Cinema Movie Review: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)


It may be the state of mind I’m currently in, but despite the crushing critique coming from all directions, I actually really enjoyed watching Tommy Wirkola’s Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013). I first saw the trailer without knowing anything about the movie, and I was quite amused by the simple idea of it – namely, the later story of the above-mentioned characters after they managed to kill the bad witch in her candy hut in the middle of the forest.

Well, let’s see. According to the director, Hansel (Jeremy Renner), and Gretel (Gemma Arterton), having realised that witch magic doesn’t work on them and having killed the children-eating monster from the candy cottage, decide to use their skills in a good fight against all the witches of the world. They are very good in what they do, they’re real pros, in fact. They have guns, knives and sparrows, they have leather clothes and they seem to know all kinds of martial arts. They have a reputation that proceeds them wherever they go, but they also have diabetes (Hansel) and hearts broken by their parents, who decided to leave them in the woods, alone (both). Now, 15 years after their first kill, they have a problem. In a (supposedly German) village, kids are being kidnapped by a witch. But not just any witch – a seemingly unconquerable one, whose evil plan is to make all the other witches immortal. Hansel and Gretel have to gather all their strength and get help from anyone who’s willing to offer it (even if these are white witches and sympathetic trolls) and deal with their mortal but brutal and unscrupulous enemy, the town sheriff (Peter Stormare).

And that’s it – that’s the whole plot, filled with fight scenes and shootings, gore, blood and heads smashed to the walls and ground. Pure entertainment (although it’s very bloody). None of the smart in-depth analysis of the Grimms’ story was touched upon, no special innovations, just a few funny exchanges and, apart from that a light, it’s not very original. Some films are made just for fun, however, and this is one of them.

88 mins.

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