Why does this movie exist? What horrible person decided to take a story about two kids and a candy house and turn it into an ultra-violent action movie dismembered body parts flying everywhere in two hours of badly staged bloody mayhem? I’m not sure who this person was… I can’t prove it was Satan, but you can’t prove it wasn’t, either.

Hansel and Gretel, having survived their encounter with a witch and a house made of sugar, have grown up and have gone into the business of witch hunting (which should have really been incredibly obvious given that it’s the title). Together, they are called to a town that is being plagued by child-snatching witches and stumble upon a case that unexpectedly sheds light on their own past.

Sweet Zues, this movie is bad. I wouldn’t say it’s bottom of the barrel fare, but it is so cluelessly stupid that the stupid has overpowered its inherent badness and has made it into an almost indestructible ball of silliness. A veritable blitzkrieg of hopeless badness.

The interesting thing about Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is that, even though it’s a mess, it is good for a few genuine chuckles. Seeing etches of missing kids on milk jars for example – that’s actually clever. Cleverness resurfaces a few other times in the movie as well, but for the life of me, I can’t remember a single darn instance of it because the rest of the movie is just bad.

How bad is it? Imagine the Crazy 88 fight from Kill Bill, take away all of the fun, and then play it five more times over and over again. Yeah, that’s about it. Hansel and Gretel scowl and frown because that is the most convenient way to show how tough they are. Hansel suffers from the strangest and most medically inaccurate case of diabetes I’ve ever seen (and no, I’m really not making that up) and it doesn’t take long for tough as nails Gretel to be reduced to a damsel in distress.

Worst still, the movie is stupid. Like I said, it’s unintentional stupidity is almost the movie’s saving grace, but it’s still just… stupid.

It’s stupid, has has none of the humor that the stupidity seems to beg for. If the lack of humor isn’t bad enough, the action is boring and tedious with an overload of gore that eventually gives the movie the same impact as watching bugs hit a windshield.

If I only had 88 minutes to live, I would request to watch this movie because it would stretch those 88 minutes into an eternity.

Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton’s expressions never seem to climb above the crushing boredom that both seem to be experiencing and Famke Janssen, who by all rights should be having the best time playing an over the top witch seems like she knows the entire project is crap and appears depressed by this knowledge.

It’s just not good, kids. Handsel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a dull and repetitive mess with splattering witches and dismal filler moments where bad characters are laughably developed. If I had to compare sitting though this movie to anything, I would say it’s better than burning to death, but not as fun as drowning.

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Written by Jason Gaston

Father, teacher, writer, photographer, artist, actor, male model, and inventor of the semicolon.

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