Hansel and Gretel: Witch hunters

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

a review by Nalini Haynes

Hansel and Gretel: Witch hunters isn’t a fairytale retelling: it uses the original Hansel and Gretel story as a launching pad for a new story.

There’s a recap of the original story in what amounts to a teaser. Then the introductory credits include a series of newspaper clippings showing Hansel and Gretel’s achievements as witch hunters since they killed the witch who tried to eat them.

This series of clippings runs too long.

Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) are engaged by the mayor of a village to track down evil witches in the hope of rescuing stolen children.

Sheriff Berringer (Peter Stormare) would rather kill random women than ensure only the guilty suffer. He’s also not averse to sending men to futile deaths and attacking Hansel and Gretel directly without justification.

Mina (Pihla Viitala) is a white witch who, in spite of Hansel’s absolute douchebaggery and sleaziness, pursues Hansel. They fall in luuuurve.

Ben (Thomas Mann) is a fanboy who chases Hansel and Gretel for autographs, hangs on their every word and is generally cringe-worthy. I’m not sure if this is a Big Bang Theory-style putdown for the geek community or a bit of a Fanboy wave.

Edward (Robin Atkin Downes) is a troll. I was so pleased to be able to tell MY MINION EDWARD that his trollishness has been confirmed.

The plot fails.

The characters fail.

Hansel and Gretel succeeds in that the central characters are sexy, leather-wearing, steampunk weapon-toting, kick-ass heroes who brutally and black-comically kill evil witches.

Not really my thing so I’m giving this one 2 ½ stars, but some people will love this movie.