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 20/20 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.