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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

Cast: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Artenton, Famke Janssen
Director: Tommy Wirkola

I know you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but one look at the movie's poster and I could already tell that this was going to be bad. However, this was a successful bad movie that is currently spawning a sequel, a sequel that I am going to find myself watching in one way or another. Hollywood turns back to its fairy tale book to pull out the next story, and they did, with this adaptation of Hansel and Gretel, grown up and bad-ass.

We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel. They get left behind in the forest, was lured to the witch's candy cottage and was fatten up to be eaten, until the siblings wits got the better of the witch. Years later, the duo made a name for themselves as witch hunters, hired to kill the witches and protect towns and children from being taken. It helps that they are immune to witches' spells and they have all these advance gadgets. For this particular saga of their witch hunting lives, they come face to face with their past, and discover more about themselves and the witch world.

I found it amusing that the acting was spot on in the most ridiculous setting I've seen this year. It was set up in a different time period, and yet they talk very much like in the present. Also, their gear was way too advanced for such a setting. I guess it was to aid the silliness of the flick (which it did), but one can't help but think that this was just ludicrous. Of course once you wiped all that out, it's just really all action and gunfire. As for the CGI, the movie itself looked badly made, so I wasn't expecting much here either. The logic and screenplay was clearly flawed and incomprehensible, making Hansel and Gretel appear idiotic at times. How is Hansel not dying or looking very bruised for someone who participates in physical combat and has diabetes? How did they forget who their parents were or where they used to live? They don't have amnesia. For people who do this for a living, why don't they know more? For a couple of witch hunters to make their money off the business, they seem to be physically weak.

Hansel and Gretel are portrayed very spot on by Jeremy Renner and Gemma Artenton. As a budding action star, I have no complaints about Renner, but Artenton managed to outshine him. However, I found Artenton to be a missed miscast. She looked right for the role, but seeing her in all those physical stunts and action sequences, it just made me think that she's not as tough as she looks. Famke Janssen was an underused talent, given that she had limited material to work with. Not the worst cast I've seen.

The movie started and ended in a mess, and I'm surprised that this is actually going through with a sequel. The story itself is not grand, in such a way that it merits attention, nor does it give a good background story to the duo. There was nothing extraordinary to it, nor it gives justice to the tale it took its adaptation from. While the premise might look decent on paper, it certainly did not deliver to its standards, or any other standards for that matter. 


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