I have wanted to watch this movie for a long time. I remember the previews from when it first came out and I remember that it wasn’t reviewed very well. Granted I can kind of see why. This movie about a brother and sister duo who escape being killed by a witch when they’re young; who then grow up to hunt witches as adults, doesn’t pull any punches. It goes through all the tropes one would expect and has the classic characters that an action/adventure/fantasy movie would have. That being said I still think it’s a decent movie.
The movie centers around Hansel (played by Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (played by Gemma Arterton) who are hired by a mayor of a small town to find their missing children and kill the witch who took them. They enlist the help of an enthusiastic fan named Ben and a white witch named Mina. The story is your basic beat the bad guy, save the children, and learn a bit about yourselves type of story. The special effects while not spectacular are still good. I also really liked the makeup in this movie and I like how the troll was played by an actual person not just something that was CGI (that’s computer generated imaging.)
The acting is okay. Hansel and Gretel have decent chemistry and are believable as brother and sister. The main witch Muriel (played by Famke Janssen) was decent. While she was rather one sided I did enjoy seeing her run around and shoot blue electricity out of her wand and change from human to witch form.
Admittedly Mina (played by Phila Viita) is a minor character so I can’t say much about her acting. From what I saw she was okay but nothing really stood out about her. She played the part of romantic interest and that was about it. Ben (played by Thomas Mann) does shine in his limited role. He does a good job at injecting humor into the movie and does show at least a little growth as a character. I kept thinking throughout the movie that he would finally get to be a bad ass by saving them or doing something else heroic but that never really happens. The bad guys (which here means the sheriff and his men) are just that. They are two dimensional and I was kind of glad to see them die midway through the movie.
I admit that I’m kind of sucker for cool or interesting weapons in a movie. This movie fills that need. Hansel and Gretel’s main weapons are awesome. I especially liked Gretel’s crossbow that shot arrows at machine gun like speed. The machine gun at the end of the movie was pretty bad ass as well. While the witches wands are just okay looking I do like the look of the spells in the movie and how they differentiate good witches from bad by changing the color of the electricity. I also really liked how all the weapons had a kind of steam punk look to them. If you don’t know what steam punk is look it up on Google I’m sure you’ll find a lot of images.
This is one of those movies that a lot of people would say is terrible and not waste your time with it. I have a slightly different take. While I wouldn’t say this a great movie; I would say it’s a decent movie. Here’s the thing, it’s a movie that you don’t have to think much about. It’s something you watch to see the cool make up, fun special effects and decent fight scenes. If you want a movie that’s deep, has complex characters and a clever plot then this movie is not for you. If you want a movie to pass a rainy afternoon or are looking for something to watch with friends and talk about the ridiculous(ness) of it afterwards then give this a shot.
While I don’t know if many people will want more information here is a link to the trailer and more information about this movie. One note, this movie is rated R which means it’s rather violent and bloody so I wouldn’t recommend it for young children.