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Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters



Director: Tommy Wirkola Stars: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen
Released: 27th February 2013 (UK) Certificate: 15

“Don’t eat the fucking candy” – a quote you wouldn’t associate with Hansel (Jeremy Renner), a man who was once kidnapped by a witch alongside his sister, Gretel (Gemma Arterton), and forced to eat a mass amount of sugar. Now adults, the two have become witch hunters and arrive at the town of Augsburg where numerous children have been reported missing. Their investigation leads them to a wicked witch, Muriel (Famke Janssen), and her evil plan threatens the duo and the town’s people.

We are introduced to the young siblings as they escape the grasp of a deranged witch and dispose of her body in an oven. The candy filled sequence is followed by fierce opening credits but in terms of quality, Hansel & Gretel soon spirals into careless territory.

Although the story has some interesting ideas – the witch’s thirst for children and Hansel’s diabetes – the film doesn’t challenge itself and settles for minimal development. The outcome is foreseen from the beginning and each plot point is explained with flat and unworthy dialogue.

This revamped tale is not a well-made film but Hansel & Gretel is still a lot of fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and focuses on entertaining its audience with gore and overblown action.

Renner takes the brunt of the action but annoyingly Arterton falls into the role of the damsel in distress. It’s obvious director Tommy Wirkola wanted to cash in on Renner’s newfound status. In the supporting role, Janssen delivers a gusto performance but her enthusiasm is more suited for the pantomime.

Hansel & Gretel is a sinfully good time but don’t go in expecting greatness because it’s far from it.

Reviewed by: Ben Harris

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