“Hansel and Gretel” is all gore with poor execution


Gemma Arterton, left, plays Gretel and Jeremy Renner plays Hansel in “Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters,” from Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures. 

Take a classic children’s tale, have your protagonists grow up and throw in violence, adult language and a little teeny bit of sex and you have “Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.”

In the film, Hansel and Gretel are renowned throughout the lands as witch hunters. They are brought into a small town to deal with the increase in kidnappings of children by witches.

Opposition arises from the town sheriff (played by Peter Stormare) who feels that he can do the job himself. Confrontation with witches is constant. There are gallons of blood and a lot of witch chunks.

This movie is a bloody good time. It lacks substance, but it offers a 90 minute distraction.

The film is extremely fun in 3D and objects fly out of the screen. You can almost feel the blood.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Aerton play Hansel and Gretel respectively with a slight lack of enthusiasm.

Dialogue seems to only be enhanced by interjections of obscenities. The film tries to make it very clear it’s for grown ups. The witches are overplayed and look atrocious. The make up is poorly done.  

Famke Jamessen, who plays Muriel, the head witch, does a very mediocre job with the very mediocre material she had to work with. There’s a lot of cackling and stereotypical witchiness. Nothing new is brought to the table.

The effects of the film are very good and very realistic. This film is not for the squeamish and it’s hard to get past the amounts of blood that will be spilled.

A major issue with the film is the lack of consistency with many different aspects. Some people have accents, some people do not and all of the accents seem to be different. Mina, Hansel’s love interest, (portrayed  delicately by Pihlla Vitalla) has an accent completely different from everyone else’s. Hansel and Gretel are apparently Americans. The costumes all seem to come from slightly different eras.

The concept is imaginative but execution is weak. The effects and action are the strongest elements. One standout is Thomas Mann, who plays Ben, a groupie and fan of Hansel and Gretels work. He is adorable and capable in his role and is very likable.

Thomas Mann has potential beyond this subpar film. The leads’ performances were sufficient but not extraordinary. This film is for the action fan. After you watch you may want to jump around and punch some mythical creatures.

This movie is not a classic, and will eventually be filed away in the back cabinet in audience’s mind. Watch if you like blood or Gemma Aerton in leather pants.