Released in the UK today, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters has not been met with a particularly positive response over in the states. So, is it really as bad as everyone seems to be saying? Hit the jump for my spoiler-free verdict!

On the surface, it's extremely difficult to tell whether Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a terrible film or just having fun with itself. For the sake of argument, I'm going to say it's the latter, and as long as you don't take it too seriously, there's a surprisingly enjoyable film on offer here! It's no masterpiece that's for sure, but it's miles ahead of last year's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and a much better choice than recent releases such as Bullet to the Head and A Good Day to Die Hard. As for the 3D, it's utilised quite well throughout the movie, although like most films these days, it never feels like a truly essential addition.

Tommy Wirkola shows himself to be competent, if somewhat unremarkable, as both writer and director, although he throws in some cracking one-liners and enough visual flares to make Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters more memorable than it may have ended up in lesser hands. However, it's hard to escape the impression that the movie has the potential to be much, much better, instead of the B-Movie nonsense it ultimately is for the most part! The film does deserve to be praised for its impressive visual and practical effects though, and while not all of the make-up and prosthetic work hits the mark (some of the witches look far too monstrous and the troll is an admittedly impressive creation which unfortunately looks awfully plastic at times), it's difficult to find too much to complain about in this respect.

Despite being in a film which often feels like some sort of parody, Jeremy Renner (Hansel) and Gemma Arterton (Gretel) seem to have a lot of fun and share a great deal of chemistry. The mostly unrecognisable Famke Janssen (Muriel) is a frightening enough foe for the brother and sister duo, while the cast is rounded out with decent turns from the likes of Peter Stormare and Pihla Viitala. It's daft, doesn't make a lot of sense - when and where is this supposed to be set?! - but Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters really isn't all that bad! And c'mon, how can you not love a movie with a line like, "Whatever you do, don't eat the fucking candy!"?

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters is a surprisingly silly and bloody action adventure which is actually rather long as you make sure not to take it all seriously!

2013 Reviews So Far...

The Last Stand (3/5)
Bullet To The Head (1/5)
Wreck-It Ralph (4/5)
A Good Day To Die Hard (2/5)
Warm Bodies (4/5)
Mama (3/5)

Fifteen years after their traumatic gingerbread-house incident, siblings Hansel and Gretel have become a formidable team of bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world.


Jeremy Renner as Hansel
Gemma Arterton as Gretel
Thomas Mann as Ben
Famke Janssen as Muriel
Pihla Viitala as Mina
Peter Stormare as Sheriff Berringer
Derek Mears as Edward
Monique Ganderton as Candy Witch
Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Horned Witch
Zoë Bell as Tall Witch
Joanna Kulig as Redhead Witch


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