I can’t say I had high hopes when I sat down to watch Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters. Even the title was somewhat off-putting. I assumed it was another tiring flick from a strange Hollywood trend that’s already given us Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. I expected to see an unimaginative, re-imagining of a classic fairy tale. Instead I got an enjoyably goofy movie.
The plot follows a grown up Hansel (Jeremy Renner) and Gretel (Gemma Arterton) as they travel from town to town hunting witches. Their childhood experiences have made them experts in their line of work and the opening credits presents us with a short montage depicting their rise to fame. The story starts as they take on a routine job: to find a witch that’s been terrorizing a town. Of course, things soon take a turn for the worse and they realize that there’s something bigger going on in Augsburg.
The simple premise may seem lackluster, but after the first ten minutes you’ll find yourself thoroughly invested. The main reason is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously. Director Tommy Wirkola avoided creating a too-cool-for-school film by adding in some much needed wacky elements. This leads to some hilariously over the top fight sequences and one-liners that really make the movie stand out.
Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters did well at the box office, and judging by its worldwide gross of over 200 million there’s a good chance many of you have seen it. But if you read the generally poor reviews and assumed it wasn’t worth a watch (like I did), think again. It won’t have stellar performances or an Oscar winning story, but if you want to watch a downright entertaining movie, look no further: this is the film for you.
Highlights: The fight sequences, hands down. Head butting? Skull crushing? Nose breaking? It’s all here, and it’s all gloriously silly.