Critical Condition

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

2.5 Stars


Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

Rated R for bloody violence and gore, nudity, language and drug content

Directed by
Tommy Wirkola

Produced by
Will Ferrell
Adam McKay
Kevin Messick
Beau Flynn

Written by Tommy Wirkola

Jeremy Renner
Gemma Arterton
Famke Janssen
Peter Stormare

Music by Atli ÷rvarsson

Cinematography Michael Bonvillain

Editing by Jim Page

MTV Films
Gary Sanchez
Siebzehnte Babelsberg Film
Distributed by Paramount Pictures

Release date
January 25, 2013

Running time 88 minutes

United States

Language English.


Why does this movie exist? What horrible person decided to take a story about two kids and a candy house and turn it into an ultra-violent action movie dismembered body parts flying everywhere in two hours of badly staged bloody mayhem? Iím not sure who this person was... I canít prove it was Satan, but you canít prove it wasnít, either.

Hansel and Gretel, having survived their encounter with a witch and a house made of sugar, have grown up and have gone into the business of witch hunting (which should have really been incredibly obvious given that itís the title). Together, they are called to a town that is being plagued by child-snatching witches and stumble upon a case that unexpectedly sheds light on their own past.

Sweet Zues, this movie is bad. I wouldnít say itís bottom of the barrel fare, but it is so cluelessly stupid that the stupid has overpowered its inherent badness and has made it into an almost indestructible ball of silliness. A veritable blitzkrieg of hopeless badness.

The interesting thing about Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is that, even though itís a mess, it is good for a few genuine chuckles. Seeing etches of missing kids on milk jars for example Ė thatís actually clever. Cleverness resurfaces a few other times in the movie as well, but for the life of me, I canít remember a single darn instance of it because the rest of the movie is just bad.

How bad is it? Imagine the Crazy 88 fight from Kill Bill, take away all of the fun, and then play it five more times over and over again. Yeah, thatís about it. Hansel and Gretel scowl and frown because that is the most convenient way to show how tough they are. Hansel suffers from the strangest and most medically inaccurate case of diabetes Iíve ever seen (and no, Iím really not making that up) and it doesnít take long for tough as nails Gretel to be reduced to a damsel in distress.

Worst still, the movie is stupid. Like I said, itís unintentional stupidity is almost the movieís saving grace, but itís still just... stupid.

It's stupid, has has none of the humor that the stupidity seems to beg for. If the lack of humor isnít bad enough, the action is boring and tedious with an overload of gore that eventually gives the movie the same impact as watching bugs hit a windshield.

If I only had 88 minutes to live, I would request to watch this movie because it would stretch those 88 minutes into an eternity.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Artertonís expressions never seem to climb above the crushing boredom that both seem to be experiencing and the future ex Mrs. Donner, Famke Janssen, who by all rights should be having the best time playing an over the top witch seems like she knows the entire project is shit and appears depressed by this knowledge.

Itís just not good, kids. Handsel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a dull and repetitive mess with splattering witches and dismal filler moments where bad characters are laughably developed. If I had to compare sitting though this movie to anything, I would say itís better than burning to death, but not as fun as drowning.

2.5 Stars

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