HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS (2013)
Hansel and Gretel: WItch Hunters is released on blu-ray and DVD today so, I thought I’d post my review of this comedy/horror!
When you go to see a movie called Hansel And Gretel: Witch Hunters, obviously you don’t go in expecting Shakespeare but, I did expect it to have a bit more of the giddy fun that Tommy Wirkola brought to his gory zombie blast, Dead Snow. And while I was amused and entertained by H&G, it actually took itself a little too seriously for a film about fairy tale characters grown up to be vengeful witch hunters. With an outlandish story like this, I can appreciate giving the material some respect and not making a joke out of it but, to really make it work you have to give it a bit more over the top like Wirkola did so well with Dead Snow. H&G has action that is bloody and fast moving but, the film needed a bit more of a sense of humor then a few curse laden quips and breaking the same person’s nose, twice. This story of the fairy tale siblings coming up against a very powerful witch (Famke Janssen) with a devious plot to free her kind from the dangers of fire resembles the far more ridiculous Van Helsing to a degree but, could have used a bit of that flick’s over the top energy, just not as out of control (though that does make VH a ‘so bad it’s good’ treat). The film is well done and uses a lot more practical effects then expected and the minimal use of CGI was very refreshing. The cast handles their parts very well with Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton having a good time as the badass witch killers and they played their roles with a serious approach but, not without a quick wink every now and then to let you know they are having a good time. Famke Janssen plays her part as the formidable witch with some over the top relish and that made a nice contrast to her stoic adversaries. Rounding out the cast Peter Stormare isn’t given much to do as the town sheriff who is not happy that H&G have come to do his job but, he is more lively here then in The Last Stand. The film looks great. The sets and costumes are really nicely designed as are the various witches and their Troll, Edward (Derek Mears). The cinematography is lush and the locations beautiful. Visually this is a really cool flick. But, as said, Wirkola gives us a fast pace and some nice gory action scenes to entertain us but, he just needed to inject a little more fun in the proceedings to make this a real standout treat. Overall I did enjoy it but, it could have been so much more of a blast if Wirkola wasn’t trying a bit too hard to not turn the material into a joke. There is a fine line to making a movie like this and Dead Snow proves he can walk it just fine. So why didn’t he? An amusing and entertaining enough viewing but, kinda forgettable when all is said and done.
3 bitchy witches as the lush visuals and design, plus Gemma Arterton’s fine butt in leather, earn it a few extra points.