Bond? I have unfinished business to.. oh, wait, this is not GOLDENEYE.

It's a huge waste of opportunity, and a far cry from what Wirkola has done so well in DEAD SNOW back in his native country.

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