Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is a fun little romp of a movie. The story is a reworking of the classic fairy tale about two children abandoned in the forest by their father. They discover a house made of candy, owned by a witch who takes the children captive. She goes on to fatten Hansel up while making Gretel work as a drudge. Ultimately, the children overcome the witch, shoving her into her own oven, burning her alive.
The movie tells what happened afterward. How Hansel and Gretel went on to become famous witch-hunters. Their reputation leads them to a town, plagued by witches, where they encounter a hostile sheriff and, eventually, uncover secrets from their own past.
This movie is a joy ride. Honestly, I want to compare it to Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness. It has that same mix of adventure and humor.
The performances in this movie are surprisingly good. Especially Famke Janssen and Gemma Arterton, who steal every scene in which they appear. I strongly suspect that both ladies had a ball with their respective roles.
Alas, the same thing cannot be said of Jeremy Renner. He has almost no presence onscreen, and seems to be sleepwalking through the role of Hansel.
My only other complaint with the movie is that some of the fight scenes were too dark. It was difficult to make out what was happening in some parts of the movie.
And for those of you who are interested in such things, I did not see the 3D version of this movie. Three-Dee gives me an enormous headache and, honestly, I refuse to pay extra money just for cheap visual effects. I saw the 2D version and, like I said, had a thoroughly enjoyable experience.
On the Media Scale of Movie Love, I give Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, a solid six out of ten. It’s well worth a full-price movie ticket and I think it would stand up to additional viewings.