Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

*Whatever you do, don’t eat the f***in’ candy.

*

Lines just like that do a good job of summarizing the entire movie. High art? Not so much. But it’s a pretty good way to spend an hour and a half.

Going in, all I’d seen was the trailer and even that had been months. So I really wasn’t sure what I was getting myself in for. I didn’t even know that it was rated R–I haven’t gotten carded in years–but it certainly deserved the rating. There’s plenty of gore (oh that troll stomp…) and there’s quite a bit of rough language. Then there’s about a minute of completely random nudity. Well enough for an R.

Then you have the fun of an anachronism a minute through a good part of the film. You have grenades and a chain-guns–heck there are even insulin injections. It was a bit distracting at times, but surprisingly it actually works. It reminds you (not that you should really need it) that this is some sort of alternate Earth, echoing ours only in the broadest of abstractions.

There were a few twists thoughout the movie, but I think they were all relatively predictable. It may be 2020 hindsight, but I don’t think a single one of them actually caught me completely by surprise. I do appreciate the world building they did though.

On the positive side, the action scenes were well done (although I could have done with a bit more of Hansel and Gretel beating on the baddies rather than the other way around…). Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton actually made surprisingly convincing siblings and Famke Janssen was an excellent big bad (though it took me a minute to place her, she hasn’t been in anything for a while). I was a bit amused at the choice of name for the troll–I wonder if that was intentional?

Overall, it’s not quite as good of an action movie as Django Unchained, but it still stands well enough on it’s own. I could see it fitting into that guilty pleasures class of movies that I watch every once in a while when I just want a nice mindless action flick. So it actually goes on the bottom; not because it’s a terrible movie, but really just because there aren’t that many choices.

Ranked: 2013 Movie Reviews

  1. Pacific Rim
  2. Frozen
  3. Iron Man 3
  4. The Croods
  5. Gravity
  6. Thor: The Dark World
  7. Star Trek Into Darkness
  8. Monsters University
  9. Elysium
  10. Ender's Game
  11. Man of Steel
  12. Django Unchained
  13. World War Z
  14. Despicable Me 2
  15. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  16. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  17. Parental Guidance
  18. Oblivion
  19. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  20. Beautiful Creatures
  21. R.I.P.D.
  22. Jurassic Park (3D!)
  23. The Wolverine
  24. Oz the Great and Powerful
  25. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  26. Jack the Giant Slayer
  27. Warm Bodies
  28. Don Jon
  29. Turbo
  30. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  31. Pain & Gain

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