What I'm Watching: Hansel & Gretel Get Baked
Well, it seems like Hansel and Gretel are big these days.
I was torn when I heard about this movie. The cast sounded fun, the story sounded like an interesting modern take on the classic story, while at the same time making me roll my eyes a little at trying to make this a stoner comedy.
And yeah, that last part there did end up bugging me quite a bit. I am soooo clearly not the target audience for this sort of thing. I am not a fan of the stoner movie. I've never seen a Harold and Kumar movie, and don't have much interest in doing so without some more convincing.
The good news is, the "Heehee, we are sooo high!!" jokes are gotten out of the way quickly in the first ten minutes or so of the movie, and rarely return after that.
Trying to acquire a fresh supply of pot from the person who turns out to be the witch, but its more of a MacGuffin for the plot, than anything else. I do appreciate calling her blend of pot "Black Forest" and the movie is sprinkled with other great, humourous references to the original Grimm Brothers storyline.
The story follows Gretel for the most part, as she tries to find her missing boyfriend after he tries to get that Black Forest weed to bake into gingerbread cookies. He gets captured by the witch, Gretel falls prey to her next, and then it falls to Hansel to try and do the rescuing.
Note, the title of the movie is false. Gretel is the only one in the movie to 'get baked'. Hansel stays refreshingly not high, nor does he get shoved into an oven. The latter is a close call, though. Gretel is played as actually pretty smart, when she's not stoned, and her detective work is protrayed fairly well on the screen by Castle star Molly Quinn. I'm actually impressed with the level of storytelling the movie went to with that side of things.
The movie ends up telling a pretty solid story within the confines of the fairy tale, with Gretel getting lost in the witch's forest of pot plants in the basement, and trying to leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find her way back out. And by breadcrumbs, I mean Skittles. Which leads to one of the single most hilarious moments in the movie.
Oh, and the movie likes to push the fact that Cary Elwes is in it, they even give him pretty high billing in the promotional material. If you're coming here for Cary Elwes, let this be your warning; He is in the first few minutes of the movie, and then GONE. Eaten. Disappeared. Never seen again. And he's in makeup and such, so he's not the most recognisable Cary out there. This isn't quite false advertising, but it feels SO disingenuous to me, I feel it's necessary to point it out.
But anyways, the movie. I ended up liking it way more than I first thought. The cast is solid enough, and play off each other. It doesn't feel like trying to cash in, and the H&G elements to the story are actually pretty integral to their particular story. This really would NOT be the same movie if those parts were taken out. It's actually quite a clever update to the story, in an entirely different way from the original story, and the recent Witch Hunters take on the property. All three are perfectly valid interpretations.
Sure, this is more of a comedy with a body count, but that's okay, and I like branching out to the fringes of Trisk's remit, which is vague to begin with. If you can stand a few heavy handed pot jokes to start your movie, and are in the mood for something silly but fun, this is not a bad movie to kill some time with. It's entertaining, and does what it wants to do, and does it well enough.