What I'm Watching: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
With a snowstorm on the way, and one last day of 2D showings here, I rushed out to the local theatre so I could see Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Now, I get why this might not be a movie on a lot of people's radars. It does look a little silly. The trailers go for that very tongue in cheek kinda vibe, and this is definitely an updating that is a bit unique and a little out there from the norm.
But oh, if you can see this movie, you should. It really is a lot of fun.
It's not a great movie, it has some plot holes, but it's a fun little supernatural action movie that plays in the Grimm milieu in fun ways. I honestly wish they'd dropped MORE Grimm references, but what was there that I recognised was welcome.
The movie centers around the eponymous characters, years after their well-known survival from being eaten by a witch in a house made of candy. They've taken up the role of witch hunters as a bit of vengeance for what happened to them. Here we find them coming into a town plagued by witches kidnapping their children, and the plot is about them trying to figure out what's going on.
The mystery unfolds well, even if there are no major surprises here. The twists they do offer are all pretty obvious, but presented well enough. There's nothing wrong with a solid, classic story.
I most love that Hansel & Gretel, played by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton, are almost overly stereotypical modern day action hero characters. But they've been dropped straight into a middle ages setting, and they have no patience at all for the bullshit that these two tones create. It's like they took the two wildly different archetypes, slammed them together, and watched the chaos from how they just do not fit together.
The movie is cut from the same cloth as Van Helsing. It is very much that same sort of tone and universe, but whereas VH could sometimes take itself VERY seriously, and tried to convince you that it was just that to the point of being unable to take it seriously, this movie knows its sense of humour. It knows it is not serious, and never really tries to be, even in the more serious character driven moments.
If there's anything you liked about Van Helsing, you'll find more of the same here, but IMO presented in a much better way, with the appropriate sense of humour.
There's a lot of great deaths, some great additions to the mythos, and I love what they added to Hansel's backstory. I won't ruin it here.
It was a lot of fun, and a great bit of popcorn entertainment for just under 90 minutes. They got most everything they needed to right. I knew what to expect going into this, and I wasn't disappointed.