Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters

IMDB, Hansel & Gretel Witch Hunters“Hansel & Gretel: With Hunters” on IMDB

Adventure, 114 Minutes, 2013

This is directly in line with other high-firepower, low-respect updates of old-world classics like 2004’s “Van Helsing” [IMDB] or 2005’s “The Brother’s Grimm” [IMDB].  The formula gets tweaked but is basically the same: a hot guy and a hotter gal take on monsters with completely unrealistic steampunk firepower.

These movies are utterly ridiculous, completely predictable and utterly cliched.  They can also be a hell of a lot of fun.  Silly, over-the-top and totally without intellectual value but still, a hell of a lot of fun.  This one has all the right ingredients.  The guy is hot, the gal is hotter.  They have a clown and even bring in the optional misunderstood monster.

Very little of it makes any real sense.  The witches, for example, are risking everything to create a potion that will make them immune to fire because, we’re told repeatedly, fire is the “best” way to kill them.  Yet we watch our heroes cut them down with arrows, bullets, explosives, knives, wire, pointy sticks and a shovel.  Still, we can count on ridiculously glamorized witch-fights, right?

Well, no.  It all just falls flat.  I have trouble pinpointing why exactly but I can’t easily think of  less interesting action sequences.  They’re lifeless and stale.  Filled with fast, straight cuts that effectively eliminate any momentum that threatens to build the fights are quite simply boring.  There are many instances of  excessive gore but they don’t flow from the story and, while fleeting, feel completely staged; as if the movie was waving wildly saying, “look how grown up I am!”

This is all punctuated by flaccid attempts at humor that never seem to find a target.  There are least seven attempts to find a laugh in having our fairy tale heroes say “fuck”.  My suggestion is that you don’t encourage it by watching.

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