Fairy tales were designed to be gruesome and to scare children into not doing something. Disney came along and turned them into romance and happiness. While this is a fun outlet, I am rather found of movies that get back to the dirt of the legends. Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunter was a rockling ride of gritty fun that takes the Disney out of the fairy tale.
In this version of the Grimm tale, Hansel and Gretel are left out in the woods for their own protection. But being curious children they come across a house made of candy. The two learn that the best way to end a witch is to set her on fire and the two orphans become infamous for their witch slaying. The two are brought to a small town by a mayor who is desperate to keep children from disappearing. But the intractable sheriff wants to burn the first woman he thinks is a witch. It is up to the siblings to free her of guilt and find the culprit.
It seems the siblings are up against a gran witch that can take human form (played creepily by Famke Janssen). The witch has a plan to make herself and her cohorts invincible. To stop her, Hansel and Gretel must go up against a troll, make friends with a good witch, and find their roots by revisiting their childhood home.
Jeremy Renner is fabulous as Hansel. He shows swagger and emotion evenly and has a talent for dry wit. He plays beautifully off of Gemma Arterton who gives Gretel power as well as beauty. The two together make a power house team sending the witches back to the dust.
The overall tone of the movie is fun. While serious and downright grim instances occur, the movie never forgets that it is entertainment. Viewers forgive the few plot holes and suspend disbelief because the overall experience is so enjoyable. The writing is taunt with the siblings being blessed with brawn, beauty, and quick wit.
The movie easily combines modern elements to a period piece. In the same way A Knights Tale seamlessly integrated ‘70s music into jousting, the film easily integrates a state of the art weapons into witch hunting. Automatic weapons and taser are just a few that give the orphans an extra kick against the witches. This in itself is fun because I have watched plenty of witch movies where I wondered what would happen if I took an automatic to them.
Hansel and Gretel Witch Hunters is a fun romp in a fantasy world made for adults. It’s about time; we deserve some fun fantasy too.
- Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters Review (moviejunkieto.com)
- Jeremy Renner & Gemma Arterton: ‘Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters’ Australian Premiere! (justjared.com)
- Hansel & Gretel – Witch Hunters: Film Review (moejackson.com)
- Seena Interviews Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton & Famke Janssen Of Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (amp.cbslocal.com)
- Sweet Revenge: “Hansel and Gretel” Kick Ass (imamovienerd.wordpress.com)