Monday, June 8, 2015

Netflix Instant Queue Movie Review: "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" (2013)

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Movie"Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters"
Director: Tommy Wirkola
Year: 2013
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

As kids, Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and his sister Gretel (Gemma Arterton) were abandoned in the forest by their father. They found a house made of candy and inside it was a witch who captured them and planned to eat Hansel. The kids escaped and burned the witch in the oven. In escaping, they found they are immune to witch magic. Now all grown up, Hansel and Gretel make a living as witch hunters and finders of lost children. After a string of missing children in one town, they are called in by the mayor to find the kids and kill the witch that stole them. Soon, they discover they are facing a witch the likes of which they have never encountered before. 

Hawkeye in eyeliner? Huh, *there's* a surprise.

There has been a trend in Hollywood for a while now where filmmakers take literary and historical characters and put a new little twist on their stories, turning dramatic characters into action heroes. This can be seen in films like "Snow White and the Huntsman," "I Frankenstein," "Dracula Untold," and "Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter," none of which are good movies and some of which are downright terrible. "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters" is no different. This is not a good movie by any stretch of the imagination. The script is laughable and the acting isn't any better. Can it be fun sometimes? Sure, most movies can be fun sometimes, and we will say it does benefit from an R rating. This R rating also helps to counterbalance the movie from its lack of a compelling story with its over-the-top gratuitous, nasty violence. When we say over-the-top, we mean over-the-top, so much so that it becomes comedic. The zany, balls to the wall action aspect is really the most redeeming quality the film has and it is also the most enjoyable part for us, though the action itself can get a little cartoonish and does not help give it the fantastical feel a movie with a subject like this should have. The whole style of the movie is a gothic steam-punk crossover to the nth degree where Hansel and Gretel use old timey weapons with a modern twist, like a fully automatic crossbow, automated grappling hooks, a shotgun-like weapon, and even a machine gun. The makeup work is relatively good throughout the film, though in an anti-counterbalancing effort, the CGI leaves a lot to be desired. Jeremy Renner fills the role of Hansel and does as well as could be expected with the garbage material he is given. Gemma Arterton looks like she's about to fall over all the time by the weight of her upper half, which is pressed so tightly against her latex jumper suit it looks like it hurts. Famke Jansen was not at all convincing as the villainous Muriel and needs to stop overacting when she's already doing a painfully bad job. In fact, most of the people in this movie are overacting to, once again, compensate for what's not there. Mostly everything about this movie is crap, from the flat jokes to the crappy effects, and despite a relatively weak domestic box office and barely clearing its $50 million dollar budget, that ever important global box office was strong, grossing the film over $200 million. This make us once against shake our heads in fear of the generations to come. The fans of this film should have no fear because "Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters 2" (it makes us livid to even type this out as a sentence) is in its early stages of production and is gunning for a 2016 release. Oh, the humanity.

My Rating: 4/10
BigJ's Rating: 5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 15%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Godzilla"

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