You would think with all the action movie success Jeremy Renner has been having with The Avengers, The Town, and Bourne Legacy on top of his more dramatic roles that he may finally get to the point where he did not have to star in an action movie with a ridiculous title. Guess not. It sounds like something off the Syfy Channel but despite the primitive title this movie has its share of perks. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters mutates the familiar elements of the fairy tale into a bloody adventure.
A brief introduction to the plot of Hansel & Getel: Witch Hunters is as follows: After being orphaned at a young age, siblings Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton respectively) grow to become bounty hunters seeking to avenge their parents by taking out every witch possible. The brother/sister duo meet their match when the evil witch called Muriel (Famke Janssen) who is collecting children born in different months before the Blood Moon approaches to make witches everywhere immune to Hansel and Gretel’s murderous methods. Click here for the trailer.
As I stated above, this movie feels very much like a Syfy Channel original… except with a budget. I say that because it has a really fast pace that tells a decent story but has flat acting and little character development. But what makes this movie superior to Syfy’s run of the mill films is the quality of the sets, make-up of the creatures/witches, and special effects. They looked so cool on the big screen and not that cheesy CGI look that filmmakers seem to prefer these days especially when it came the troll character, Edward. By actually putting an actor underneath the makeup and props it made him feel real. In addition I appreciate the choreography of the fight scenes. Again they avoided the easy CGI effects or shaky camera to make the action appear to be happening fast but took advantage of good old fashion choreography and wiring.
Visuals is about the only perks the movie has. The story is imaginative but at the same time bland and predictable. Like Hansel’s flaw of being diabetic or in need of a sugar shoot because of poisoned candy that a witch gave him as a kid. You knew exactly when that would play a role. Or why it was that they were able to fight the witches successfully where others have failed. Then because the story was standard the acting suffered. Renner I think did what he could with Hansel as a know it all and wanna be loner but Arterton was near unlikeable and annoying at times with how she approached the character. Plus the almost seemed more like a couple than siblings until Hansel found a love interest. Janssen clearly had a fun time playing the conniving witch because it was fun watching her.
Overall, whether or not you see it in 3D Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters the visuals will impress you or at least it did for me. It moves along a good pace despite being predictable with boring characters. I give Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters a 6/10.